Sunday 18 February 2018

Gary Neville provided a brilliant description of Jose Mourinho's Manchester United problems

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Gary Neville believes Jose Mourinho was right to drop Wayne Rooney from his Manchester United’s line-up, as he challenged the club’s other star names to prove they are up to the task of challenging for a Premier League title.

After several days of heated speculation, confirmation that Rooney had been dropped to the bench for the game against Leicester at Old Trafford was greeted with joy by many United fans on Twitter, yet Neville suggests Mourinho has bigger problems to solve aside from the woeful form of his skipper.

Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville used some inventive language to emphasise his belief that Mourinho has far too many players in his squad who will not fit into his long-term plans at United.

“Jose has made the call and it is not the biggest thing in the world for me,” says Neville as he reflected on the omission of Rooney.

“I think it was inevitable. The pressure has been building for the last two to three weeks.

“There seems to be a cry for Rooney to be dropped, he hasn’t played well, particularly in these last few weeks. It’s become a distraction, and distractions aren’t good.”

Neville went on to suggest Rooney’s demotion to the substitutes bench has “taken excuses away” for the rest of Mourinho’s players, as he questioned whether Mourinho has the players capable of challenging for the Premier League title.

“The last 10 transfer windows have been overseen by four different managers, so what you’ve got is four different managers’ players,” he added.

“You’ve got a plate with Bolognese, a chicken tikka masala, a roast dinner and loads of curry and gravy thrown over the top.

“Individually they’re quite nice together…Jose Mourinho’s got to find which bits of that plate he doesn’t like. That’ll take time, but it’s ridiculous to criticise him after five or six games.

“He is out of the team now and we can look at the real Manchester United team. The big thing here is they need to win a title. (Anthony) Martial and (Luke) Shaw….£90m left hand side. Are they good enough to win the league?

“Left hand side, I don’t know what that is yet. Martial has played there, (Marcus) Rashford has played there, (Henrikh) Mkhitaryan has played there.

“Right back is it (Matteo) Darmian or (Antonio) Valencia? Are (Daley) Blind, (Chris) Smalling and (Eric) Bailly good enough to win the league?

“There has been £200m spent in midfield on (Paul) Pogba, (Morgan) Schniederlin, (Marouane) Fellaini, (Ander) Herrera. Is there a duo there that can win the league?

“The distraction of Wayne Rooney has gone now. The excuses are over for anyone wanting to blame him. Let’s look at the rest and see if they are good enough to win the league. That is the big question. Never mind whether Wayne Rooney plays or not.”

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