Gary Neville says Man Utd like U9s to beat Brentford, adds ‘hard-to-forgive transfer strategy’ | Football news

Gary Neville has described Manchester United’s performance in their shambolic 4-0 defeat at Brentford as watching “the men against the U9s”.

Neville also described the club’s delay in strengthening Erik ten Hag’s squad as “difficult to forgive”.

The 13-time Premier League champions were humbled by the Bees as they suffered their seventh successive away defeat – a result that leaves new manager Erik Ten Hag with zero points, one goal scored and six goals conceded from his two games first on top.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Brentford’s win against Manchester United in the Premier League

United found themselves 4-0 down after less than 40 minutes, leaving Neville to tell Sky Sports: “I’m trying to think of one thing that Manchester United did well in the first half and I can’t think of one.

“I’ve been watching United for 42 years and I can’t think of a moment where I felt it was as bad as it was in that first half.”

United were unable to mount any kind of attack in the second half in west London, after which Neville told the club’s fans: “If you thought it couldn’t get any lower, it just has.”

Richard Arnold, United’s chief executive, was in attendance at the Gtech Community Stadium, where some away fans displayed placards calling for the Glazer family to sell the club.

Neville accused the Americans of presiding over “embedded rot” at Old Trafford, while he also took aim at United’s transfer business this summer.

Christian Eriksen was signed on a free transfer after leaving Brentford, while Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia arrived from the Eredivisie, but United have lost seven players this summer who were part of last season’s first-team squad.

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Gary Neville says Manchester Utd have hit a new low and are drained of confidence after a humiliating 4-0 defeat at Brentford.

Neville said: “Manchester United have known for eight to ten months that they needed to rebuild the squad for the summer. Ralf Rangnick [last season’s interim manager] described it as open heart surgery.

“To not get the players at the start – the quality of players, the number of players – that Ten Hag needed is surprising and hard to forgive.

“It’s not a deadlocked market – the teams have done their business. Every club seems to have a plan and Manchester United’s seems to be, ‘let’s just look at the Dutch league or the players who worked under Ten Hag.’

“That’s not a strategy – you can’t do that. That was 15 years ago. You have to identify the players and the work is done with the agents.

“Yes, of course, you always try to please the manager if he has a player he has a really good relationship with. But with the one he has good contacts with, they can’t get in – Frenkie de Jong.

“It’s a real achievement to spend a billion pounds and be that bad. It doesn’t take much to dismantle this Manchester United team. It just takes a bit of organisation, a bit of fight, and you’re there. If you just round them up a bit and get one goal, they’re cracking like you wouldn’t believe.”

Man Utd’s next six games

  • Liverpool (H) – Premier League, Monday 22 August, live on Sky Sports
  • Southampton (A) – Premier League, Saturday 27 August
  • Leicester (A) – Premier League, Thursday 1 September
  • Arsenal (H) – Premier League, Sunday 4 September, live on Sky Sports
  • Crystal Palace (A) – Premier League, Sunday 11 September, live on Sky Sports
  • Leeds (A) – Premier League, Sunday 18 September

Neville added: “We can make a judgment about the players but Eriksen is young, Martinez is young and he’s struggled. Those other players – we’ve been telling their story for the last 12 months. I feel like we’re saying the same thing over and over to the same people.

“United in the past have always responded to the anger of the fans with money and spending in the transfer market. The problem is that now nobody wants to take their money. It’s a massive issue. They can’t spend the money .

“If you’re a player watching that performance in the first half, what are you thinking about coming to this club?

“It’s a great football club, it’s a magical football club, it’s been the greatest thing in my life and I couldn’t be more proud to support the club, but at this point in time, it’s really desperate.”

Asked about the protests against Glazer at the away game, Neville said: “The only good thing about United is the fans and they’ve had enough.”

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David de Gea takes the blame for Manchester United’s 4-0 defeat at Brentford and has no answers as to how the team can reverse this slump.

Neville: “That’s really too bad”


The stats after Man Utd’s thrashing of Brentford showed how much harder the winning side worked than their more illustrious opponents, with Thomas Frank’s side recording more sprints and pressing in the final third, as well as more overall distance covered.

In response, Neville said: “These players have proven with three different managers now that they don’t work as hard as the teams they are playing.

“How long have we said in football that hard work will beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard?

“That United team don’t run hard enough, they don’t run fast enough but they are absolutely drained of all belief. They are struggling badly and have been for 12 months. They are not helped and some would say they don’t deserve help – they must help themselves.

“I understand that, but I’ve been in tough teams before. I’ve been in teams that have struggled and need something. It has to come from the top.

“But today was a new low. It keeps looking like Manchester United can break previous lows. When will the low come?

“The reality is that this is really, really bad.”

United are now without an away win in any competition since February and Neville said: “If you want to look for tell-tale signs that a team lacks personality and character, it’s the away performances, how you handle set-pieces, it’s your run stats. “Manchester United are miserable in all those areas.”

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says his players didn’t play with confidence or responsibility in defeat to Brentford

Neville tells fans: Don’t cross the line with criticism

But while Neville was scathing in his criticism of his former club, he urged United fans not to cross the line of abuse ahead of the side’s Premier League game away to Liverpool on Monday August 22, live on Sky Sports.

“You know the impact [these results] when you play for Manchester United,” explained Neville. “I spoke passionately about the club, but there is a line.

“I know there are fans who have turned up at people’s houses or at the training ground and tried to break in. That can’t happen. Let’s be really clear – there has to be a line here.

“It’s going to be toxic in these next five, six or seven days before the Liverpool game, but you can’t turn up at people’s houses, you can’t abuse people’s families. This should never happen and every Manchester United fan should know that the line should never be. crossed.

“Peaceful protest and demonstration in the right way is something that needs to be done. We need to make sure that it is held inside the stadium and make sure that it is done in the right way.”

Redknapp: Ten Hag are making mistakes

While Neville focused his criticism on the Glazers and the players, Jamie Redknapp questioned a number of Ten Hag decisions ahead of his side’s visit to Brentford.

Speaking of Sky SportsRedknapp said: “Someone has to take responsibility. I can’t believe what I’m seeing from this Man Utd team. It’s like a team that’s got the Man Utd badge that’s just been thrown in there. They don’t look like they’re showing any responsibility or care.

“I think the coach is making mistakes. Eriksen is not a defensive midfielder and he is playing him in that role today.

“Martinez is not strong enough as a centre-back – he is being bullied. It just sums up Manchester United and these are two decisions the manager has made.

“They didn’t show enough courage, enough character. I can’t imagine what the fans at home must be thinking and the fans who paid all that money to come here today.”

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