Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville insists manager Jose Mourinho is the right man to return the glory days back to Old Trafford, despite Sunday’s drubbing at Chelsea.
All eyes were on Mourinho for his return to Stamford Bridge but there was nowhere for the ex-Chelsea boss to hide as United suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat in the Premier League.
Determined to prove a point to his former employer after being sacked in December last year, Mourinho was left stunned after Pedro opened the scoring inside just 30 seconds.
Some more poor defending saw Gary Cahill double Chelsea’s lead in the 21st minute before Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante completed the rout in the second period.
The defeat, United’s third of the season, left Mourinho’s side six points off the pace in seventh position, however, Neville has urged calm as the Portuguese tactician continues to rebuild the team.
“There will be a massive over-reaction to the game, Jose Mourinho will come under huge pressure and it will be ramped up ahead of the derby on Wednesday. I am quite relaxed,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“When you are a Manchester United fan for 30 years, for 50 years, you are going to have difficult times like these and you have to accept when they come along and be mature about it.
“They have got a fantastic manager who has been proven in every league in Europe nearly, and they have to allow him to do his job methodically over the next two to three years, get it right.
“There has been some poor management, some poor recruitment decisions and there have been players signed who are not Manchester United players. I am not talking about talent, I am talking about profile.
“[Paul] Pogba and [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic are more Manchester United players in my mind in terms of personality and the physical aspect, so I do think ultimately Mourinho is on the right track in terms of recruitment.
“They have got to continue to do that and they have got to move away some of the previous, which will be difficult because they are on big contracts, but he doesn’t panic in the transfer market.”
Neville added: “I have to say when I look at United I still don’t know what their best XI is. Mourinho is still early in his reign, he is identifying his best players, his best XI, his best partnerships.
“To be fair, United have to trust him and will trust him to get it right over the next couple of transfer windows, because if you look at their midfield, they have Pogba, [Morgan] Schneiderlin and [Marouane] Fellaini; that is £170million spent on central midfielders in the last three years and I still don’t know which is the best pairing. Mourinho has got to try and build a pair or replace them.
“There is a lot of work to do for United, but as a United fan I am not alarmed. I thought that they would be better at the start of the season. Maybe that was a thought of Mourinho having a massive impact, but when you look at it today, that’s not a Jose Mourinho team at all.
“He has got to work with them, he’s got to get more out of them. He can’t do anything over the next three months and it will be difficult in January.”
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