Manchester United stuck in cycle of failure with no identity and I'm sad covering their games - Gary Neville

Manchester United slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle – their third successive loss in all competitions against the Magpies; Gary Neville: "It was poor. Really poor – 1-0 doesn’t tell the full story"

By Gary Neville, Football Expert @GNev2

Gary Neville says he has become bored and tired of watching Manchester United following their poor performances in recent months.

Manchester United were really poor against Newcastle. Really poor. One-nil doesn't tell the full story.

I remember going to Juventus once in 1995/96 and it was 1-0 but it felt like 7-0. That's what those Manchester United players must have felt like yesterday. They were never in the game, 1-0 makes it look narrow and tight.

Inconsistency in every walk of life undermines you, you lose faith and trust in each other. They're so inconsistent, they're so up and down from game to game, from half to half. And there is a pattern of them not turning up in big games away from home now that you can't shake off.

You have Chelsea on Wednesday night which will be tough enough but then you've got Bournemouth and then Anfield the Sunday after, live on Sky Sports. Talk about the damage of last season. They will say they're focused on Chelsea but in the back of their minds, they will look at what is coming up away from home and Liverpool.

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We've been here before, it feels like the groundhog day where the players look a little disinterested, the body language is poor, the performances are average, the manager comes under criticism, the recruitment department start to get battered, the owners, from a continual period, they still haven't done their business in terms of the ownership. Whether it's done this or next week, it feels like it's imminent.


United are stuck. They're stuck in a cycle of failure, relative to the money that's been spent and the success of the past. And it won't change until there is real structural change. I've said it time and time again, there is no point shouting anymore.

I don't want to watch Man Utd anymore. And that is the saddest indictment you can have of your football club.
Gary Neville

I was sat watching my TV last night with excitement and hope, because that's what you do as a fan of a football club. And even after the first half you go, that was a bad first half but they'll be better in the second half. But they're not.

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If you knock United off track slightly - like you saw in Istanbul and the fact they probably won't qualify for the next round of the Champions League - they don't react well. It knocks them completely.

Then you think about that Everton game: Everton should have been level at half-time, even two or three up, in that game. They had real good chances. Then you look back at the games where they have won 3-0 and start to question that.

You can play poorly and win but Manchester United have been doing that for a long time. I was critical of Louis van Gaal and United and I thought his football didn't suit the club and how United should play, which is more like the Jurgen Klopp style of play. He is a current manager who plays attractive, aggressive football which is direct.

But he dominated football matches, there was a style of play. I can't think of a team since Louis van Gaal's where a pattern of play has been established. That's probably seven or eight years now. I've seen the same type of football irrespective of who the manager is. No manager has been able to settle on a style of play.

Image: United fell to their sixth defeat of the season - only one more than 16th-placed Bournemouth

It goes like: counter attack, moments, maybe dominate against lesser teams at Old Trafford so it looks like you can play but don't kid us because we know against the top teams you get done. It's been the same for seven years.

Since Ferguson, only Van Gaal has been able to implement a style of play at the club. Whether it's Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, David Moyes, Erik ten Hag. What really damages the likes of Ten Hag, Solskjaer and Mourinho is they have all spent £300m to £400m - but Roberto De Zerbi at Brighton and Ange Postecolgou at Spurs and others like them, in three or four months they have got them playing like Real Madrid.

That's the problem they've got. It's been shown you can have an impact on players and a style and a pattern of play in three or four months. And we're still sat here eight years after Van Gaal left and we haven't seen a pattern of play, a combination we have seen repeatedly.

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This week, Paul Scholes talked about how we knew where our players were, we played like clockwork, he knew where everyone was on the pitch. We played with each other for a long time and we had a set system of football. We knew that if Denis Irwin played it into Paul Scholes, I was going at right-back, because he would switch to play. I can see it now in my head.

In Man City vs Spurs on Sunday, I saw two teams - even though one has been with its manager for many years and another for a few months - and I saw what patterns they were going to do. They know where their next pass is.

I can't tell you Man Utd's style of play over the last eight years - so it's not just Ten Hag. Under Mourinho, Ole too. They're not all bad managers, they've all had real success. Ole maybe not as much but they've all had successful patterns. Ten Hag at Ajax created some of the most beautiful football, but he comes to Old Trafford and spends loads of money and can't establish that style of play.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag admitted Newcastle were the 'better team' after their 1-0 defeat at St. James' Park.

We can argue he has injuries here and there but Postecoglou went to Man City with half a team and they played. They had courage to play.

So it's well below par, it's really disappointing. The noise against the manager is starting to occur, the same noises say: 'you can't get rid of another manager, you have to get rid of the players'. Then you turn to the owners, I'm bored of my football club. I don't want to cover their games anymore.

I don't want to watch Man Utd anymore. And that is the saddest indictment you can have of your football club: when you're bored of watching them and tired of watching them. It's not just me, a couple of people in the last couple weeks have said to me enough's enough.

Image: Man Utd were second best at St James' Park

And the sad thing is I know on Wednesday I will build my whole day up for watching Man Utd because that's life, we will go and watch them again. But I feel tired of watching them, and that's a sad thing because I love that football club and watching football.

But I'm already fearing about what's going to happen at Anfield in two weeks because it could be a mess. I'm worried about what's going to happen against Chelsea on Wednesday, because it could be a mess. There's no confidence, they have lost our confidence as fans. And in the media, we don't trust them either because they've fallen below par time and time again.

Not good enough.

Keane: Man Utd are drifting

Roy Keane is scathing in his criticism of Manchester United following their recent run of poor form.

Roy Keane told Sky Sports: "It's not good. I don't know why anyone would think they would get a result at Newcastle. That was never going to happen. They were always going to be up against it. It was also a difficult week in terms of travelling.

"But Manchester United are drifting. How many times do I have to say it? They've got some talented players but if you don't work as hard as the opposition then you are in trouble from day one.

"I also don't think they are as talented as they think they are. The body language of one or two is not good.

"My experience at Manchester United, the club was always full of brilliant players, brilliant characters and talented players. I don't see it in this group. It's not good."

Image: Newcastle have won three consecutive games against Manchester United in all competitions for the first time since January 1922

Presented with an on-screen graphic showing United's results away against the top nine, Keane responded: "Is that real? It looks ugly.

"It's the amount of goals conceded. It's six at City, seven at Liverpool and four at Brentford. I don't know. It's not good. They are obviously in a tough place and the manager is under pressure.

"There were players playing for United at Newcastle and you thought they'd be leaving the club in the summer, but you are still going back to the same players who have taken the club nowhere fast over the last few years.

"What's the sign of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. This group is not going to change.

"If they are not going to work as hard as the opposition then you are in trouble, and they don't [work as hard as the opposition].

"I'm always wary about what happens at the training ground, the culture and who is getting hold of the players. We are talking about the senior players like Rashford and Bruno Fernandes. His body language is also not great sometimes.

"Straight away you are looking at two senior players and that's not a good start. Who is driving them forward? Who is training properly? Who is setting examples of what playing for Manchester United is all about?

"I don't see it. The manager and his staff will be part of it. Then there's the recruitment and it all goes in the mix of course.

"But you have to focus on the players who are at the club at the moment. We've mentioned Anthony Martial and he's an easy target.

Image: Erik ten Hag saw his Manchester United team beaten

"You can forgive him for the fact he scores a goal once every 14 years but when we are up at Newcastle, and we are under pressure, when we put the ball into you, you better get hold of that ball just to get us up the pitch and get us a bit of breathing space or even a free-kick.

"However, he's touching balls off and just giving it away cheaply. Man Utd were trying to get rid of him a few years ago.

"Defensively they are all over the shop. Midfielders, they just seem like a load of strangers. Every week we look at them and say, he's a good player. They show moments against the lesser teams.

"But you are judged as a Man Utd player in what you do in the big matches. That's the responsibility of a Man Utd player, and if you can't deal with it and all the demands of playing against the top teams, maybe you are not a Man Utd player."

When asked if Man Utd can get in the top four, Keane said: "No, I don't see it. If they prove me wrong, I'll be happy to hold my hands up. But at this moment in time, I can't see it."

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