Gary Neville on David Moyes: Man Utd should take different approach

Last Updated: 21/04/14 8:55pm

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Gary Neville spoke amidst reports that Manchester Utd are preparing to sack David Moyes.

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Gary Neville says Manchester United's performances have been unacceptable under David Moyes - but the club should give him more time.

The Sky Sports pundit and former United defender was speaking on Monday Night Football as widespread reports suggested that the Scot was to be axed less than a season after succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson.

Neville spent 18 years as a player at Old Trafford, all under the management of Ferguson, and says that despite the team's problems on the pitch, the club should stand apart from the culture of firing managers when things don't go well immediately.

"I've been associated with the club for 30 years and that's what I've always believed," he told Sky Sports.

"I've always felt that Manchester United should be different and hold itself up as a club that basically stands against what is happening in the game."
Gary Neville

"From Dave Sexton to Ron Atkinson - people will say those are different times - and Sir Alex Ferguson himself got time in his early years when it was difficult for him.

"I genuinely believe that when you give a man a six-year contract that he deserves an opportunity and the time.

"The reason we are sat [in a TV studio] is because we look at football management and think of it as being a world of madness, an absolute world of madness where the average manager gets sacked every 12 months.

"I've always felt that Manchester United should be different and hold itself up as a club that basically stands against what is happening in the game.

"We used to laugh at Italy 20 years ago and say it was ridiculous what's happening there, but now we have almost become accustomed to it.

"I think fans are well within their rights, but I don't like it when professional people - people inside the game - come out with statements that suggest a manager should be sacked.

"It's not something you'll ever hear from me because it's a difficult job, something that I've never done."

Really poor

Sunday's 2-0 defeat to Everton, the club Moyes left last summer, confirmed that Manchester United will not qualify for next season's Champions League and Neville admitted it was the latest in a string of "unacceptable" displays this term.

The away side had 61% of the possession during the game but only mustered two shots on goal and Neville says that's a sign that they lack the ruthlessness of the Ferguson regime.

He said: "It was a poor performance and some of the performances this season have been shocking I have to say; well below the acceptable levels, totally unacceptable. It's not doing David Moyes any favours.

"Sunday was a really poor performance, make no mistake about that. The idea that they had possession is a waste of time; I called it meaningless during the match and I don't change my stance on that.

"That's not Manchester United. Manchester United have cutting edge, brutality in attacks and they go and win games. They go and destroy teams with that level of possession.

"The idea that you just keep the ball and faff around in the middle of the pitch looking pretty is a waste of time to me.

"We had a go at Arsenal a couple of weeks ago when they went to Goodison Park and did some similar things, exactly the same as what I saw on Sunday.

"Not good enough."


But despite those criticisms, Neville says Moyes should have been guaranteed at least two years to make his mark on the team.

And he says that the departure of chief executive David Gill at the same time as Ferguson last summer has only made the job more difficult.

"There's no doubt that this transition from the end of Sir Alex Ferguson has been tough, make no mistake about it," Neville added.

"For 10 years, everyone feared at the club what would happen when Sir Alex Ferguson left and when David Gill left.

"If you think about it this year, David Gill was probably needed by David Moyes and Ed Woodward probably needed Sir Alex Ferguson to bed in. They have both had to get used to their new jobs together and it's proven to be tough for them both.

"I would personally always think that managers should be given time over a couple of years to bed their own team in."

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