Manchester United suffered an embarrassing 4-0 defeat away to Everton on Sunday afternoon, all but ending our hopes of finishing in the top four this season.
After the game, Gary Neville let his feelings on the players known on Sky Sports, claiming the players were letting down the fans, manager and club. His biggest gripe is the fact the players are not working hard enough.
I’m furious, the fact he’s had to go over and apologise for them. If you’ve got weeds in the garden, you get rid of them, but there’s some Japanese knotweed that’s taking over the garden at that football club. It’s attacking the foundations of the house and it needs dealing with properly.
The fans stuck with Jose Mourinho but wanted him out at the end. They’re not going to want Ole Gunnar Solskjaer out. They’re not going to turn on him. Those players now, their heads are well and truly on the line.
I watched Manchester City yesterday, who United are trying to get to in terms of the top of the Premier League. Bernando Silva, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, far better players than who are in United’s dressing room who work twice as hard. Everton ran 4km further in the first half. Everton. Then you watch this mob out here, Liverpool, who are the biggest rivals, they die for every single inch on the pitch. Manchester United players, honestly, it’s embarrassing watching some of them out there today. I’m absolutely furious. I’ve got full belief in Ole that he’ll do what he needs to do. The club will obviously support him. But there’s a big problem. That performance today was rancid.
I don’t need to name names. Everyone knows who they are. They’re in the newspapers every single day. They’re on social media every single day. He’ll deal with them. Every single player who does not the attitude. Forget talent. Over the last 12-18 months I’ve fallen in to the trap of talking about they’ve got potential or they’ve got talent. Forget it. If they don’t work hard and haven’t got the attitude to run around in that shirt, get rid of them. I’m watching players at Liverpool and at Manchester City and they’re working their backsides off every single week for their football club. And I’m watching Manchester United players walking around, sauntering around, jogging back. I saw it in Barcelona the other night in the Nou Camp.
I don’t mind losing games, I don’t mind them conceding goals, or giving passes away. I was one of the best at giving the ball away! But you do not, whatever you do, drop below the standard of work ethic that is expected at that club, and they’re falling below it. We got a little bit of a bounce when Ole came in to the job and everyone was blaming Jose Mourinho. He’s a bully, he’s a bad manager. Jose Mourinho is one of the most successful managers of the last 20 years, a great manager, and in the end he lost all faith in those players. I would imagine now, the more Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watches in those players, the more he will be losing faith in them, because they’re letting him down and they’re letting the club down.
Where do you see their next league title coming from? Things can be turned around quickly but good decisions, big decisions, have to be made quickly. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he needs to rebuild this team and that he needed a few transfer windows. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Arsenal are rebuilding. City will get players, Liverpool will get players, Barcelona need some players. Manchester United are in a world where they need to compete with those teams to get the best players. Who is rebuilding this squad for Solskjaer and the United fans?
I don’t believe, at this moment in time, there is anybody there who is able to rebuild that club from a football point of view, in the way in which it needs to be built. I might be proved wrong and be completely out of order for saying it, but the evidence is there that something is fundamentally wrong.
There was an amazing three months when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over. He deserves the job, now he needs to be trusted. I certainly don’t want him to fall by the wayside because I love him to bits, and the Manchester United fans love him to bits. To protect him, and to help him be successful, which is what we need to get the club back to where it needs to be, he is going to have to be supported incredibly by good recruitment. It’s a massive, massive job and he won’t be able to do that on his own.