Manchester United’s recent form has proved that their early season problems weren’t completely down to former manager Jose Mourinho, according to Gary Neville.
The Red Devils were convincingly defeated 4-0 by Everton on Sunday, which has put their top-four hopes in jeopardy.
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- Manchester United struggled at the start of the campaign, losing two of their opening three Premier League fixtures.
- Mourinho’s relationship with the club faltered and the former Chelsea boss was sacked in December following a 3-1 loss to Liverpool.
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over and led a United turnaround, with the club’s form and performances improving.
- However, recent weeks have seen them exit the Champions League, FA Cup and drop out of the top-four.
- Manchester United lost 4-0 to Everton on Sunday and are currently two points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.
Former Manchester United right-back Neville couldn’t hide his disappointment and was visibly angry at how the players have conducted themselves in recent weeks.
Neville confessed that perhaps Mourinho’s tenure wasn’t spoiled purely through his own doing but rather because of the lack of effort from the United squad.
“I’m simmering to be honest with you, my blood is about to boil,” Neville said on Sky Sports (via Goal).
“I didn’t buy into that these players were always fantastic so when they started winning for Ole for those two or three months – when you think about the game against Liverpool a few weeks ago and everything was perfect.
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“Ole had got the players playing again, Jose Mourinho was a bump and basically it was just all down to Jose.
“Now we are seeing what Ole talked about on Friday is that there has been a reality check, and I think it’s a reality check for all of us.
“I went to Barcelona on Wednesday night and watched the game and I saw players pretending to run back. Making it look like they were running back but jogging.
“And I think what we are seeing now is where the players are. There is a lot of distraction around contracts and this is a big week.”
Poor afternoon for United
If Neville was angry with United before their match against Everton this afternoon, he must have been seething after Theo Walcott scored the Toffees’ fourth to condemn United to a 4-0 defeat.
The performance highlighted the lack of effort and commitment to the cause from several players in red, emphasising Neville’s pre-match comments.
The defeat leaves United in a difficult position in the Premier League table ahead of a crucial Manchester Derby in midweek.