Gary Neville agrees with Graeme Souness over Erik ten Hag’s biggest problem at Man Utd
Gary Neville and Graeme Souness have been discussing Erik ten Hag’s problems at Manchester United amid a disappointing start.
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Erik ten Hag’s men were beaten pretty comfortably by Brighton at Old Trafford on Saturday, losing 3-1 at home to make it three defeats from their first five games of the season. United were sluggish to start last season, and this season hasn’t been much different, with the Red Devils still looking a long way behind the cream of the crop.
Andre Onana, Rasmus Hojlund and Mason Mount were among a number of incomings, but so far, United don’t look any better, and club legend Neville believes the squad is still lacking quality.
"I was worried at the start of the season," Neville told Sky Sports. "There was this feeling Man United had got their business done early in the transfer window and that was good, but I was concerned the players they had brought in wouldn't improve them from last season.
"I never thought for one second they would challenge Manchester City and Arsenal from the players that they brought in. That would have needed a Harry Kane-type signing or Declan Rice, as an example. They didn't have the money to do those types of signings. They're not very good at the moment. There's no hysteria. I went to the Brighton game as a fan thinking, 'Could I be surprised?'.
"You're always optimistic. I have never walked over that forecourt at Old Trafford and not been optimistic because that's the job of a football fan going to any ground where you support your team. But 72,000 Manchester United fans in that stadium, who are informed and know Brighton and know their current team, I don't think any of them were surprised at what they saw.
"Before the game there was that feeling of, 'Let's see what happens', 'Take a point', those sort of comments speaking to people as you go in."
The comments come after Liverpool legend and pundit Souness raised concerns before the international break.
He said: “On the wings, you look at Jadon Sancho, Antony and Alejandro Garnacho. I don’t think any of them are good enough to be United players long-term and take the club where they want to go as a giant of world football. They’re ordinary.
“In terms of recruitment, Ten Hag been heavily reliant on players he knows. Last season he signed Antony and Lisandro Martinez and now he’s signed Onana. They all played for him at Ajax, and have now got to turn up for him. It’s a quantum leap playing for Ajax in the Eredivisie then coming to the biggest club in England and playing a cup final every weekend - and that’s what he’s asked these guys to do. I’m not sure if any of them are up to the standard needed to make Manchester United the best team in this country again.”