Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville was scathing of the players and the board.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said his team’s 6-1 hammering at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur was his worst day at the club and Gary Neville has also weighed-in on the shambolic performance.
It was United’s joint-worst loss in the Premier League era – equalling their 6-1 defeat by Manchester City in 2011.
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville was on commentary duty for Sky and in the immediate aftermath of the game, he was asked to provide his opinion about what unfolded and he was scathing of the club’s recruitment over the summer.
“I can’t believe we are where we are. I thought that before the game, Man Utd have grabbed defeat from victory. I thought they handled lockdown well – Rashford’s initiatives won support up and down the country and they finished third – which everyone accepted was the best that the club could do with the squad they had. In the summer, they just had to do their job which was to recruit efficiently – get some players out of the club and get some in,” he said.
While Neville made no excuses for the performances of the players, the former Valencia manager felt that the drubbing by Spurs and the manner of it was indicative of the negativity that has engulfed Old Trafford.
“There’s no excuse for those 11-14 players that played out on that pitch today, they were absolutely pathetic. Their body language was terrible, they were spiritless and spineless in that second half. When you have a squad that lacks resilience and the knowhow to win, you then think about the off the pitch issues with Harry Maguire, Mason Greenwood, and the darkness around recruitment. You’re also seeing Liverpool, City, and Chelsea signing players. The minute that Spurs go 2-1 up, it’s almost like all those negative thoughts come and drain every little bit of confidence out of them,” he added.
A few weeks ago, Luke Shaw said that the United squad needs reinforcements and Neville was fully supportive of the left-back’s remarks.
“It’s not right, but that’s what happened here. Ultimately, at this moment in time, I think the players felt as though they wanted support. I alluded to Luke Shaw’s comments when he said we needed players. Good players don’t mind other good players coming into the dressing room and I think these Man Utd players expected to get some help. They’ve not helped themselves today because their own reputations have been damaged because as I said, that’s nowhere near good enough. But, the off the pitch stuff doesn’t help,” said Neville.
Later in the conversation, host Dave Jones asked the former England defender if it’s possible that another manager can get more out of the current Man Utd squad than Solskjaer is at the moment?
Neville answered: “It’s almost like a repetitive cycle that we’ve seen. We saw it with Louis Van Gaal, he got to a cup final which he won and they pulled out on him when he was building half a squad. They were a decent team, not great, but a decent team. He was half on his way to getting a team that was building some confidence. With Jose Mourinho, they went half roads and then they backed out on him in that transfer window a couple of seasons ago, having given him a contract. He wanted that extra support to go and do it.
“I feel that Solskjaer did achieve the maximum with these players last season by finishing third. There was no way that he was going to get to the Liverpool and Man City levels. I thought Jose was playing a game a few years ago when he said it was an unbelievable achievement to finish second with that squad. On reflection, I think that he’s right. I think finishing third was good last season for Man Utd, but they needed to make sure they got closer to City and Liverpool this summer. They didn’t. It’s the psychological damage of Manchester United not bringing the players in that I think is also hampering the current players’ thoughts.”
You can view Neville’s comments in full below.
Clip via Sky Sports Football