It’s fair to say Phil Neville’s World Cup commentary debut wasn’t the success he might have hoped. The former Manchester United and England footballer’s turn on the mic for England’s opener against Italy has come under fire from fans unimpressed by his monotone style…
— Greg Rutherford (@GregJRutherford) June 14, 2014
Phil Neville. If a Wild Bean Cafe pasty could talk.
— Chris Addison (@mrchrisaddison) June 14, 2014
“He looks like he has been told to run forward at the defence” #PhilNeville
— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) June 14, 2014
Half time. Producer offers Phil Neville an orange segment dusted with crystal meth.
— Tom Sutcliffe (@tds153) June 14, 2014
Even the police had a dig at poor Phil.
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
— Malvern Cops (@MalvernCops) June 14, 2014
But rather than hide under the nearest rock, Phil has taken the ‘feedback’ on the chin, responding on Twitter to to those less than complimentary of his commentary style:
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
But if Twitter does makes him want to sob into his hanky, at least he’s still got the Beeb on his side. “Phil is an important, well respected member of our team and will continue to play a key role throughout the tournament, both as a studio guest and match commentator,” said a BBC spokesperson.
And if that doesn’t cheer him up, poor Phil can take comfort in the support of his unlikely ally… Ricky Gervais.
The irony is, Phil Neville's commentary is the only thing making me smile. It's quite magical. Really listen. I love it now.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) June 14, 2014