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Gary Neville Names England's 'Greatest Asset' After Win Over Croatia

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Gary Neville Names England's 'Greatest Asset' After Win Over Croatia

Gary Neville has made a bold claim about England's 'greatest asset,' after Gareth Southgate led England to a win over Croatia on Sunday afternoon.

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England had never won the opening game of a European Championship before Raheem Sterling's goal gave Southgate's side all three points at the weekend.

Ahead of the game some fans were surprised to see the Manchester City forward starting for the national team, due to his form for the Premier League champions at the end of the season, and it wasn't the only unexpected selection.

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Kieran Trippier at left back and the exclusion of Jack Grealish were also decisions that were criticised but it all paid off.

Neville thinks that Southgate's ability to ignore the critics and make his own decisions makes him the Three Lions 'greatest asset,' rather than their attacking options.

"I was shocked by the inclusion of Trippier at left-back but not in a doubting way," the former Manchester United defender told ITV football.

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"I don't think there would be one person in the 65 million English population who would pick that team today.

"I thought he managed that game unbelievably today. I think Southgate is our greatest asset.

"The clamour was to go with Grealish but he didn't even bring him off the bench. He's had seven-eight tournaments as a coach, U21s as a player, I feel very comfortable with him as a manager."

Southgate celebrates with the fans after the win. Image: PA Images
Southgate celebrates with the fans after the win. Image: PA Images
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Considering England have the likes of Sterling, Grealish, Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho available it is a surprise call from Neville, but it's not the first time.

The 46-year-old, who usually works for Sky Sports, said earlier this season that Harry Maguire was a more important player for the Three Lions than Kane.

His argument was that there were fewer players of quality to back up the centre bak than upfront, something that is now being tested with Maguire out through injury.

The centre back's replacement on Sunday, Tyrone Mings, performed very well to alleviate some of the fears about the Aston Villa defender ahead of the tournament.

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Featured Image Credit: PA/ITV

Topics: Football, Euro 2020, England, Gareth Southgate, Gary Neville

Ryan Sidle
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