Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville insists the Glazer family must implement “fundamental” changes to ensure the club is able to thrive under its new manager.
United, who failed to bridge the gap on the top-four with a 1-1 draw at home to Leicester City on Saturday, are in the process of appointing their new manager after sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer back in November. Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has been interviewed for the position and is understood to be the club’s preferred candidate for the role.
Now considered as the overwhelming favourite, United’s supporters are readying themselves to witness the Dutchman being man calling the shots on the touchline next season and overseeing the next chapter in the club’s history. He has done a sterling job in his homeland and is worthy of getting an opportunity to manage one of Europe’s elite.
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However, former Reds defender Neville has warned Ten Hag, as well as anyone else who could still be in with a chance of replacing Ralf Rangnick this summer, of the changes that need to be made. Taking aim at those who are in charge at the top of the club, the Sky Sports pundit highlighted the importance of a “real shift in mentality” being required.
“I think when you look from the outside, the appeal of Manchester United is huge, the fan base is huge and the club is a magical football club,” Neville told Sky Sports. “I suppose every confident coach will believe, just like Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ralf Rangnick and David Moyes, that they can take the job, sort this club out and turn it around because they have got the ability to do so
“But there is a rut here that has found out great managers in the last ten years. I spoke about a cultural reset and if the top isn’t right – and I have to say the top is not right here – there has to be a real shift in mentality.Those things won’t happen because they won’t do it.
“But one thing I do know is that Manchester United will always be a great football club and it will return to success, I am absolutely sure of that. I don’t know how long it will take; it might be five years, it might be ten years, it might be three years or it might be 15.”
However, although Neville is confident the good times will return to Old Trafford, he has called on the Glazer family to change their ways and not repeat the cycle that they have produced in recent years. He also pointed out how the club has lost its way without the presence of Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill.
Neville added: “It shouldn’t have owners that are, year-on-year, pulling out of the club. This ground looks fantastic, cosmetically on the outside, but it is falling apart and is not best in class.
“If you are taking £20million a year out and are paying lots of money and interest on the debt that they have got, that money could be going into the football club. They have to make everybody believe that football is at the heart of this football club.They have to.
“When Sir Alex Ferguson was here, he obviously shielded them from that and made everything work with David Gill. Once Ferguson and Gill had left, it has been a struggle for ten years.
“People have tried very hard to get it successful again – but they have failed. It won’t just be as easy as appointing a talented, young manager or talented manager at all.
“There needs to be something quite significant that shifts here, so that everyone realizes it is a new project and it is a new beginning. That would more than likely be with new owners.
“But if the Glazer family are not going to sell, I don’t think they are going to gain success quite easily at this football club without doing something fundamental. It is not just going to be a case of bringing a new manager in, get a PR spike, get everyone excited and put £150million into the team.
“We will end up in the same position again in two or three years.”
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