England lost 2-1 to Italy in their first match of the 2014 World Cup, but they still got better reviews back home than first-time BBC match co-commentator and former England player Phil Neville did for his performance during the game. Neville was the target of jokes and derision on social media for his dull, monotone commentary on a very exciting match. Even Daniel Sturridge's wonderful equalizer just after Claudio Marchisio scored Italy's first goal couldn't get Neville enthused.
Here's a recording of the broadcast (complete with visual comparison between Lurch from The Addams Family and Neville) — skip to 44:15 for the goal call and find a seemingly disinterested and indifferent Phil Neville with a demeanor that's just a bit too tight-collared.
Though some defended Neville, who endured a disastrous season as David Moyes' first team coach at Manchester United this season, even the police joined in on the jokes. The Twitter account for the South Warwickshire police said they would put Neville's commentary to use as a way to keep local residents sedate.
will be playing recordings of Phil Neville all night to keep the streets all calm and sleepy. Remember respect residents #KnowYourLimit— Policing South Warks (@SWarksCops) June 14, 2014
Phil Neville's brother Gary, who is also in Brazil serving on England manager Roy Hodgson's coaching staff, has drawn rave reviews for his far more excitable commentary work, so maybe Phil should ask him for some tips. Or drink seven or eight shots of espresso before England's next match.
To his credit, Neville took all of the reviews with good humor.
1st live co-comm last night-sometimes u have to take the criticism - it will only make me better- thanks for the feedback(ahhahaha)!— Philip Neville (@fizzer18) June 15, 2014
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