Gary Neville does not fancy Man United’s chances of winning the Premier League title this season as he believes they ‘don’t play well enough as a team’ compared to the other sides challenging at the top of the division.
Despite their strong start to the campaign the Red Devils have hit a bit of a rough patch, losing three of their last four games in all competitions, with the most recent against Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.
Kortney Hause gave the Villains the 1-0 scalp, with the ever-reliable Bruno Fernandes incredulously missing a stoppage time penalty to round off a painfully frustrating afternoon for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his boys.
Although the loss does not in any way spell disaster for Manchester United – who are only one point off the top of the table on Sunday night – Neville’s inclination is that they will not be able to win the title this season due to their lack of cohesiveness as a team, which he also feels is not helped by the arrival of their three big summer signings.
‘I said it even when they were winning, even when [Cristiano] Ronaldo scored, they don’t play well enough as a team to win this league in my view. They don’t play well enough as a team,’ Neville said on his Sky Sports podcast.
‘I think you have to be a unit in and out of possession, and when you only deliver in moments, those moments won’t go for you in certain games.
‘You need patterns of play, you need a way of playing, and at this moment in time I still see a group of individuals playing in moments, with some patterns and combinations at times, but still a team where some are pretty new together – Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho – but they’ve got to come together as a team and start to define a style of play. Then you start to get results when you don’t play well.’
Neville emphasized that the task is now in the hands of Solskjaer to ensure that his talented players gel well as a team, but still maintains he cannot see them catching up with Manchester City, Liverpool or Chelsea this season.
‘I have called them the odd bunch, because I still look at them and think of them as a team who win games in moments,’ said Neville.
‘I look at Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City, they are teams. They put team performances in. That’s not to say United never do, but Ole now has to get United into a team.’