• Premier League

Neville turns down United for MOTD job

ESPN staff
August 7, 2014
Phil Neville's commentary was labelled "monotone" and "boring" during the World Cup © Getty Images

Phil Neville has turned down the chance to work under Louis van Gaal at Manchester United after taking up a Match of the Day punditry spot next season.

After being confirmed as being part of the show's new-look team, Neville confirmed on Twitter that he was no longer working in a coaching role at United. Neville had enjoyed a brief stint on then-interim manager Ryan Giggs' staff for the final four games of last season, following the sacking of David Moyes in April.

Van Gaal had claimed he was keen to find a role for Neville and United later said Neville's departure had been his decision.

The former United defender could still be involved in an ambassadorial or community role in the future, with a club spokesman saying: "We remain of the view that we wanted him involved and didn't think his television work would get in the way, as it hasn't done for his brother, Gary."

Neville's move to Match of the Day comes despite him attracting heavy criticism for his punditry during the World Cup.

His commentary style during England's 2-1 defeat to Italy in Manaus was heavily pilloried and Twitter was flooded with complaints about what some fans saw as his "boring" contributions and "monotone" delivery.

The BBC also received 445 complaints from viewers after the match, though Neville did attract praise for his work as a studio pundit throughout the remainder of the tournament.

Similar to Neville, former United midfielder Paul Scholes signed up to be a pundit for both BT Sport and ITV next season after failing to hear from Van Gaal.

Neville will be joined in the Match of the Day studio this season by his former United team-mate Rio Ferdinand, who will combine the role with his playing duties after signing a one-year deal with Queens Park Rangers this summer.

Ruud Gullit is the other new addition to the BBC highlights show, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this season.

The trio will join a team which also includes Alan Shearer, Robbie Savage and Danny Murphy in a shake-up following the exit of former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen, who retired after 22 years as a pundit following the World Cup.

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