Gary Neville gives his verdict on what's next for Manchester United
Neville: "Manchester United must stick with the plan. There will be frustrations along the way. Take a deep breath, take the criticism, but it will take time and it's not a quick fix."
Last Updated: 24/09/19 5:01pm
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville gives his thoughts on what’s next for Manchester United following their lacklustre 2-0 defeat at West Ham.
Speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast, the former United defender talks about the rebuild his former club needs to undertake, what they need in the transfer market and reiterates his belief the club needs to stick with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Read on for the former Manchester United defender's verdict...
'Squad depth a worry'
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will realise it was a poor performance at West Ham and know there's a lot of work to do at the club. He'll have known that anyway.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. I've said over the last few weeks, watching this team and squad that it's not ready. There are going to be ups and downs and lots of pain. It was painful at West Ham, but it doesn't make it any easier when you see it with your own eyes.
This squad is depleted. It's young, inexperienced and not ready.
At the end of the game against West Ham I rhymed off the six names that ended up on the pitch, Angel Gomes, Jesse Lingard, Dan James, Scott McTominay, Fred and Andreas Pereira. Now, I think there's a lot of future in those lads so it's not a criticism of them, but if you're Manchester United coach and you end of up with them on the pitch at West Ham and you need two goals, you're going to be in trouble. I don't care who you are.
Obviously, Mason Greenwood is injured, Anthony Martial is injured and Marcus Rashford left the pitch with an injury problem, but it is a worry for United that the squad is so thin.
'You don't win anything with kids'
I pointed out on Sunday at the £900m that has been spent in the last seven or eight years, and there's nothing left of it really.
There are the bones of a squad, some young players from the academy that haven't cost that money. Potentially David de Gea, who is struggling. There's Harry Maguire but there's a lot more rebuilding to do.
I've said many times that Alan Hansen was right, you don't win anything with kids.
Man Utd further away than ever?
Manchester United's 2-0 defeat at West Ham raised more doubts about where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is taking this team.
The Class of '92 didn't win that Premier League title. We had Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Roy Keane, Eric Cantona, Brian McClair and Peter Schmeichel. We had world-class performers and two of the best centre-backs ever.
Keane was the most inspirational captain and leader, Cantona was world-class, Schmeichel was the best in the world and Denis Irwin was brilliant. They pulled us through it. If the Class of '92 had gone into this team, we would have had no chance.
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Pundits fear top-six Utd struggle
Sky Sports pundits Jose Mourinho, Roy Keane and Graeme Souness have warned Manchester United could face a struggle to even make the top six in the Premier League.
What do United need?
I'm not panicking as a fan. I'm frustrated but not panicking.
What I would say is they have to quickly and efficiently identify three or four players to go alongside De Gea and Maguire. They need a couple of midfield players, they need a striker to carry the front line, they need a wide player and they need a left-back.
You can't kid football fans. There are five or six players required.
They have to be the right type and that might take 18 months because they might not be able to get the players they want.
Buy well, buy once
If Crystal Palace can turn down £80m for Zaha, United can't just go in like they did 10 years ago and bully teams. They can't just pinch players off other clubs like they did with Wayne Rooney at Everton, Rio Ferdinand and Leeds and Michael Carrick off Tottenham. These teams won't sell anymore unless the number is astronomical.
If the right player comes up, they are just going to have to go and get them because it's been proven: buy badly, buy twice.
Maguire is a 'buy once' sort of signing - I think he's the type of player who will be at Man Utd for five or six years. You can build around him. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mentioned before the game about him potentially being captain.
But they have to find players who want to come to the club and are hungry, but who can raise the quality and experience and know how, to support the young players but also the management team.
Stick with the plan
Your job as an owner or board is to supply the manager with players who can win and Manchester United have not done that for eight years now.
They've put the money in but they've not put the strategy around it. If they'd have had the methodology eight years ago of stick to young, emerging English players, they'd probably be in a good place now, but they jumped off the David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho tracks.
They can't jump off the Solskjaer track. They have to support the manager and find a way of signing players.
They had the best manager in the world in Jose Mourinho and he couldn't get where he wanted to be. Louis van Gaal, an experienced manager at Barcelona and Ajax, couldn't.
They must stick with the plan. There will be frustrations along the way. Take a deep breath, take the criticism, but it will take time and it's not a quick fix.