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Neville at odds with 'golden' tag
Published : 13 Jun 2010 16:19:00Rss feed
Gary Neville has derided the 'Golden Generation' tag which has been attached to the current crop of England footballers. Former FA chief executive Adam Crozier used the term to describe a team largely built around a batch of youngsters who emerged in the mid-1990s. Neville was among that group, along with Paul Scholes, Rio Ferdinand, David Beckham and Sol Campbell, who were expected to provide the basis of long-awaited international success. With Ferdinand ruled out by an eve-of-tournament knee injury, the Manchester United contingent have missed out on World Cup glory, it is highly unlikely Frank Lampard will contest another, while Steven Gerrard, John Terry and Ashley Cole have either already passed or will celebrate their 30th birthday in the near future. And with an addition to the famous 1966 World Cup win still awaited, Neville does not believe there is any basis to Crozier's original claim. "The 'golden generation' label has been used to death over the past 10 years," Neville told the Sunday Times Malta. "There are a lot of new players in the squad now added to the remnants of the so-called 'golden generation' players. "But, to be honest, the 'golden generation' wasn't very golden from where I was sat in the England squad. "We didn't win any tournaments or do ourselves justice. You get called a golden generation when you win things." Few will believe anything is about to change following yesterday's disappointing 1-1 draw with the United States. But previous campaigns have got off to worse starts and ended in relative - or actual - success. And Neville feels England will progress far enough to get a chance to put their previous penalty despair behind them. "England have a decent draw and will probably be playing in favourable conditions," said Neville, who won the last of his 85 caps against Spain in 2007 and missed out this time despite being tipped to travel as back-up right-back to Glen Johnson. "But penalty shoot-outs are definitely an issue England will have to deal with. "In four of the five tournaments I was part of we were knocked out on penalties, so it tells you we have a problem. "Now there is a different manager who has a great mentality and I hope the players will keep their nerve if a game goes to penalties. "Sometimes it just comes down to having good, confident penalty takers."