He might have signed a lucrative new contract with Manchester United this week, but David de Gea's difficulties from free-kicks continued in Manchester United's sorry 2-0 defeat to West Ham on Sunday.

The Hammers were already a goal to the good when Aaron Cresswell stepped up to take a 20-yard free-kick six minutes from time.

The Spain international got a hand to the left-back's effort but was unable to keep it out, meaning he has conceded 12 goals from direct free-kicks since the start of the 2011-12 Premier League season – more than any other goalkeeper in the division.

Former United defender Gary Neville was less than impressed with De Gea's attempted save, describing him as having a "poppadom hand" during his co-commentary on Sky Sports.

Speaking in the Sky Sports studio before the game, former United boss Jose Mourinho described De Gea as "lucky" to have been given a new four-year deal by the Red Devils.

He said: "I think the moment he signed his huge contract is a moment that I don't think Manchester United need to pay as much as they have.

"One or two years ago the world was after him. At the moment, the majority of the big doors are closed. Real Madrid are closed. Barcelona are closed. Paris Saint-Germain are closed.

"I don't think United were under pressure because David was going to disappear. So, he gets a phenomenal contract in a moment when he’s a bit lucky to get it."

After the match, Mourinho suggested De Gea's approach to organising his defensive walls and where he places players within them might be a factor in his free-kick woes.

"I think, from a left-footed player [such as Cresswell], the two least important players in the wall are the first and the fourth," he said.

"The first, where Ashley Young is, because if the ball goes over him with the left foot the ball goes out. And the last one, the fourth, because if the ball goes over him it goes in the middle of the goal and you give a chance to the keeper.

"The two most important ones are where [Victor] Lindelof and [Scott] McTominay are. I don't think [Harry] Maguire should be the fourth man in the wall. He should be the second with McTominay and try to [block] it.

"I'm not saying they would do it because it's a very good shot from Cresswell."

A packed Etihad Stadium paid a warm tribute to Vincent Kompany on Wednesday as his Manchester City Legends played out a 2-2 draw against a Premier League All Stars XI.

The four-time Premier League winner saw the funny side of a hamstring strain keeping him out of his own testimonial, the new day job as player-coach of Anderlecht meaning he could not risk lining up alongside an array of past team-mates.

"For me not to play this game because of an injury… surely the irony has not escaped anyone?" Kompany chuckled before the match – his 11-year stint as an inspirational and decorated captain at City having been frequently peppered with injury lay-offs.

Given a guard of honour onto the field before kick-off, the man of the hour was serenaded by the masses and embraced by fellow club greats Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee and Tony Book.

He then gave way to those fit enough to take part, and there was much to enjoy as plenty of famous faces came together to raise money for Kompany's Tackle4MCR homelessness charity.

Painful night for Neville

Gary Neville's work as a property developer is already well noted in Manchester. The former United and England right-back probably didn't need to labour the point by granting Martin Petrov his own postcode for the opening goal. Jamie Carragher blamed his defensive colleague, Neville disagreed and the debate will probably continue in Sky Sports' Monday Night Football studio.

Neville willingly played the pantomime villain, even taking a corner to soak up boos before pinging a hamstring and departing before half-time.

Dad's Army stands firm

Okay, so it might have only been for 27 minutes in a friendly, but Neville, Carragher, Michael Carrick and Ashley Cole became the first defensive unit to stop Sergio Aguero scoring this season. Somewhere, Sven-Goran Eriksson was beaming with pride.

Where's Mario?

Aguero would have loved the chance to renew his old strike partnership with Mario Balotelli. However, speaking earlier on Wednesday, Kompany foresaw problems. "I think Mario is coming, he should be," he said. "But with Mario everything can go wrong."

Balotelli did indeed turn up, resplendent in a black hoodie, sunglasses and a studded baseball cap. However, he did not warm up and City supporters chanting for his introduction did so in vain – Benjani handily distracting them with a gleefully received equaliser.

Apparently, the Italy striker's new club Brescia had no idea he was in Manchester and he has training at 9am on Thursday. Never change, Mario.

Still got it

Paul Scholes ran through the repertoire. The Manchester United great hacked repeatedly to bring Samir Nasri down during the first-half, while he followed a delightful outside-of-the-foot pass with a deft scoop shortly after the interval. Carpet slippers in possession, hobnail boots out of it.

Nigel de Jong showed the slide tackle remains his preferred method of navigating a football pitch and Stephen Ireland – arguably the great "what if…" of City's Abu Dhabi era produced some silky moments. Robin van Persie put the All Stars ahead with aplomb.

They were all arguably outshone by Petrov, who looks somewhere close to his fighting weight five-and-a-half years since last turning out professionally for CSKA Sofia. There remained too much of a turn of pace for Neville and Carragher, while the left foot that rifled the opener into the roof of the net is still an absolute wand.

Lads, it's for charity!

For a moment, Robbie Keane seemed disgruntled by De Jong giving him a flashback to LA Galaxy's training pitches circa 2016, but the only time the friendly atmosphere truly threatened the fray was when Nicky Butt renewed acquaintances with Craig Bellamy.

Butt clattered through the back of his fellow shrinking violet, who seemed keen to prolong the argument.

End of an era

The biggest roar during the early stages came when Pablo Zabaleta performed an inch-perfect tackle on Cole. The sight of the talismanic Argentinian lining up with De Jong, Joe Hart, Joleon Lescott and the rest once again underlined how much road has been travelled since City's first Premier League title in 2011-12.

Pep Guardiola's slick winning machine is obviously adored in these parts, but it is clear how much that first flush of success – when everything seemed possible, but Carlos Tevez went on strike and Balotelli hosted pre-match fireworks displays in his bathroom – will always mean.

That Kompany, indomitable and in the form of his life, held it all together goes a long way to explaining the enduring affection he enjoys.

Romelu Lukaku has hit back at Gary Neville for calling him unprofessional and overweight following the sour end to his two-year stay at Manchester United.

Belgium international Lukaku left Old Trafford for Inter in early August after falling to the fringes of the first team under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The former Chelsea and Everton striker hit 27 competitive goals in his first season with United but the level of his performances tailed off last term amid concerns over his conditioning.

Former captain Neville enthusiastically welcomed his departure, writing "unprofessionalism is contagious" in a social media post referencing Lukaku, who believes the criticism is unjustified.

"Don't question my professionalism," Lukaku told the BBC.

"I live for this game. I am at home all the time. I try to do everything to improve.

"[Neville] can talk about my fitness but he should never say anything about my professionalism, that I don't work hard enough. That is something he cannot say. All the coaches I have had say the same thing about me.

"What did Ole Gunnar Solskjaer say when I was on the training ground? What did he say? That I always work hard and always do my best to try and improve myself.

"Same with Jose Mourinho and Roberto Martinez. Now Antonio Conte will say it."

Lukaku admitted last season was a "bad year" for him but holds no ill towards manager Solskjaer after the pair agreed it was time to part ways.

Negotiations over a proposed move to Inter dragged on until the Serie A side upped their offer to a reported €80million.

"Me and Ole tried to work together but at one point I had to be honest with him. He was also honest with me," the 26-year-old said.

"We found an agreement. I wanted to go. He understood why I wanted to go.

"It is something I will always be grateful to him for. We had a conversation man to man. I told him how I felt and he understood.

"He will always get massive respect from me and massive protection."

Manchester United were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Wolves after Paul Pogba had a second-half penalty saved by Rui Patricio at Molineux.

Ruben Neves' sublime 55th-minute strike cancelled out Anthony Martial's opener but Pogba had a golden chance to take the points when he was brought down by Conor Coady.

At that point, confusion reigned. Marcus Rashford, who rifled in from the spot during last weekend's 4-0 win over Chelsea, willingly gave up the ball to Pogba after a short conversation.

"This is a Manchester United penalty, not a tombola!" club great Gary Neville shrieked while reviewing the incident on Sky Sports. "Something's not right!"

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explained afterwards that both Rashford and Pogba were designated takers but, as the numbers show, United's chances of victory took a dive the moment their record signing grasped the nettle.

Pogba's penalty conversion percentage of 63.6 is the sixth lowest in Premier League history out of players to have taken 10 or more.

Only Juan Pablo Angel, Riyad Mahrez, Steed Malbranque, Dwight Yorke and Kevin Phillips have fared worse than the France international's seven out of 11.

Although he boasts two from two in the Champions League, Pogba's four Premier League misses since the start of last season is the most of any player in the competition.

By contrast, Rashford has scored every penalty he has stepped up to take in his junior and senior career.

The England international converted against the Netherlands in the Nations League finals in June before succeeding in a third-place match shoot-out versus Switzerland. Those exploits are sandwiched by nerveless efforts for the Red Devils against Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea.

Rashford previously scored two penalties for United in the UEFA Youth League and one for England Under-21s.

Martial scored his 50th goal in United colours on Monday and four of those have come from the penalty spot.

In fact, Pogba's compatriot has only missed once for the club from 12 yards, during a 2-0 Champions League win over Benfica in October 2017.

The evidence suggests it is time for United's midfield superstar to pass on the responsibility for good.

Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford's penalty debate during the game against Wolves was like a "tombola", according to former Manchester United captain Gary Neville.

Pogba and Rashford had a lengthy discussion over who should take a spot-kick – won by the France midfielder following a foul by Conor Coady – at Molineux on Monday.

Rashford scored from the spot in United's win over Chelsea on the opening weekend but on this occasion the England striker threw the ball to Pogba.

Rui Patricio duly saved Pogba's effort and the World Cup winner has now missed four Premier League penalties since the start of the 2018-19 season.

Neville, in an appearance as a pundit on Sky Sports, was furious about the impromptu consultation between Pogba, Rashford, Daniel James, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial over penalty duties.

"There was a debate between Martial, James, Rashford and Pogba," he said after the 1-1 draw. "It was more like: 'Go on mate you have it'.

"This is not right, by the way. Look, here comes Paul Pogba, now Lingard is getting involved. Is Pogba the penalty taker and Rashford has taken it off him?

"I'm holding back on Pogba because he may be the penalty taker here. It isn't right. They should decide before they play. This is not right.

"This is a Manchester United penalty. This is not a tombola. This is not under-fives football on the playground. Rashford throws the ball to Pogba. Something is not right.

"Why is there a debate on who takes a penalty? Pogba has missed four in the last 12 months – so you would think he's had his chance now. Rashford scored last week, take the penalty. 

"But there wasn't a leader on the pitch."

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer later clarified on Sky Sports that Pogba and Rashford share penalty duties, with the decision over who steps up left down to the players themselves.

Gary Neville has dismissed the prospect of a return to coaching after admitting he has no desire to be on the training pitch.

The ex-Manchester United right-back had an ill-fated spell at Valencia in 2015-16, where he was sacked after just four months, and spent four years as part of Roy Hodgson's England backroom coaching staff between 2012 and 2016.

However, the 44-year-old says he is much happier focusing on his TV punditry work and business interests, which include his co-ownership of League Two side Salford City with fellow members of United's 'Class of 92' including brother Phil, David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes.

"There is not one single part of me that wakes up and thinks 'I want to be on the training field'," Neville told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"I had my foray into management in Valencia and it was probably one of the best learning curves I have ever had. It was a clip around the ear, sometimes you need one in life.

"I'm more interested in the board room or in the business side of things. The football side I love. I love watching matches but I just don't want to be on the training pitch, I feel like I've done that part of my life and want to move on."

Neville's brother Phil is manager of the England women's team, while his sister Tracey recently left her role as head coach of the England women's netball team.

England's so-called 'golden generation' never quite delivered on the pitch, but there might still be hope for success in the coaching arena.

Sven-Goran Eriksson's side were beaten in the quarter-finals of three consecutive major tournaments from 2002 to 2006 despite being considered among the favourites.

However, with many of these involved now long since retired, management beckons.

And Wayne Rooney will join a number of former team-mates in taking on a coaching role after agreeing to move to Derby County as player-coach in January.

We take a look at other members of that England team who have taken to the touchline.

GARY NEVILLE

The first on this list is close to the least successful, with Neville sacked after just four months in charge at Valencia, returning to his previous role as a television pundit instead.

While just three wins in 16 LaLiga games saw the end of Gary, brother Phil remained at Valencia for a time as an assistant.

PHIL NEVILLE

Phil Neville also had experience with Manchester United, England Under-21s and Salford City by the time he was surprisingly appointed boss of England Women in January 2018.

The younger brother took the Lionesses to the last four at this year's Women's World Cup. Gareth Southgate, who featured sparingly at the start of Eriksson's era, is similarly impressing with the men's team.

SOL CAMPBELL

Former centre-back Campbell was repeatedly frustrated in his initial attempts to move into management, describing attitudes towards giving black players their first chance in coaching as "archaic" in 2013.

His opportunity finally arrived last year with Macclesfield Town, then bottom of the Football League. A superb turnaround saw the side stay up on the final day. "It's definitely up there with the things I've achieved in football," he said.

STEVEN GERRARD

While Campbell was made to wait for a lowly senior job, ex-colleague Gerrard went in at the top with one of Scotland's biggest clubs, taking over at Rangers at the start of last season.

Having left the Liverpool academy to take the post, Gerrard has a positive impact at Ibrox and led Rangers to their first win over rivals Celtic in six years. He could not prevent the Hoops completing a historic treble-treble, though.

PAUL SCHOLES

Definitely not a success. Scholes' stint at boyhood club Oldham Athletic made Gary Neville's Valencia stretch look steady, with the former midfielder gone after just 31 days.

It was Scholes' decision to quit, as he explained: "It unfortunately became clear that I would not be able to operate as I intended and was led to believe prior to taking on the role."

FRANK LAMPARD

Chelsea favourite Lampard has the potential to be the biggest success of all, having been handed the reigns at Stamford Bridge ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Lampard led Derby to within a whisker of promotion in the play-off final, earning a chance at Chelsea as they prepare for a tough campaign impacted by a transfer ban. His Derby departure allowed for Phillip Cocu to come in and bring in Rooney.

THE REST...

It might only be a matter of time before John Terry has a senior role. He is an assistant at Aston Villa and was linked to the Middlesbrough job, which instead went to former team-mate and fellow rookie Jonathan Woodgate .

Meanwhile, at Manchester United, both Nicky Butt and Michael Carrick form part of the coaching staff.

David James operated as a player-coach at IBV, had a short stint at Luton Town and then took over at Kerala Blasters while continuing in goal. James then returned to the Indian side in 2018 but was sacked after an 11-match winless run.

Darius Vassell has a role at Wolves, Joe Cole is at Chelsea, and Kieron Dyer is part of the Ipswich Town set-up.

Marcus Rashford accepts the controversial expletive-laden social media video posted by Manchester United team-mate Jesse Lingard while the pair were on holiday was "a mistake".

Lingard attracted negative headlines after he uploaded a video touring the unkempt Miami apartment he, Rashford and friends were staying in last month.

England international Lingard was criticised for using inappropriate language in the clip, with former United captain Gary Neville referring to him as "a bit of a prat".

It is claimed Lingard posted the video by accident, though he still attracted plenty of scorn for the language and behaviour on display.

The United squad is back together following their end-of-season break, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men preparing for friendlies in Australia, but Rashford says he has not been spoken to by his manager.

"I haven't spoken to the manager about it," Rashford told reporters in Perth.

"From what I saw of it, people have to understand that he was enjoying his holiday and it was a mistake.

"There's not really much I can say about that."

Mauricio Pochettino is the "outstanding candidate" to be the next permanent Manchester United manager following the departure of Jose Mourinho, according to Gary Neville. 

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