Manchester United legend Gary Neville declared the club a “graveyard” for young talents with numerous failed signings in recent history
Manchester United legend Gary Neville has criticized the toxic culture within the club that has set players up for failure. United lost their dominance over the domestic competitions after the retirement of their legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Red Devils have appointed five different managers since Ferguson left the club which includes current manager Erik ten Hag. United have spent a significant amount of money on recruitment to bring the club back to its former glory. However, Ferguson remains the last manager to achieve the most coveted, Premier League or Champions League title, for the club.
Ten Hag became the manager in the summer of 2022 and delivered a promising first season. The Dutchman guided United to the third position in the Premier League which earned them a Champions League qualification. Furthermore, the 53-year-old broke the six-year trophy drought at the club by successfully winning the Carabao Cup last season.
However, Ten Hag is facing a similar problem of inconsistency this season that his predecessors faced before him. The Red Devils have lost eight games out of 15 in all competitions and looked vulnerable in many areas.
Neville spoke about the club’s predicament over the last decade on his Gary Neville podcast (h/t Optus Sport). He said:
“Every manager that comes to Manchester United, we start to think they’re the problem at a certain point. We start to think the players bought for £50m, £60m, £70m – even though other clubs want these players by the way on the way in and they chose Manchester United from a better deal – and it ends up being a graveyard for them. There is a cultural thread of negativity and toxicity that runs through this club that is not going away.”
The former United right-back made some blunt yet undeniable points as United have recruited plenty of talents that failed. The Red Devils recorded around £1.19m of net spending loss on transfers over the past decade.
United bought some of the very best talents like Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba, Jadon Sancho, and Antony for massive prices. Each of these talents has failed to live up to their reputation. Furthermore, products from the famed United Academy like Marcus Rashford have also struggled to fulfil their renowned potential.
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Neville has made some valid points as he continuously defends Ten Hag as the Dutchman faces uncertainty over his future. Many fans and football pundits have criticized the current United manager over the lack of playing philosophy and tactical approach.