Gary Neville has suggested that Zinedine Zidane could be the answer to Manchester United’s struggles, with the team sitting sixth in the Premier League under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and already out of one cup competition.
United were beaten 4-2 by Leicester on Saturday, having drawn with Everton and lost to Aston Villa in their previous two top-flight matches.
They were also knocked out of the Carabao Cup by West Ham last month and seem no closer to ending their search for a trophy under former club striker Solskjaer, who apparently retains the backing of the club despite his side’s sub-par showings recently.
“There is a lot of emotion on Manchester United over the past 48 hours, and rightly so – the performances have not been right this season, nowhere near good enough for the players in that squad,” Neville told Sky Sports on Monday night.
“That is causing massive problems for the manager at this moment in time. They’ve got six grenades where the pins have been pulled out in the dressing room.
“That can work,” Neville continued. “I’ve seen Vicente del Bosque do it at Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane, where you have a collection of great players that win games in the moment. PSG are like it at the moment under Mauricio Pochettino – they aren’t really a Pochettino team. He’s got great players and big names.
“Ole has got a bit of that now. Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba, Harry Maguire. Massive characters in the dressing room.
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“Maguire is probably looking at Raphael Varane thinking whether he is still the top dog, because Varane is a Champions League winner. You’ve got the dynamic of Cavani sat on the bench after begging him to stay another year, with Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood all playing ahead of him.
“You’ve also got Jadon Sancho, who has been chased all over Europe for the last two years and he’s now looking like he’s in and out. You have all these issues. Ole somehow has to bring that group together and find a basic, simple way of playing defensively where the players buy into it. And allow the talented players to win the game for him.”
“That’s the only way he’s going to get the season back on track.”
United are in the middle of a challenging run of games, with Atalanta visiting Old Trafford in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, before the Red Devils face Liverpool and Tottenham in the Premier League. Next month, they take on top-flight leaders Chelsea and third-placed Man City.
“I suspect at the moment the dynamic in that changing room is still developing with the aura of Ronaldo and Fernandes throwing his hands in the air,” Neville added. “Pogba is thinking: ‘Shall I leave?’ And Harry Maguire as captain is trying to control this lot saying: ‘I don’t like what I’m seeing.’
“Ole has to solve it this week. He has to get it right.
“This lot are an odd bunch and they could come out and do Liverpool on Sunday, but they’ve got to get that dynamic and spirit right. Ole has to do that.”
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