David Beckham praises ‘clever’ appointment of ex-United teammate Gary Neville to England Euro 2012 staff

By Dean Wilkins

David Beckham is praising Roy Hodgson’s ‘clever’ appointment of ex-Manchester United teammate Gary Neville to the Euro 2012 coaching staff.

The England and Old Trafford hero said that Hodgson ‘is a brave man’ for taking the role but his decision to add Neville on a four-year contract was the right thing to do.

Beckham was speaking in Athens today as part of London 2012’s official party who presided over of the Olympic torch handover.

“I think it’s great. Gary has knowledge throughout the game,” said Beckham. “He’s been in big tournaments, he’s played for England for many years.”

The LA Galaxy winger added: “It’s a very clever thing but it’s also great for the players and the manager.

“To have someone with his knowledge as well as Roy’s knowledge. It’s a very clever thing to do. I wish Gary the best of luck.”

Neville, who holds Uefa A and B coaching licences, made 85 England appearances and played at Euro 96, Euro 2000, Euro 2004, World Cup 98 and World Cup 2006.

The England right-back has expressed his opinions about problems in the national team before but Beckham said that is just his way.

“Gary’s always been very vocal about many things,” Beckham said.

“He’s had the experience of being through tournaments and being disappointed in tournaments and knowing what he thinks have been the problems – that’s why it’s a clever move and great for the team.”

“Let’s hope we go out there and we’re successful. It’s a new team, young players.

“It’s one of the first times we have gone into a big competition without huge huge expectation on our shoulders  that could maybe be a good thing for the team.”

He added: “I hope we can go all the way – that has obviously always been our main objective in every competition that we have gone in to. You do not go in to a competition thinking ‘let’s see if we can make the quarters and see what happens.’

“You always go in thinking you can go all the way. Whether it happens, which obviously it has not happened in the last quite few years, that always remains the objective.”

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