Neville: Solskjaer needs to win a trophy with Man Utd this season

By Sports Desk March 15, 2021

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to win a trophy this season to demonstrate how Manchester United have made real progress, according to Gary Neville. 

United further enhanced their chances of a top-four finish in the Premier League with a 1-0 win over fifth-placed West Ham on Sunday, courtesy of an own goal from Craig Dawson in the second half. 

The victory, following on from their derby triumph over runaway leaders Manchester City a week earlier, sees Solskjaer's squad sit second in the table. 

However, former Red Devils defender Neville feels finishing as the closest team to Pep Guardiola's title winners is not enough, citing the importance of securing silverware ahead of a potentially pivotal transfer window. 

United have an FA Cup quarter-final at Leicester City coming up, though before then they face Milan in the second leg of a delicately balanced Europa League tie, the teams having drawn 1-1 at Old Trafford last Thursday following a dramatic late equaliser from the Italian side. 

"The FA Cup has become critical to this football club this season. The League Cup and FA Cup has been the starting point for Manchester United teams over the last 15 to 20 years," Neville said on his podcast for Sky Sports. 

"If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to be successful at this club, he not only needs to finish second in the Premier League, but he has to win a trophy. That would be seen as real progress. Then you're attracting players next season to try and catch Manchester City. 

"I think it's a brilliant week. Beating Manchester City the way they did, and winning on Sunday.

"If you'd have said to Solskjaer at the start of the week you'll beat Manchester City, beat West Ham and draw 1-1 with Milan, he'd have snapped your hand off. Going into that Manchester derby, they were under real pressure."

As for the fight to finish in the top four in the league, Neville feels the current situation – with Leicester and Chelsea sitting behind the two Manchester clubs – will be the same at the end of the campaign. 

West Ham only sit three points behind Chelsea with a game in hand over their London rivals, while those below them – Everton, Tottenham and Liverpool – have failed to show signs they can put a run of results together to mount a genuine challenge. 

"Leicester are the one team you'd be most nervous about, because they did blow up last season. But I think there's just enough this year," the ex-England international said. 

"I don't see West Ham catching Leicester, and the teams below them are so inconsistent and seem to be all over the place. I'm not sure which one of them is going to put a run together.” 

Related items

  • Ronaldo 'doesn't have time' to be part of Man Utd project, says Nani Ronaldo 'doesn't have time' to be part of Man Utd project, says Nani

    Cristiano Ronaldo "does not have time" to stick around for another season at Manchester United, according to former team-mate Nani.

    Portugal international Ronaldo is reportedly seeking a move away from United just under a year after returning to the club from Juventus.

    However, a lack of viable options – with Chelsea and Bayern Munich said to have rejected the chance to sign him – has left the 37-year-old superstar in a tricky situation.

    Ronaldo's complicated situation has only been exacerbated following United's opening home defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion and a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Brentford.

    With United undergoing another rebuild under new manager Erik ten Hag, ex-United winger Nani can understand why his compatriot is looking to leave.

    "Times change and the reactions and attitude can change as well," Nani said on Rio Ferdinand's Vibe with Five podcast.

    "But, as we see, he's doing the same things as usual. He doesn't like to lose and he reacts when the team is not doing well. The only difference is that it's different times. 

    "He's playing again at Man United, but he's been all over the world doing well at different teams with different players.

    "He's in a team where the manager is trying to build a strong team, and it's not easy, it takes time. Cristiano doesn't have time to lose on building teams or waiting for next season. 

    "He wants to continue to be at the top, scoring goals, being the man. That's why the reaction is normal. We all have the wrong reactions sometimes."

    Ronaldo was recalled to United's starting line-up for the defeat to Brentford and had six shots, twice as many as any other player on the field, without finding the net.

    With their latest dismal defeat, United have started a Premier League campaign with back-to-back losses for the first time since the competition's inaugural campaign in 1992-93.

    Stretching back into last season, the Red Devils have now lost four successive league games for the first time since February 1979.

    Nani, who won four Premier League titles and the Champions League during his seven full seasons with United, has hit out at the attitude of the club's current crop of players.

    "I don't like to talk too much. I don't talk about players, but you can see there is no hunger, there is no attitude or desire to win in the club," he said.

    "You have a lot of talented players, but they don't want to get tired. If I had to get sweaty to win, I would. They prefer to not sweat.

    "You have talented players in the team with a lot of skills. They can shoot with their right foot and left, but the last game, no one was shooting at goal, everyone was passing."

  • Rumour Has It: Atletico Madrid reject Man Utd's club-record £110m bid for Joao Felix Rumour Has It: Atletico Madrid reject Man Utd's club-record £110m bid for Joao Felix

    Manchester United are under pressure to make some signings amid their poor start to the new Premier League season.

    The Red Devils have lost their opening two league games under new boss Erik ten Hag.

    United have only brought in a few players this off-season and are in need for reinforcements.

     

    TOP STORY – MAN UTD DECLINED BY ATLETICO IN JOAO FELIX BID

    Atletico Madrid have rejected a bumper £110million (€130m) bid from Manchester United for Portuguese forward Joao Felix, claims AS.

    Atleti have reportedly inserted a staggering €350m (£295m) release clause in the 22-year-old's contract.

    United's reported bid is a club record, £25m more than the fee they paid Juventus for Paul Pogba in 2016.

    ROUND-UP

    United want to sign five more players this transfer window reports the Telegraph and have a shortlist of potential signings with Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Meunier, Chelsea winger Christian Pulisic, Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro, Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Barcelona's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Everton goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is also on their radar to provide a back-up to David de Gea.

    Paris Saint-Germain have not given up in a pursuit of Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva and are plotting a €71m (£59m) move for him, according to The Times.

    Napoli are closing in on a deal to sign Sassuolo's 22-year-old forward Giacomo Raspadori reports Calciomercato. It is claimed he will join Napoli by the end of the week.

    Nottingham Forest's busy window continues with the newly promoted Premier League club chasing Madrid right-back Alvaro Odriozola, according to AS.

    Brighton and Hove Albion want a permanent move for Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour, reports the Daily Mail. 

  • Wolves complete club-record Nunes signing Wolves complete club-record Nunes signing

    Wolves have confirmed the acquisition of Matheus Nunes for a club-record transfer fee.

    Nunes, a Brazilian-born Portugal international, has signed a five-year deal at Molineux after arriving from Sporting CP.

    It has been reported that Wolves are paying an initial £38million (€45m), with add-ons potentially taking the fee to £42.2m (€50m).

    The 23-year-old has been linked with a Premier League move over the last year, and follows Nathan Collins and Goncalo Guedes as Wolves' third signing of the transfer window.

    Bruno Lage will have the midfielder, who scored in his final match for Sporting, at his disposal for Saturday's trip to Tottenham.

    Capable of playing in any central role in midfield, Nunes is relishing the chance to play in the Premier League.

    "I'm very excited. For me, I could play tomorrow already, but I can't because the game is Saturday, but I'm looking forward to it," Nunes told Wolves' official website.

    "I think the club itself [convinced me] and also I spoke to some of my team-mates because I play with them for the national team.

    "The coach as well, he really wanted me, and I wanted to play in the Premier League. I think it's the right next step for me, and I'm very happy to be here."

    Lage has elected to stray away from the three-at-the-back system with which Wolves have become so familiar in recent seasons, a move that also facilitated club captain Conor Coady leaving to Everton on loan.

    Wolves lost to Leeds United in their opening game before drawing with newly promoted Fulham, and Nunes will be hoping to impress in order to seal his place in Portugal's World Cup squad.

    He added: "I just want to enjoy myself and deliver to the fans' expectations, help the club and try to make them enjoy our football."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.