Gary Neville has blamed ‘poor decisions’ by the Manchester United board for the club’s current situation.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side’s poor start to the season continued with a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle on Sunday, the club slumping to 12th in the Premier League after winning just twice in their opening eight league fixtures.
Defeat also means the club’s winless run away from home extended to an 11th game in all competitions, and former Manchester United defender Neville laid the blame for their current decline firmly at the door of the clubs board, highlighting their ‘all over the place’ approach to managerial appointments and their ‘woeful’ transfer business.
“Away from home, they’re not set up to win in a sense of the mentality,” Neville told Sky Sports.
“They let games drift, I think they play OK in games, but they’re not ruthless, they’re not clinical. The quality is not right, the depth of their squad is not good enough and they have taking a step back.
“Their recruitment has been woeful for many years and they’ve been all over the place in terms of different styles of managers who are bringing in players. They now need to fix the style, fix a way of recruiting and go and get the players. They got three in the summer of the right type, they’ve done OK so far but they need another five or six.
“They need another centre-back, they need a left-back, they need two central midfield players, they need a wide player and they need a top centre-forward. They need five or six top players in that squad and they’re going to cost a lot of money. Hopefully they can be supplemented by the young players coming through, because there is some talent in those players.
“The board need to hold their nerve. They’ve cocked this up over many years. They’re responsible for this with poor recruitment, poor selection of managers, going with them and then pulling off them.
“Van Gaal won an FA Cup, then they sacked him. Jose Mourinho they sacked him after two-and-a-half years when they’d given him a [new] contract six months before. They’ve also gone for different styles of managers, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now taking the club in a completely different direction.
“If you change direction as a board every two years, investing £250m along the way in each manager, you’re going to have big problems.
“Manchester United are now getting the pain they deserve for poor decisions at board level and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to make sure that the clean-up job he’s doing, which needs to be done for the mess that’s gone before him, that he gets the opportunity to spend the money the others have had to spend.
“If Man United recruit well in the next three or four transfer windows, they’ve got the bones of something. If they recruit badly, they’ll end up suffering.”
“Manchester United will have a lot of painful moments this season, a lot of hard moments and we can have these inquests after every single game but the end solution if they’ve got to recruit well to a certain style of play and stick to it.
“They can’t do anything else, they can’t rush it, they can’t circumvent the process of the transfer window, you can’t get the players you want in January because they’re the players clubs won’t let go and they’ve got to work as hard as possible to make sure they get high quality players into the club, get the remaining players out who don’t want to be there and do it as quickly as possible.
“But there is no quick fix and it has to be done methodically. I hope, because of the poor results, they don’t come off the path they’re on which is to develop a young, progressive team but they do need some quality and experience in there.”
READ – Premier League weekend: Five things we learned
See also – Premier League Weekly Awards: Where 19-year-old debutants rule all