Manchester United could finish in the bottom half of the Premier League – Gary Neville

Gary Neville believes Manchester United are in ‘special measures’ and could end up in the bottom half of the Premier League if they don’t tackle their ‘horror’ recruitment strategy.

The former United defender has spoken out in criticism of the club’s owners after a humiliating 4-0 defeat at Brentford on Saturday.

The defeat left Erik Ten Hag’s side bottom of the table after the Dutchman lost their first competitive game in charge a week earlier at home to Brighton.

Neville spoke about what he saw as poor ownership of the club by the Glazer family and on Sky Sports Monday Night Football the former Valencia boss continued his assessment.

Premier League games as Manchester United manager. (Mark Pain/Alamy)” height=”2289″ width=”3092″ layout=”responsive” class=”inline-gallery-btn i-amphtml-layout-responsive i-amphtml-layout-size-defined” on=”tap:inline-image-gallery,inline-image-carousel.goToSlide(index=1)” tabindex=”0″ role=”button” data-gallery-length=”4″ i-amphtml-layout=”responsive”>

Erik Ten Hag has lost his first two Premier League games as Manchester United manager. (Mark Pain/Alamy)

“When a school is underperforming and consistently performs poorly over a period of time, it is subject to special measures by the government and the children are not blamed,” he said.

“This is where Manchester United are, these are special measures and you can’t blame the kids anymore.

“It’s a recruiting horror story.

“I know there’s a big call to blame the players and we’ve blamed the players a lot over the last 10 years – I was excited about the arrival of these players at the club as a lot of people were.

“Even last year with Jadon Sancho, Rafael Varane, Cristiano Ronaldo – big signings.

It has become a cemetery for football players of this football club, where players even consider coming to the club.

Gary Neville

“When (Angel) Di Maria came, we said he would be a great signing.

“But it’s become a graveyard for football players in this football club, where players are wondering if they even have to come to the club, they can’t bring players in.”

Neville was joined in the studio by former Liverpool and England defender Jamie Carragher and revealed the pair have analyzed United signings over the past decade.

The pair have only listed two successful signings as the fallout from their disastrous start to the season has continued.

Only Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Bruno Fernandes were classified as performing on the pitch or proving value for money.

“It’s been one of the problems United have had for 10 years, they’ve switched between different managers and different strategies and allowed managers to influence the actual overall recruitment,” Neville said.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was one of only two recent Manchester United signings deemed successful by the Sky Sports pair (Adam Davy/PA)

(PA Archive)

“It was a huge problem. We’ve looked at the last 10 years of major signings at the club, we’ve taken out third goalkeepers and some of the youngest players.

“But £1.25billion has been spent and we filed it – we did it together, some disagree.

“We think there are only two signings – at the moment – that you could say have been good value and performed on a level and, to be fair, Fernandes has a little boiled, but because of the numbers he hit in the last two seasons, you would have to say it worked, and Ibrahimovic – obviously it worked.

“Ronaldo would have been a green (success) but what happened last month, he wants to leave, the confusion over him, it’s a nightmare scenario and it doesn’t work.”

Ronaldo’s immediate future and the way the club are reacting to a potential departure could still leave them languishing in the bottom half of the table, according to Neville.

“I think there’s a massive decision to be made on Cristiano Ronaldo, they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t,” said the eight-time Premier League winner.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at Manchester United remains uncertain (John Walton/PA)

(PA wire)

“A few weeks ago, before the start of the season and before these results, I said that the best thing to do was to facilitate the departure of Ronaldo.

“The problem is that now if they lose it, there’s nothing left in the goal part of the field.

“I honestly think that if they don’t bring in players or if they bring in bad players and he leaves, I honestly think they could end up in the bottom half of the table.

“I think it’s a bottom half of the table team. It’s a massive statement that may seem silly at the end of the season.

“They are demoralized and dejected, it’s really bad in there. They came back in default.

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