Gary Neville is livid about the recent leaks, regarding Erik ten Hag, his training methods, tactics and signings, to the media.
The Manchester United boss had been named manager of the month for November, but his side came crashing back down to earth this weekend following a stunning 3-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth. The result left them four points off the top four and they have now lost 11 times this season.
On the latest episode of Stick to Football released last week, the United cluster-bomb ball was set rolling as Neville referred to a recent interview given by former Red Devils midfielder, Nemanja Matic to YU Planet.
“Among the players who would always be late were Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho and couple of other players,” said Matic, before adding that a fines list was drawn up, one season, and late fee fines made up a good chunk of the £75,000 collected.
The entire panel, Neville, Roy Keane, Ian Wright and Jamie Carragher, were staggered that certain players would constantly be allowed to show up late and hold up sessions. Keane stressed that at United, when he was playing, senior players would nip such behaviour in the bud. Keane admitted to being late on a couple of occasions, early in his United career, and being benched by Alex Ferguson for the transgression.
That was the lads just getting started. It was when the panel discussed the recent leaks from inside the United dressing room to the media that Neville, in particular, got fired up
Gary Neville wondered, aloud, if Erik ten Hag banning reporters from four outlets from some press briefings was Manchester United trying to send out a message or ‘a club in crisis’.
Roy Keane reasoned that, as usually happens, results on the pitch will dictate how that ban on reporters is ultimately perceived. To Neville, the leaks casting aspersions on ten Hag ‘felt like Groundhog Day’ as it had happened to David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and even interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
Neville claimed he had been ‘soft on the players’ over the past 12 to 18 months as he had been concentrating on the ‘rotten environment’ caused by the ownership group at United. The latest leaks has ticked him off, though.
He said: “I think the biggest betrayal you can have in a dressing room, in football, is when players, or players’ representatives, are going to the media to undermine the manager. Honestly, that is f***ing unforgivable.
“For me, I concentrated on Monday and Tuesday and when I heard these stories come out, I went, ‘Here we go again, stories coming out, The f**kers. They’re at it. They’re at it, trying to get another manager sacked, another group of players thrown out and their teammates banished’.
“You know it’s happening and you can tell it has been fed [to the media]. And I thought, ‘Stop whinging, shut your mouths, work as hard as you can and, the day after, come back and do it again’.”
You can catch that Gary Neville tirade from 30:05 here:
Next up for Manchester United is a must-win clash at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League. Anything other than a win for United against the German giants will see them knocked out in the group stage of Europe’s premier competition.