Gary Neville feels Manchester United have hit a new low after watching them lose 4-0 to Brentford at the Brentford Community Stadium.
The Red Devils were hoping to bounce back after a disastrous 2-1 home defeat to Brighton in their season opener. But they left west London with their tails between their legs after a chastening experience. Josh Dasilva gave the hosts a 10th-minute lead with a long-range shot that David de Gea should have saved.
Mathias Jensen made it 2-0 on 18 minutes before Ben Mee headed the Bees into an incredible three-goal lead on the half-hour mark. Bryan Mbeumo further stunned the travelling United fans with a fourth on 35 minutes.
There were no further goals in the second period but the damage had been done in the first half.
Thomas Frank’s men sit third in the standings while United are rock bottom. And former United and England defender Neville pulled no punches in his assessment of the current crop of stars.
“These players have proved under three different managers now that they don’t work as hard as the teams they are playing against,” he said on Sky Sports. “How long have we been saying in football that hard work will beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
“That Manchester United team doesn’t run hard enough, they don’t run fast enough. They are absolutely drained of all confidence.”
Neville feels worst may still be to come
Manchester United finished sixth last term to miss out on the Champions League. They have struggled to attract the top players this summer while Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave the club.
United’s start to the campaign will have done little to change his mind. Neville has some sympathy with the players as recruitment has been poor.
But he believes it is up to those who wear the shirt to deliver.
“They are struggling badly and they have been now for 12 months,” he added. “They’ve not being helped and maybe some would say they don’t deserve help, they’ve got to help, themselves.”
Speaking just after the start of the second period, Neville said he had never witnessed a worse half of football by a Manchester United team.
And at the conclusion of the debacle, he pondered just how bad things might get as the season progresses.
“Today was a new low and it seems that continually Manchester United can surpass their previous lows,” he continued. “And where and when is the lowest low going to come because the reality of it is, this is really, really bad.”
Things will not get any easier as United welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford on August 22. Whether or not they have any new faces in the ranks by then only time will tell.
But it could be a long evening at the Theatre of Dreams if Ten Hag fails to sort out his problems by then.