Gary Neville was left furious by Manchester United’s dismal display in the 4-0 drubbing by Brentford on Saturday, suggesting it is a “real achievement” to be as bad as they are with the money they have spent.
Erik ten Hag’s start to life in the Premier League has been abysmal, with a 4-0 loss in the capital leaving United rock-bottom of the Premier League.
United crumbled in a woeful 35-minute spell, as Brentford took United apart and left the vultures circling following on from a defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford last weekend.
With Liverpool next up in the Premier League, the situation looks bleak for United and, amid a struggle to land targets like Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, Neville took aim at those in charge in a fiery tirade after the match.
“Manchester United have known for eight to 10 months they’ve needed to rebuild the squad for the summer. Ralf Rangnick [last season’s interim manager] described it as open-heart surgery,” he told Sky Sports.
“To not get the players in early – the quality of players, the number of players – that Ten Hag needed is baffling and difficult to forgive.
“It’s not a stalled market – teams have got their business done. Every club seems to have a plan and Manchester United’s seems to be, ‘Let’s just look at the Dutch league or players that have worked under Ten Hag’.
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“That is not a strategy, you can’t do that. That was 15 years ago. You’ve got to have players identified and the work’s been done with the agents.
“Yes, of course, you always try to please the manager if he has got a player he’s got really good contacts with. But the one he has got good contacts with, they can’t get in: Frenkie de Jong.
“It’s a real achievement to spend a billion pounds and be this 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 rough them up a little bit and get a goal, they’re flaky like you wouldn’t believe.”
Back-to-back defeats to start the season has increased the pressure for United to land additional recruits before the close of the transfer window on September 1, but Neville fears it will be difficult to attract players.
“United in the past have always answered the fans’ anger through money and spending in the transfer market. The problem is that now, no one wants to take their money. That’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?”
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