Gary Neville has hit out at Manchester United fans “turning on me” in the fallout from their 5-0 defeat at the hands of rivals Liverpool.
Neville was a pundit on Sky Sports as United collapsed to a humiliating loss at Old Trafford, leaving them eight points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea with only nine games played.
The former United defender has been open about his reluctance to criticise his former teammate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the United manager who has overseen such an underwhelming start to the season despite the summer signings of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo.
But Neville’s staunch support for Solskjaer was mocked by fellow pundits Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness before the match and he has been criticised on social media by some United supporters. In response, Neville joked about a link between the fans’ reaction and the culture of Boris Johnson’s Conservative government, of whom Neville has been an outspoken critic.
“If you would have said 22 years ago that United fans would be turning on me for supporting the guy who won “ Us “ the Champions League I would have said no way!” Neville tweeted on Monday. “But it’s 2021 folks! In the “ Johnson Era “ anything goes 😂.”
After the match, Neville went closer than ever before in laying the blame for Manchester United’s sub-par performances at Solskjaer’s door, suggesting that his old team’s issues on Sunday stemmed from coaching faults.
“It does come down to the coaching team, it’s nowhere near good enough,” the former England defender told Sky Sports. “What stands out in my mind is their organisation around the press. The manager and his coaching staff have to take the blame for the pressing game today. Why would you do that? They are not a pressing team, they haven’t got it in them.
“Manchester United are kidding themselves that they are a pressing team, that they can coordinate it as one.
“This is the first super team they are playing against and they are being pulled apart like they wouldn’t believe. Liverpool have done their homework. The minute [United] play a proper team, this is what is going to happen. Half-decent teams are putting goals against them, proper teams will batter them. It’s crazy stuff there.”