Friday 20 September 2019

Jim White: 'Rancid, embarrassing and unworthy of the shirt - United legends slam current 'stars''


Neville: ‘Furious’ with United display. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Neville: ‘Furious’ with United display. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Jim White

Manchester United legends launched a blistering attack last night on the team's performance at Goodison Park, one that former defender Gary Neville labelled as "rancid" and "embarrassing".

Manchester United legends launched a blistering attack last night on the team's performance at Goodison Park, one that former defender Gary Neville labelled as "rancid" and "embarrassing".

Goals from Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott shattered Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, but it was the lethargy of United's display that most enraged Neville, and he didn't hold back in his analysis of their performance.

Speaking as a pundit on Sky Sports, Neville said: "I'm furious, to be honest. The fact he (Solskjaer) had to apologise to the fans is embarrassing.

"I've often said that if clubs have weeds in the garden, you've got to get rid of them. But there is Japanese knotweed rotting that football club, and it's attacking the foundations of the house that needs dealing with properly.

"With [Jose] Mourinho, the fans stuck with him, but wanted him out in the end. They won't want Ole out. They aren't going to turn. Those players well and truly have their heads on the line.

"I watched Manchester City yesterday, where Manchester United are trying to get to in terms of getting to the top of the Premier League with Liverpool.

"Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva - far better players than in that Manchester United dressing room who work twice as hard.

"Everton ran four kilometres - further in the first half. Everton?! You die for every single inch on the pitch. It's embarrassing just watching some of the players out there today. I'm absolutely furious. That performance was rancid."

Neville is worried that United will struggle to rebuild their squad under the current hierarchy.

"Forget talent. If you don't work hard and don't run around in that shirt, get rid of them," Neville said. "I'm watching players for Manchester City and Liverpool work their absolute backsides off every single week for their club and I'm watching Manchester United players walk around, jaunt about, jogging back.

"I don't mind them losing games or conceding goals, but you do not drop below the standard of work ethic that is expected at that club, and they are falling below it."

The appointment of Solskjaer on a permanent basis after an impressive spell as caretaker manager won widespread approval from Old Trafford veterans. He mostly retains their confidence, but the feeling towards some of the current squad is toxic.


"I reckon the more Solskjaer's watching those players, the more he will be losing faith in those players because they are letting him down and that club down," Neville added. "I am concerned. This idea that United only won the league a few years ago is gone. They are in the wilderness. Seven years [since being champions]. Where do you see the next league title coming from? Things can be turned around quickly, but big decisions, good decisions don't come around quickly.

"Solskjaer spoke about rebuilding the squad, that's a fact. But who is rebuilding this squad for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, for the Manchester United fans? I don't think there is anyone there to be able to rebuild that club from a football point of view. Something is fundamentally wrong."

Michael Owen was also unimpressed with United's showing. "I know we should praise Everton, but I think the story of the game is how bad United were," said the former United striker.

Former midfielder Paul Ince wondered whether the downturn in United's performances might threaten Solskjaer's future.

"The way Man United are performing, you have to ask if Ole is the right man," Ince said. "You cannot be getting embarrassed at Goodison Park like this."

And he had harsh words for Anthony Martial over his defending for Everton's third goal from Digne.

"I'm not sure David de Gea could do much with that, but I'm more concerned with Anthony Martial. He just turns his back on the ball. That would not have happened in Fergie's (Alex Ferguson's) era."

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was also scathing. "That was the worst performance from a Manchester United team I have seen since I have been working for Sky." (© Daily Telegraph)

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