Man Utd lost 2-0 to West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday; they have failed to score in their last four league games; Gary Neville said the team will “let you down” while Jamie Carragher labelled them as “boring”
By Gary Neville, Football Expert @GNev2
After another league defeat for Man Utd, Gary Neville said the team will “let you down” and bemoaned their inconsistency, while Jamie Carragher labelled them as “boring”.
Erik ten Hag’s side lost 2-0 to West Ham on Saturday, registering a fourth successive Premier League game without scoring. In fact, United have now played 380 minutes of football since they scored their last goal.
They have now suffered eight league defeats so far this season and sit eighth in the table, eight points behind fourth and 12 points behind leaders Arsenal.
But one person who was not shocked by yet another defeat was Sky Sports pundit and former Man Utd defender Neville.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” he said on The Gary Neville Podcast.
“I didn’t get carried away when they played against Liverpool. I thought Liverpool were below par. I think they showed some resilience and got through the game and you have always got to respect a draw at Anfield.
“But I think now what we see from this team, and I say this team – I don’t just mean this team under this manager I mean this team under any manager in the last six, seven eight years – is pretty much the same, that you can’t trust them.
“They will let you down – when they give you a glimmer of hope that they might be on track do something, they basically go and lose a game that they shouldn’t lose. They have got Villa on Boxing Day – they can go and win that, that’s how daft it is, and then they could go and lose at Forest four days later.
“They are such an inconsistent bunch. And inconsistency is a really bad trait in all walks of life. What you want is to be reliable and consistent, to be that seven or eight out of 10. Reliability and consistency is really important in every walk of life. You have got to be consistent in your work and Manchester United are inconsistent in their work.
“The problems go a lot deeper and we’ve talked about them so many times now. It’s cultural failure right the way through the club that can only be fixed through new ownership.
“And they are still playing bad. So, the players on the pitch are not doing very well, the manager is going to come under great pressure.”
Fellow Sky Sports pundit Carragher echoed Neville’s sentiments, adding Man Utd have scored the same number of goals as relegation-threatened Luton in the league this season.
The former Liverpool defender told The Gary Neville Podcast: “When I heard the manager say [afterwards] that we had control of the game, it reminded me a bit of managers that I had when they were in their last season and things were not going well.
“I watched the game, and it was a really poor game, for both teams, but when I saw the teams, I didn’t think for one minute that Man Utd were going to win that game. So, when the result happens, 2-0 to West Ham, I am not that shocked by it. I’m thinking that’s what should have happened when I saw those two teams.
“(Lucas) Paqueta is involved in both goals, he is the best player on the pitch, not after I have watched the game, I know that before the game.
“The biggest shock for Manchester United for me this is where they are in the league. I can’t believe how often I’ve seen them and how poor they have been and they are so far up the table and if they could put together two or three results, they wouldn’t be that far off a Champions League position. That for me is the biggest shock.
“But, they are a really average team right now and the worst thing you could ever say about Man Utd is that they’re boring, and that’s not having a dig. When you watched them – we were rivals, but it was always exciting. You know they would go for throat, you knew it would be all guns blazing.
“They have scored 18 goals [this season]. They have scored the same number of goals as Luton and that just can’t be Man Utd.”
Neville: How must Man Utd staff feel ahead of Ratcliffe arrival?
Away from the pitch, Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s deal to purchase 25 per cent of the club was finally confirmed on Christmas Eve.
Speaking on the podcast ahead of the confirmation, Neville reflected on how off-pitch uncertainty will have been affecting staff at the club, with changes expected once Ratcliffe and his team come in.
Carragher: If you want to watch Man Utd play well, go to UKTV Gold.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher on The Gary Neville Podcast:
“I think with Jim Ratcliffe coming in – no club has a divine right to win anything, but you have got to make Manchester United box office again.
He has got to get Manchester United back to being the team everybody wants to watch and is excited by with big games on Sky Sports. If you want to watch Manchester United play well now, you have got to go to UKTV Gold.
“You watch them against Manchester City, you watch them against Liverpool, and they are hanging on for dear life.
There is a lot of competition in the Premier League but you have got to get them back to being exciting again and a team that people want to watch.”
“You can imagine how the atmosphere must be in there waiting for what will be the inevitable for probably 60 or 70 per cent of the staff. Can you imagine how they must feel? They must all feel, not undermined, they must all feel like ‘let me get out of here quick’.
“Because the reality of it is they will probably have to at some point over the next few months anyway, because there is no doubt a new football director or sporting leader coming in which is what Jim Ratcliffe is. He’s going to make sweeping changes, because it has been 10 years of failure. He’s going to make lots and lots of changes.
“You almost get to the point where you write off this season, you finish as high up the league as you can, it obviously won’t be the Champions League places, but can you get into the Europa League? And just almost forget about it and try and correct it. It’s a really defeatist attitude, but I almost feel like that is where we are at.
“The owners [Glazers] said they were going to sell the club 12 months ago. How they didn’t get that dealt with in the summer so that we started the season afresh [I don’t know].
“They are now going to pass on the football department and Jim Ratcliffe is going to take their main worry away from them and they can just sit there and say ‘it’s not my fault anymore it’s up to him over there’. If Jim Ratcliffe doesn’t succeed, they can still just sit there and have their value in the club.
“If Jim Ratcliffe can sort it out, then great, and hopefully he will then have some sort of exit plan for the Glazer family in the next three or five years. But the Glazers can’t lose now. They are sat there in America like they have always been knowing that the main target won’t be them when it comes to the football, it’s going to be someone else.
“It’s an unbelievable position that they find themselves in. They are the great survivors.”