The Premier League season is finally over and its time for fans and pundits alike to start picking over the bones of the campaign. Former Manchester United defender turned pundit, Gary Neville, has had his say on what his former side need to do this summer.
It was the best season that the Old Trafford Faithful have enjoyed since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, securing a second place finish with 81 points, ironically more points than they secured in their treble winning season in 1999.
While it was a good season for the Red Devils, they still managed to finish an incredible 19 points behind behind their Manchester rivals, who broke all sorts of records to clinch their fifth league title.
United have beaten every single member of the top four at least once this season, but have also lost to all three promoted sides, as well as dropping points to two of the sides that have been relegated.
In order to close the gap to their ‘noisy neighbours’, Neville believes that Manchester United’s current squad is lacking characters to drag them through such games – games they should have won.
“The question at Manchester United is which players do you keep and which don’t you keep. Who are the ones that Jose Mourinho thinks don’t have the mentality and who are the ones he feels do have it?
“I am confused by that, and Jose Mourinho probably is at times too, because the performance levels are up and down so much. It’s not just game to game but half to half. Look at the games against Manchester City and Crystal Palace, you see them at such a low and then such a high.
“He has mentioned mentality a lot in the last few weeks and I am convinced it’s because of those peaks and troughs coming so unexpectedly. You think how have they gone that low, and then here’s something else.
“He will want to make sure that is gone. That usually goes by having characters in the dressing room not letting the standards drop and making sure he has two, three, four players added to the squad. People who know how to win and don’t drop their standards week in, week out.
“That’s what Manchester City have been this season, they have been consistent. Manchester United have had a good season in the league in finishing second but it has been inconsistent and they have dipped at times. They have lost against all three promoted teams, that’s nine points. That’s an attack for next season. There are nine points you need to sort out and then you work away at the others and the big gap.”