Pundit and former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has claimed the team has become a ‘graveyard’ for talented players and insists future manager Erik ten Hag will need to build trust back up with potential signings.
It is safe to say United have not performed to the expectations of fans, pundits and players this season despite sitting sixth in the Premier League table and only five points off the top four, but they have only managed to win one game in their last five, which included a 4-0 drubbing by Liverpool and a tough 3-1 loss to Arsenal.
The team has been heavily criticised this season, with many pundits and former United players calling the team ‘toothless’ and calling out their ‘unfair’ treatment of players like Jesse Lingard, who has wanted to leave for consistent game time, but was forced to stay at the club where he has barely played.
In this time, they have also managed to fail with recruitment, including defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who was a £50m purchase and now appears surplus to requirements in only three seasons, while Paul Pogba, who became their most expensive signing at £89m, has since failed to take them to the next level despite winning a World Cup with France. The midfielder also seems set to leave for free once again this upcoming transfer window.
The latest criticism comes from former United man and current Sky Sports pundit Neville, who slammed the team on his podcast, stating: “It has been a bit of a graveyard in the last few years for some pretty decent players, and talented players. So I think he’s [Ten Hag] going to have to build that trust back up in Manchester United as a manager to then say, ‘this is a different club, this is my club now, this is my team, this is how I play, now you can come and join’.”
TIF Thoughts on Manchester United…
The Red Devils have failed to reach the heights of their dominant era when Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge nearly a decade ago. During this time, they have failed and dismissed multiple world-class managers including Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, while Ferguson’s successor, David Moyes, seemingly failed at United but has since taken West Ham United to the Europa League semi-final.
It feels like a lot of the problems at United are not solely on the managers they’ve employed. There seems to be a problem with the hierarchy, as it has been stated fans are not happy with owners Joel Glazer and family. As well as this, the players have failed to improve and make positive statements on and off the pitch as they have been accused of leaking information in the dressing room and disrespecting the coaching staff.
Will ten Hag turn United around?
Ten Hag is going to have a lot of work on his hands to turn this team around. He will need to cull the deadwood from the club while bringing in effective and hungry players who will embrace the blessing of playing for such a historic club, rather than abusing their position by not trying game in, game out.