Gary Neville

Social media reacts to the end of Liverpool’s unbeaten season

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The word of the day in the football world is schaedenfreude.

From metaphorically-popped bottles to Gary Neville doing the real thing, Twitter had a lot to say about the end of Liverpool’s hopes of an Invincibles season.

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Liverpool supporters were understandably defiant, and some celebrated their amazing run. After all, this is the club that will win the Premier League title in a landslide.

And, as you can imagine… a certain club who last went unbeaten in the Premier League had a lot to say.

Everton fan Roger Bennett of Men in Blazers was eager to have a measure of joy from the only thing his side has done better than their rivals this season.

https://twitter.com/rogbennett/status/1233838166211203072

 

Man United’s recruitment policy slammed

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Manchester United’s recruitment policy has been hammered by their former legendary player and current Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville who believes they need “five or six players” to become competitive.

Following United’s 2-0 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday, Neville responded by lashing out at the ownership of the club and issued a thinly-veiled attack on executive chairman Ed Woodward and the hierarchy.

Speaking to our partners Sky Sports, Neville let loose as the gulf in class between United’s performance and Liverpool’s was stark, aside from the spirit that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side showed throughout.

“Manchester United have to react fast. They need to make good decisions,” Neville said. “Over the last few years there is a frustration that Manchester United have been U-turning all over the place when it comes to strategy. They have made some terrible investments in terms of recruitment and it is all coming home to roost. This is going to get bad. The next six months are going to be really difficult.”

When you look at the more recent signings of Alexis Sanchez, Eric Bailly and Diogo Dalot, how much have they added to the team? With Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba out injured, for such an expensively assembled squad there really isn’t much depth.

Neville is right, there has been no real plan in place with recruitment because they’ve had four very different managers (David Moys, Louis Van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and now Solskjaer) in the past six years and they have no sporting director or technical director making the recruitment decisions.

Instead, Woodward and businessmen at the top of the club are making soccer decisions and United continue to pay over the odds for players, even though the likes of Harry Magurie and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have improved their defensive unit.

“I can’t believe, with the investment that has been put into the squad over the last five or six years and you end up with that out on the pitch. I cannot believe it. I saw a statistic that Manchester United have the second highest wage bill in the world. And that is the squad they have got? It is unforgivable,” Neville continued.

“I can’t change the ownership of Manchester United, no-one can, but I am struggling to understand why the ownership has persisted in trusting that management team to oversee that investment. If you don’t lose your job for overseeing that investment, that wage bill and putting that team out on the pitch, something is really wrong.”

Does anybody have a problem with what Solskjaer said? Probably not.

Some might say that like Roy Keane, he may be trying to protect his former teammate, Solskjaer, but there’s no doubt United need to invest in midfielders, with a deal for Bruno Fernandes stalling, and at least one more center forward as they haven’t played Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez who both left in the summer.

Solskjaer’s side are currently in fifth and are only five points off the top four but injuries are piling up and although the plan is to play youngsters and give them chances to shine, the slapdash way United have built their squad will continue to hurt them.

Salford City promoted to the Football League

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Salford City’s dream has become a reality.

The team backed by Manchester United and Premier League legends David Beckham, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt, plus billionaire Peter Lim, won promotion to League Two on Saturday at Wembley Stadium.

Salford beat AFC Fylde 3-0 in the National League playoff final to clinch their first-ever promotion to the fourth-tier of English soccer. Head coach Graham Alexander took over last summer and was handed a huge budget to guide Salford to promotion.

Mani Dieseruvwe, Carl Piergianni and Ibou Touray scored the goals for Salford, as their incredible rise continues and the United legends celebrated in the stands at Wembley at the final whistle.

Backed by Lim’s money and the expertise and contacts of Neville and Co. behind-the-scenes, Salford have achieved four promotions in the last five seasons to secure their spot as one of the 92 Football League teams for the 2019-20 season.

Salford’s aim is to at least reach the Championship, the second-tier of English soccer, as the Lancashire club aim to become one of the best supported teams in the Manchester area as they offer something completely different to the giants of Man United and Man City nearby.

David Beckham joins Salford City ownership

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Money and influence go a long way, and Manchester United’s “Class of ’92” has a lot of it, so don’t be surprised that Salford City is on the rise.

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David Beckham has now bought into the English fifth-tier club, subject to FA approval, meaning the celebrated United class now has a stake in Salford City with the club fighting for its first promotion into the Football League.

“The Ammies” have been promoted three times since being taken over by Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, and Gary Neville. Beckham is the owner of Inter Miami CF, expected to debut in Major League Soccer in 2020.

The Class of ’92 released this statement:

“From the very beginning we wanted David to be involved and be with us on this incredible journey however circumstances and commitments didn’t allow that. Now the time is right and is another exciting time in Salford City’s history. 

“It is important to emphasize that nothing will change in the day to day operations of the club but to have us all together was always the vision. We grew up in Salford, carved our careers here and that’s why we are doing what we are doing at Salford City.”

Salford City is a point back of the National League leaders Leyton Orient. First place gets automatic promotion to League Two, while second through seventh take part in the promotion playoffs.

The club does employ a Rooney, Adam, but the Irish striker is not related to Wayne.

Gary Neville fumes over Man United conduct regarding Mourinho leak

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He’s not angry about the decision, he’s angry about how it went down.

And boy is he angry.

Former Manchester United defender and current Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has absolutely blasted his former team for Friday’s leak regarding the job status of manager Jose Mourinho, who reportedly will be fired no matter the result against Newcastle on Saturday. Neville accused Manchester United of “playing Football Manager with the biggest club in the world,” referencing the popular video game.

“If this is true and it has broken the day before it’s going to happen and he’s going to be sacked at the weekend, it’s an absolute disgrace,” Neville said on Sky Sports. “Where are the values and the principles of Manchester United if this is true?”

Neville bemoaned the managerial strategy – or lack thereof – since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.

“At the end of the day, this has been going on for five or six years,” he said. “Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers in the world and I think at this moment in time any manager in the world would struggle at that football club with the way that the recruitment is handled, the way in which it is operated.”

Ultimately, to Neville, while the results on the pitch have not garnered the silverware the club desires, the failures have extended long enough that the blame falls to the top.

“At this moment in time there is something rotten to the core in the decisions that have been made in the last four or five years and it has to be coming from the top,” Neville said. “If I employ a person beneath me and he fails, eventually I’ve got to take responsibility. I’ve got to stand up and say ‘I’m not good enough to do this’. The people in the boardroom who are overseeing the football operation are nowhere near good enough. They are not qualified. They are playing Football Manager with the biggest club in the world.”