Jamie Carragher has seemingly taken his Sky Sports colleague Gary Neville to task over Manchester United’s failure to land Antonio Conte before Tottenham struck a deal for the Italian.
The Red Devils parted ways with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday in the wake of United’s humiliating 4-1 defeat to Watford. However, there is a strong feeling that they left the decision too late. It meant they missed out on one of the best managers in world football to replace him.
United had the chance to call time on Solskjaer’s reign after home defeats to Liverpool and then Manchester City. However, in a strange twist of fate, a victory over Spurs in between gave the Norwegian a reprieve. But it also saw the London side sack Nuno Espirito Santo and move for Conte straight away.
And Carragher feels the Old Trafford outfit made a major mistake by not pursuing the Italian earlier.
“It was obvious after United were hammered by Liverpool in October that (Solskjaer’s) current position was unsustainable,’ Carragher told The Telegraph.
“Soundings to possible replacements ought to have been made then, the international break presenting an opportunity to reset.
“It is embarrassing that United could not see that. Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, and Norwich City (who all sacked managers before the international break) could.
“Spurs were smart in moving slightly earlier for the outstanding Antonio Conte. We will never know if Conte could have been tempted to United instead, had they shown any interest.”
Neville comments baffling
Carragher then reacted to Neville’s comments on Sunday, when he stated that Conte would ‘not have been the right fit’ for United anyway.
He added: “Some say Conte was not the right fit for United. Speak to those at the highest level of football and there is general bewilderment at that.
“What exactly do United want? Are they so naive as to believe there is another Sir Alex Ferguson out there, who will run the club in his image for the next 25 years?
“Wake up! The football world has changed. Those managers do not exist anymore.”
United’s thoughts now turn to Tuesday’s Champions League clash at Villarreal, with Michael Carrick in charge.
Meanwhile, it would appear that former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has now emerged as the top candidate for the permanent job at Old Trafford.