What prevents Manchester United? Gary Neville cites a lack of identity and style but Jamie Carragher thinks it’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United’s 29-game unbeaten run away in the Premier League was largely halted at Leicester, with the Foxes coming back from behind for a 4-2 win at King Power Stadium.
Solskjaer’s side have not won in their last three league games, with pressure building on the coach after an exorbitant summer of income.
Neville said Monday Night Football: “There’s a lot of feelings for Manchester United in the last 48 hours, and rightly so – the performances haven’t been right this season, they haven’t been good enough for the players in that team. And that’s causing huge problems for the coach at this moment in time.
“[Against Leicester] There were voids everywhere and they were loose in shape, and they are a pretty terrible team to watch when they’re loose. They don’t press very well, they don’t have intensity, their players up front are running around, they must think they are better than they are because when I watch Liverpool and Manchester City, they are running.
“Patterns started to emerge throughout the second half as the front and back of the squad separated. You ended up with two teams: the top five – the selfish, great players, the world-class team – and five in the back. Manchester United ended up with a separate, unintegrated unit and a Leicester grandfather. It’s really comfortable to play against.
“This Manchester United team is really poor at responding to goals. They are a bit like kids after conceding a goal – if they score, they puff out their chest, the egos come out, and they start running towards another goal. The separated team was exacerbated by individual fouls, and they ended up losing the game. And rightly so… This Manchester United team plays in moments, they don’t have style or identity, but they have brilliant players.
“What you have to try and do is get some kind of shape, work on that shape so you can keep a clean sheet or lose one goal while you always score two or three. On Saturday, they didn’t – they broke their ranks in the second half, and they didn’t. They listen to their coach and his instructions, and they have to correct that very quickly, otherwise they will lose a lot of football matches if they continue like this.”
Neville went on to explain how he feels the key to a job at United is being able to manage a dressing room full of big personalities and big egos.
“They have six grenades as the nails were pulled out in the dressing room,” he said.
“This can work. I’ve seen Vicente del Bosque do it at Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane, where you have a group of great players who are winning games at the moment. PSG are like him at the moment under Mauricio Pochettino – they’re really a Pochettino team.” . He has great players and great names. Olly has a little more of that now. Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba, Harry Major. Huge figures in the dressing room.
“Maybe Maguire was looking at Raphael Varane thinking if he’s the best dog anymore because Varane is the Champions League winner. I got the dynamic of Cavani sitting on the bench after I begged him to stay for another year and now he’s on the bench with Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood play in front of him.
“You also have Jadon Sancho, who has been chased across Europe for the last couple of years and now looks like he’s coming in and out. You have all these issues. Ole somehow has to get that group together and find a simple way of playing defensively where the players buy that. And let the players Those talented to win the match for him is the only way to get the season back on track.
“I expect at the moment that the dynamic in this changing room is still developing with the aura of Ronaldo and Fernandes raising his hands in the air. Pogba is thinking ‘Am I leaving?'” and Harry Maguire as the leader trying to control this group saying, ‘I don’t like what I see.’ Ole has to disband this week.
“This is an odd group and they can go out and play for Liverpool on Sunday but they have to be dynamic and in the right spirit. Ole has to do that.”
Cara: Manchester United need a better manager
Neville doesn’t entertain the idea that Solskjaer is the reason United seem to be lacking in achievement this season – but Carragher disagreed. Although he admitted he thinks Solskjaer – in general – has done a good job rebuilding United, he feels that if they are to make the leap to seriously challenge Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea for the title, they need to change coach.
said day Monday Night Football: “What’s his style? What’s he doing? I keep hearing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer talking about Manchester United in the past, counter-attacking, scoring great goals – it’s like a history lesson at Manchester United. He was part of that history – he was amazing. What Solskjaer is doing What is his idea? I don’t see it in terms of the plan.
“If you go back to Jurgen Klopp’s first game, Adam Lallana goes off and falls in his arms, we know what it’s all about. Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea, three at the back, we know what it’s about. Pep Guardiola’s first game? Their backs were in midfield, you can “You can see it, you can feel it. Manchester United this is sometimes pressing on its own, sometimes walking around. That doesn’t work on the training ground and if it does, the players don’t take any notice.”
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done a really good job as a coach for Manchester United. That would have been a huge mistake for Manchester United. He came to the job with experience from Scandinavia and a year at Cardiff. I cannot judge Solskjaer against Jose Mourinho or Louis van Gaal, who did With normal jobs himself Solskjaer will not win the Premier League or the Champions League as Manchester United coach He is not on the level of Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel or Pep Guardiola, who have years of experience and won major trophies.
“Ole didn’t get that. So his place means he did a really good job. But this team is a good team.
“There is a feeling that if Ole wins a title, he should still be in a job. United will only win the FA Cup or the Europa League – if they win one, United will still need a better coach. This is not a criticism of Ole but they need a manager who can compete with the other managers in This league.
“He knows himself as every Manchester United fan knows, and he is not at the same level as the other manager at the top of the Premier League.”
Running hard for Manchester United
Manchester United face a massive slate of matches in October and November as they look to keep pace with the Premier League and secure Champions League qualification, with Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and the Manchester Derby looming on the horizon.
October 20: Atlanta (H) – UEFA Champions League, 8pm
October 24: Liverpool (H) – Premier League, 4:30pm, live Sky Sports
October 30: Tottenham (A) – Premier League, 5:30pm, live Sky Sports
November 2: Atlanta (A) – Champions League, 8pm
November 6: Manchester City (at home) – English Premier League, 12.30 pm, live Sky Sports
November 20: Watford (A) – Premier League, 3pm
November 23: Villarreal (A) – Champions League, game 45 minutes
November 28: Chelsea (A) – Premier League, 4:30pm, live Sky Sports
November 30: Arsenal (H) – Premier League, 8pm