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Neville hits back at 'keyboard warrior' Verheijen over World Cup criticism

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Neville hits back at 'keyboard warrior' Verheijen over World Cup criticism
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Women's World Cup - Group D - England v Scotland - Allianz Riviera, Nice, France - June 9, 2019 England manager Phil Neville gestures during the match REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo   -   Copyright  Eric Gaillard(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – England coach Phil Neville has labelled Raymond Verheijen a “keyboard warrior” after the former Wales assistant coach criticised the women’s World Cup and male coaches working with the teams.

Verheijen, who was assistant to former Wales boss Gary Speed, said the tournament in France is worse than “watching grass grow”.

“So far, it would have been better if the World Cup had been played behind closed curtains. The level of play is shocking. Like watching grass grow,” he wrote on Twitter.

“One of the reasons is that most teams are coached by clueless leftovers from the men’s game rather than by the best female coaches.”

Verheijen’s remarks could be viewed as a slight on the managerial credentials of Neville, who worked as an assistant coach in the men’s game at Manchester United and Valencia before taking charge of England’s women.

Ahead of England’s Group D match against Argentina on Friday, Neville went on the attack and urged the Dutchman “to go out there and get a job”.

“He’s had a go at Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Mauricio Pochettino, Juergen Klopp. Every top manager in the world, he’s had a go at,” Neville told reporters.

“That probably is aimed at me, because when I was at Manchester United (on the coaching staff), he used to have a go at David Moyes.

“He is a keyboard warrior. He sits and talks a fantastic game, but I never see him working in top-level football. That is why he can’t get employed. We can all talk a good game.

“Go win a Champions League, go and win a Premier League. That’s what Wenger does – the people he is having a go at.”

Verheijen was an outspoken critic of David Moyes’ training methods at United during a disappointing 2013-14 campaign, claiming that his staff “overtrained” their players, resulting in an injury to compatriot Robin van Persie.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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