Football News

Neville urges Solskjaer to ‘dismantle’ Man Utd team this summer

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 15:28, 6 May 2019

Gary Neville has told Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to dismantle his Manchester United squad this summer and start anew like Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham Hotspur.

The much-coveted Spurs manager inherited a dysfunctional team and swifty made widespread changes to personnel, which has subsequently paid dividends for the north Londoners.

Solskjaer’s struggles at Man Utd: Five things to know…

  1. The club legend returned to Old Trafford as interim boss following Jose Mourinho’s sacking in December 2018.
  2. His 19 matches as caretaker manager saw the Red Devils win 14 times and lose on just three occasions.
  3. Solskjaer would be rewarded with a three-year contract becoming. United’s fourth permanent head coach since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013.
  4. Since penning the deal, United have lost five of his eight matches in charge.
  5. Two points from their last 12 available in the Premier League ensured the Red Devils will be playing Europa League football next season.

United have performed abjectly in recent weeks and there’s been calls for a pre-season upheaval now that finishing inside the top-four places is no longer possible.

Following a successful period as interim manager, which saw United rekindle their chances of securing Champions League football for next season, Solskjaer signed a three-year contract but their fortunes would soon change.

The Red Devils were the Premier League’s form team under caretaker manager Solskjaer, but since becoming United’s fourth permanent head coach since Ferguson stepped down in 2013, they’ve fallen by the wayside.

United have won just two of their last seven league matches, losing on three occasions, their latest draw at already-relegated Huddersfield Town – who entered the fixture having lost eight on the bounce – was another low point for Old Trafford legend Neville who feels drastic measures need to be undertaken.

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“This is Huddersfield Town who have struggled all season. You watch them, they haven’t got the quality, but I like watching them a lot more than the ones in the red shirts, to be honest,” he told Sky Sports.

“At least you can identify with them. There’s nothing I like about this United team at all. It’s just awful. Look at them. They’re the most despondent group of people. As a manager, you want to like your team. I look at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, I can’t imagine he’s down there thinking he likes watching this lot – I don’t.”

“This isn’t a team at all. It reminds me of the Tottenham group Mauricio Pochettino inherited, with [Younes] Kaboul, [Emmanuel] Adebayor, [Etienne] Capoue in, a group of individuals without any real spirit – he dismantled it piece by piece.

“Ole will need to do the same, it’d be nice if the club got an experienced sporting director to help him, but the shambles of that recruitment reported in the press this week hasn’t helped.”

Another summer of re-building…

No one could have envisaged United would still be waiting to add to their tally of league titles six years after the departure of legendary boss Ferguson in 2013.

But here we are. In the subsequent campaigns – under a combination of David Moyes, Ryan Giggs (interim), Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho – they’ve finished 7th (2013/14), 4th (2014/15), 5th (2015/16), 6th (2016/17) and 2nd (2017/18).

With one match remaining this season – at home to relegated Cardiff City on May 12 – the Red Devils can finish as high as fifth, which means they have failed to make the top four in four of their six post-Ferguson seasons.

With a number of players being linked with a move away from Old Trafford, and some touted to arrive, it’s expected to be another busy summer for the record 20-time English champions.