Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Gary Neville regrets telling world-class star to join Man Utd, as advice looks ‘poor’ amid Ten Hag struggles

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville

Gary Neville thinks he has been giving players ‘poor advice’ when telling them to sign for Manchester United, as they have been on a huge downward spiral since Sir Alex Ferguson left.

Ferguson became one of the greatest managers of all time – if not the greatest – during an incredible 26-year spell as Man Utd manager between November 1986 and June 2013. Under his guidance, the Red Devils won a plethora of trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues, five FA Cups and four League Cups.

But since Ferguson left Old Trafford at the end of the 2012-13 season, Man Utd have not had anywhere near as much success, and they are still waiting for another league title.

Erik ten Hag is the man currently in charge of Man Utd, with the Dutchman aiming to get them back to the summit of both English and European football. But so far, he has only managed to help the side win the League Cup, and they are at risk of a seriously disappointing campaign in 2023-24.

Man Utd sit seventh in the league, eight points off the top four, while they have also been knocked out of the Champions League and the League Cup. They must win the FA Cup and somehow get into the UCL qualification spots to make this season a success.

Following the 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, former Man Utd right-back Neville spoke honestly about the ‘poor advice’ he has accidentally been giving players when urging them to join his former club. This includes Jude Bellingham, who came close to signing for Man Utd but ultimately ended up going in a different direction, and is now shining for Real Madrid.

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“I’ve spoken to a couple of players before they’ve come here and said, ‘you’ll never regret it, it’s a magic football club’,” Neville said on Sky Sports (via the MEN).

“But I have to say, looking back it looks like really poor advice by what’s happened to them since they’ve come. It’s really sad because they would have thrived at other clubs, and other players who chose other clubs have gone onto be really successful.

Top star ‘did well’ to ignore Man Utd offer

“You think of Jude Bellingham and I think of that a lot, when he walked into the boardroom here at Manchester United.

“Manchester United agreed a fee with Birmingham and so have Dortmund, and he has a choice between Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United. And somehow that kid – well done to him – chose Borussia Dortmund.”

Neville’s former Man Utd team-mate Roy Keane added: “I’ve said for years, if you have the chance to sign for Man United go for it. But my mind has changed, definitely over the last couple of years.”

Neville also spoke about Ten Hag’s position as manager. “We need to see a style of play develop in the next few months or else I think the coach will be vulnerable because ultimately the new owner will come in and want to see how we’re going to play, want electricity, want razzmatazz,” he said.

“Manchester United have historically been box office. Spurs are box office. I love watching Spurs play football. Manchester United are a hard watch.

“They’ve got some exciting, talented players, it just needs to somehow gel in the next few months, and I hope it can for Erik ten Hag.

“I’m talking about patterns and combinations that players can rely upon when they go through difficult moments in a match. You rely upon the memory of what you’ve been working on in practice to come out on the pitch at the weekend.”

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