Manchester United supporters will not forget the damaging impact some Red Devils players have had this campaign, while Jesse Lingard did not have a "god-given right" to an Old Trafford send-off.

That is according to United great Gary Neville, who referenced legendary captains of the club, Steve Bruce and Bryan Robson, not being given special treatment in their final games for the club.

Lingard was not in the squad for the final home game of the season against Brentford last Monday, his last chance to feature at Old Trafford with his contract set to expire at the end of the campaign.

Louie Scott, Lingard's brother, subsequently took to Instagram to take aim at United, venting his anger how the England international could spend 20 years at the club without being offered a farewell.

Neville – speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast – labelled the situation as "nonsense" as he suggested Lingard did not merit a send-off.

"There was a lot of nonsense spoken about Lingard. He's been at the club a long time and done a good job," he said.

"But I've seen Bryan Robson and Steve Bruce not play in their last games for the club and not get a send-off in cup finals.

"They were both great captains and one of them probably is the greatest captain Manchester United have ever had. They didn't get the send-off they wanted so I'm not sure why Lingard deserved it.

"I was thrown away in West Brom in a toilet – sometimes it just doesn't work out, Jesse!

"To feel like you've a god-given right to get some minutes on the pitch based on how they played. Not one of them, other than David de Gea and Cristiano Ronaldo, can complain about what will happen to them this summer."

Lingard was again not present as Brighton and Hove Albion thumped United 4-0 on Saturday, the Red Devils have now conceded more goals (56) than in any previous Premier League campaign.

The result represented a new low in a dire season for United, who will also set their lowest-ever Premier League points tally, sitting on 58 – six fewer than their 2013-14 mark with only one game to play.

Bruno Fernandes accepted the assessment from United supporters that the players "were not fit to wear the shirt", while interim manager Ralf Rangnick apologised for the humiliation at the Amex Stadium.

Neville believes he has never seen the United fans turn on their own players as they did on the south coast, which he suggests shows how bad the performance was.

"It's been a shocking few months. I can't wait for the season to end and to stop talking about them," he added. 

"I was delighted not to be on the Brighton game before it, during it and after it. I can't watch them because it doesn't represent anything that a football club should be, let alone Manchester United.

"The players are only damaging themselves to a point where the fans won't forget. They were singing 'you're not fit to wear the shirt" – I have never, ever, heard United fans resort to that chant. That's a chant you would hear at QPR a few years ago or Sunderland when the fans were walking out.

"I have never known a United fanbase turn on a team like this one. It's now really clear the players have thrown the towel in. They really have. It's been a disgrace for a couple of months. It's embarrassing.

"[Incoming manager Erik] ten Hag has got a massive job to do."

Manchester City regaining the Premier League title is not a foregone conclusion yet, despite Pep Guardiola's side moving three points clear of Liverpool on Sunday.

That is according to Manchester United great Gary Neville, who believes the injury to centre-back Ruben Dias in City's 5-0 rout of Newcastle United offers hope to Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool.

Liverpool were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at home to Tottenham on Saturday, before a Raheem Sterling double inspired City to a comfortable victory the following day.

City furthered their advantage with three games to play and also boast a better goal difference than Liverpool, whose 64 is four fewer than Guardiola's side.

However, Neville – speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast – insisted the title race is not over yet as City face challenging trips to West Ham and Wolves, and a home clash with Aston Villa to secure the championship.

"I do believe Wolves or West Ham could shock Manchester City," he said. 

"With Ruben Dias injured, they are going to teams who have got systems of play that can hurt City. Both teams have had good seasons. They are awkward. City will need to be at their best.

"The centre-back partnership has been obliterated. The injury is a boost for Liverpool's chances. I do think there is something left in this title race. It won't go plain sailing to the end.

"If City get through the next two, they'll win it. Wolves or West Ham have to pull points off City but it's not over.

"If Liverpool had to pick two away games to send City to it probably would be Arsenal and Tottenham, but after that it would be West Ham and Wolves.

"Manchester United have gone and Chelsea have dropped their levels. There is a lot to play for. It's good for the league that Liverpool are playing first and can get level.

"I don't think Liverpool will drop points. They will do their job.

"Whoever finishes first or second you won't say the other one has blown it or bottled it. These two teams never disappoint with their work-rate or attitude. Being professional and preparing well is a permanent thing.

"These two teams do it so well. They care about their work, their attitude, their ethos. It's constant. Under Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, it's been faultless."

At the other end of the table, Leeds United slipped into the relegation zone for the first time since October after their 2-1 loss to Arsenal and Everton's 2-1 win at Leicester City.

Neville acknowledged Jesse Marsch's Leeds are now the favourites to go down alongside Watford and Norwich City, especially after Luke Ayling's mindless dismissal meant he will miss the rest of the season.

"I fear for Leeds I really do," he added. "They are favourites to go down. Everything that could go wrong, Stuart Dallas, Luke Ayling, the spirit and energy of the club, is not there. They are massive players. What Ayling has done will cost them.

"We'll see what happens. But we've got a title race, a good top-four race and a compelling yet awful relegation battle.

"The desperation of going down. And the financial loss is too great. That drop is enormous and a club is going to suffer it. We hear rumours of Burnley paying a £65million loan back, imagine the losses that Everton would suffer and there will be lots of losses at Leeds too.

"It's going to be awful. I've heard the difference between staying up and going down for a Premier League club is £120m of cash they'd have to put in if they didn't sell any players. It's not pocket change.

"That can't be right that the cliff edge is so steep. The fall is so big. But that's the Premier League."

Gary Neville agreed with Jurgen Klopp's verdict on Tottenham under Antonio Conte, believing it shows the coach was not "the right fit" for Manchester United.

United have been linked with Conte on numerous occasions in recent seasons as they have moved from manager to manager since Alex Ferguson's retirement.

The Red Devils have not won the Premier League since Ferguson's final campaign in 2012-13, while Conte has claimed three league titles with three clubs in two countries over the same period.

Now he is seeking to guide Spurs back into the Champions League, frustrating Liverpool to earn a precious 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday.

But the manner in which Conte sets his teams up has been the source of some debate since that match, as Liverpool manager Klopp questioned the tactics employed by his opposite number afterwards. Tottenham had just 34.5 per cent of possession against Liverpool, relying on counter-attacking qualities.

"I don't like this kind of football," Klopp said. "But that's my personal problem. I think they're world class, and I think they should do more for the game."

 

Klopp has the backing of former United captain Neville, who shared a clip of the German's news conference on Twitter as he suggested Conte's style of football would not work at Old Trafford.

"I respect Conte and his football enormously, but this Klopp interview gives the clear reason why he wasn't the right fit for United," Neville wrote.

Former Liverpool man Jamie Carragher, Neville's Sky Sports colleague, replied with evidence of the ex-United man calling for the appointment of Diego Simeone, the Atletico Madrid coach whose tactics might also be considered negative.

But Neville insisted Conte and Simeone were not comparable, suggesting the Atletico boss would work well at United.

"Simeone 4-4-2 aggressive style. Proper United that," Neville responded. "Conte wing backs? No..."

Cristiano Ronaldo is a "phenomenon" who will have a big part to play at Manchester United under incoming head coach Erik ten Hag, according to Gary Neville.

Portugal international Ronaldo struck his 17th Premier League goal of the campaign – and 23rd in all competitions – in United's 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Thursday.

Despite now being 37 years of age, Ronaldo is level with Son Heung-min and behind only Mohamed Salah (22) in the Premier League scoring charts this term.

Indeed, only nine other players from Europe's top five leagues have scored more goals in all competitions in 2021-22 than Ronaldo.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner's place in the side has been questioned at times this season, but Neville insists he is too good a player to overlook – no matter who is in charge.

"He lifts the fans, he gets them on the edge of their seats, takes his chances, and it'll be really interesting to see what happens with Erik Ten Hag," Neville told Sky Sports.

"We know he plays with an aggressive press, he tries to win the ball high up the pitch, that isn't Cristiano's strong point and we know that. But he will want a goalscorer. 

"He will want someone who can put the ball in the back of the net 20 or 25 times. Can United use him as a bridge next season to get them through Erik Ten Hag's first season? 

"Ronaldo is a phenomenon. He's achieved everything and more in the game, his professionalism is beyond anything you could ever wish for, really.

"He still continues – his persistence, his determination to score goals is absolutely incredible. You can't speak highly enough of him. 

"His goal [against Chelsea] was wonderful and he doesn't really lose that belief in himself when the rest of the team is really lacking in confidence – his is still there."

Ronaldo has scored eight of his side's last nine goals, with his strikes across the season worth 14 Premier League points to United, who are languishing down in fifth.

Ralf Rangnick will be replaced by Ajax boss Ten Hag ahead of next season and ex-United midfielder Roy Keane also expects Ronaldo to play a part under the Dutchman.

"I know people are quick to criticise what [Ronaldo] doesn't do, in terms of his pressing, but he was never great at that anyway," Keane said.

"He's the greatest at the hardest part of the game – putting the ball in the back of the net.

"Ten Hag will be having a sleepless night watching the team, but if you've got a player in the group who can score that amount of goals, they have to be involved. 

"He'll want to play week-in, week-out, the new manager will come in and will be looking for another striker but Ronaldo's not hanging around unless he's playing."

Manchester United should not be expected to win trophies under Erik ten Hag immediately, says Gary Neville, warning it is a long job for the Dutchman with a mentally shot squad at Old Trafford.

The Ajax boss will take the reins from interim manager Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season, with the Red Devils arguably facing their lowest point in the post-Alex Ferguson era.

Questions over whether a squad low on confidence can challenge for Champions League football remains in the air, and several key players look destined for the door.

Hopes are high that Ten Hag can facilitate a fast turnaround - but speaking after his appointment, former defender Neville has warned there will be no quick fix at the Theatre of Dreams.

"What we're seeing at this current moment is unacceptable," Neville told Sky Sports News. "Ten Hag has got a big job to get the club back up to those minimum standards.

"They need to achieve [...] attitude, work ethic, belief, confidence and then hopefully you start to think about winning trophies.

"But honestly, I wouldn't be putting too much pressure on Ten Hag in the first one or two years to win a trophy at the club. It would be great if he did and he'd be overachieving, in my opinion.

"It will be: get into the top four, re-establish Man Utd in the Champions League, attract the players into the club who can play in the way he wants to play, and then get a system of belief.

"It took Jurgen Klopp four or five years to win a Premier League title. I wouldn't be putting pressure on Ten Hag to win a Premier League title. They're a million miles away from that.

"At the end of last season, I thought they were getting closer. But it's all collapsed and fallen to pieces. I don't know why that's happened. Ten Hag gets to pick up the pieces."

It has been a dramatic fall from grace for United, after their much-vaunted rebuild under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked on the cusp of paying dividends last term.

But since their Europa League final defeat at the end of the 2021-22 campaign, they have delivered few statement performances, and Neville believes the losing feeling will be hard to shake.

"The players have completely lost their confidence and belief," he added. "They don't want to play football for Manchester United at this moment in time.

"That's not they don't want to play football for the club - they don't want to play football. They want the season to finish. You can see it in their eyes. They just want these games over.

"But the problem is there is no hiding place at this club. All the eyes are still going to be on them and they're going to have to try to turn up. They've got to find something from somewhere.

"I want to be careful in saying there's long-lasting damage but the mental impact of what's happening, that's going to have [a] long-lasting impact on some of those lads."

Ten Hag will succeed Rangnick, with the German expected to remain at the club on a consultancy basis - and Neville feels that it will be the latter who helps the Dutchman dictate transfer policy.

"Recruitment is the most important job in a football club," he said. "If you get the players wrong, you're struggling.

"Rangnick has had four or five months to assess that dressing room. I'm pretty certain they'll be having pretty direct conversations about who he needs to get rid of.

"It's on the tip of Rangnick's tongue in every single interview he does and you feel like he's going to go rogue at some point and start calling players out.

"He's doing it in groups, but there's no doubt Rangnick will be passing on that very specific information about who Ten Hag needs to get rid of - and I'm sure Ten Hag will listen and buy into that."

Gary Neville has described Manchester United as "broken on and off the pitch" after they were thrashed 4-0 by Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday.

Goals from Luis Diaz, Mohamed Salah (two) and Sadio Mane consigned United to another damaging defeat in their hunt for Champions League qualification.

Their great rivals went top of the Premier League meanwhile, with fellow title contenders Manchester City playing Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday.

Neville laid into his former club following the heavy defeat, saying on Sky Sports: "What Manchester United have done is brought players in with piano introductions like [Alexis] Sanchez, or 'Pogback' and all the big palaver around [Paul Pogba's return from Juventus], the Cristiano [Ronaldo] one at the start of the season, they've elevated the player above the manager at the football club as well.

"You go to Liverpool, you go to Chelsea, you go to Manchester City, the manager is the primary figure at the football club. They've undermined managers at Manchester United over the last 10 years by basically elevating the players into this God-like status, and the players haven't performed.

"My view is at this moment in time there are a lot of things, the players could do better, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the start of the season could have done better, Ralf Rangnick maybe could have done better, but fundamentally, the club is broken on and off the pitch.

"The stadium's falling apart, the training ground is slipping to second rate compared to others, the owners are taking £25million a year out the club when actually the club needs investment, and it sets the culture badly from the top."

Since 2003-04, there have been four instances of a player completing 100+ passes in a Premier League match against United. All four of them have been this season, with two of them being tonight (Thiago 105, Virgil van Dijk 106).

The Red Devils will look to bounce back in their crucial trip to top four rivals Arsenal on Saturday.

Gary Neville says there are no guarantees Erik ten Hag will want to take over as Manchester United boss with the club having descended into a "farce".

Ajax head coach Ten Hag is reportedly the man United want to take over from interim boss Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season.

The Red Devils look set to miss out on qualifying for the Champions League next season, as they are seventh in the Premier League after a 1-0 defeat to struggling at Everton on Saturday.

United have not won a trophy since 2017 and are in need of a rebuilding job.

Neville took aim at the players after their latest insipid display and although the former United defender is hopeful they will get their man, he would not be surprised if Ten Hag decides the Old Trafford hotseat is not for him.

He said on the Gary Neville Podcast: "I've got very few words left for Manchester United. No anger, no comment anymore. They are a bit of a farce; you almost expect it from them. The players are taking Ralf Rangnick down with them. They are bad.

"They've got to get to the end of the season as quickly as possible. The reality is that any kind of performance in the last week against Leicester and Everton and they would have been in top four, but they haven't got the spirit or the fight.

"When I look at Manchester City and Liverpool, they have humble football players; no over-inflated egos, they understand their position, the team comes first. There isn't one Manchester United player that would get into any of those two teams, so why would you have an over-inflated ego, think you didn't have to work hard, or be spiritless? I don't see anything anymore."

He added: "I've read in the Sunday papers that Erik ten Hag wants all of his demands met or else he won't come to the club. Imagine if they can't get Ten Hag over the line because of what's happening at the moment, and how bad a state the club are in.

"If you look at what Manchester United are doing to players, there isn't one who has grown. Look at what they did to Donny van de Beek. If you're Ten Hag, I think you're on the phone to Van de Beek. What's it like there, Donny? He's not saying anything good, is he?

"I suspect Ten Hag's demands aren't financial, they will be about control, recruitment, structure, youth. I suspect he wants to come in and make sure he's not exposed to what other managers have been exposed to in these last 10 years.

"That might be too much for Manchester United, and I suspect it may be difficult week or two for the club. I still think they will get it over the line, but the reports this morning were that Ten Hag was placing demands on the club that maybe go above and beyond. We shouldn't believe everything but, ordinarily, when things come out from credible sources we normally know.

"Ralf Rangnick came with an incredible reputation, but he's now starting to be wounded by what's happening around him and he looks weaker and vulnerable on the touchline due to the performances of players on the pitch, who have nothing to do with him."

Gary Neville said being left out of a depleted Manchester United attack will have "killed" Marcus Rashford after the Red Devils laboured to a 1-1 draw with Leicester City.

Despite Ralf Rangnick's side being without Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani through illness and injury, Rashford remained on the bench for the first 55 minutes as United's top-four hopes were dented by the Foxes.

Rashford has recorded just four goals and two assists during a frustrating Premier League campaign, making half of his 20 league appearances from the bench.

Indeed, all four of the 24-year-old's league goals this season have come from the bench, a league-high tally, and Rashford was left out of Gareth Southgate's latest England squad as a result of his poor form.

Acknowledging Rashford's recent slump, Neville questioned what being left out of such a depleted Red Devils team said for the striker's role at the club, during a stark assessment of United's display.

"I was struggling with it [the system] before the game, without a centre-forward," Neville told Sky Sports.

"That's killed Marcus Rashford, not playing in that team.

"I know he's been in poor form, I know he's lacked confidence, but for Cristiano Ronaldo to pull out this morning, and then for Paul Pogba to be put in to change the system, not to just put Marcus Rashford in as a straight swap, after he's trained with the players for the last 10 days.

"Overall, there are too many things at this club that are uncertain: talks about Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford, Cristiano Ronaldo, Cavani, the new manager, Ralf Rangnick – is he going to be a consultant at the end of the season, or is he not?

"They just need to get to the end of the season, but it isn't going to be easy. Everybody's watching, it's Manchester United and there's no hiding place. It was so flat today."

The interim boss, however, defended his decision to bench Rashford, who did not take a shot after entering the fray as a substitute, and said his selection of Pogba in a more advanced role was a tactical choice.

"The only one [striker] we had was Marcus," Rangnick told Sky Sports. "We knew this morning Cristiano could not play and decided to start Paul Pogba.

"After 60 minutes we made the change and had a central striker on the pitch. It's no secret that he [Rashford] was not full of confidence in the last couple of weeks.

"He was training with us, and in training he is looking well. That was the question yesterday, between Paul and Marcus, and we decided to go with Paul."

United have won just one of their last six matches in all competitions, recording three draws and two defeats during that run, having won four and drawn three of their previous seven.

Gary Neville believes Manchester United will make an announcement on a new manager in a "week or so" following reports the club has met with Ajax boss Erik ten Hag.

The Red Devils have been looking for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's permanent successor since appointing Ralf Rangnick in charge on an interim basis back in November.

Dutchman Ten Hag has been frequently linked to the post, alongside Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Now, Neville anticipates that the club could be closing in on their preferred candidate.

"Reports [suggest] Ten Hag has been interviewed this week," the former United defender wrote on Twitter.

"If formal interviews have started and with it being such a public process I would expect a new manager announcement within a week or so."

United are hiring their third permanent manager in the space of six years, following Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer's tenures in the top job.

Since taking the reins, Rangnick has won nine of his 20 games in charge at Old Trafford, but has been unable to prevent the club from going another season empty handed.

Ajax boss Ten Hag meanwhile is on course to lead the Eredivisie outfit to a third successive league title (the 2019-20 season was voided due to the coronavirus pandemic). They have just three top-flight losses this season and lead PSV by two points in the table.

Manchester United great Roy Keane hailed Cristiano Ronaldo's superb display after the 37-year-old's hat-trick downed Tottenham at Old Trafford.

United were twice pegged back by their rivals for the top four during an absorbing contest, but Ronaldo's 81st-minute header sealed just his second treble in United colours and a crucial 3-2 win for the hosts.

The Portugal legend has now scored in each of his past seven appearances against Tottenham in all competitions, and his 14 goals against Spurs represent his highest tally against any English club.

Speaking on Sky Sports after the match, former United captain Keane labelled the striker a "genius" and said Ralf Rangnick's team needed to keep their talisman beyond the end of this season.

"Ronaldo looked angry today, he played with a lot of aggression," Keane said. "He's obviously upset with whatever happened last week [missing United's 4-1 loss to Manchester City], but he showed today what we have seen over the years. 

"The guy's a genius, his three goals were fantastic. He brings so much to the team, why people think he cannot bring goals or value...

"For as great as he is, the next challenge for Ronaldo is to make this United team compete again for league titles. 

"Ronaldo is a huge part of the rebuilding of the club. When he's producing like that, you need Ronaldo in your team. 

"Ronaldo has been doing this throughout his career, he's been doing it for years. I think he can do it for another season."

One-time Old Trafford team-mate Gary Neville called Ronaldo's performance "magical", but he did not hold back in his criticism of United's "awful" defensive performance, having now conceded 40 times in the Premier League this season.

"Manchester United are not very good, I have to say," Neville said. "But there are moments in the game that are magical.

"The fans are buzzing because they've seen Ronaldo, they feel like they've seen something special.

"But in terms of the performance, if Spurs get a late winner, United fans are going home and saying how bad we are today. It wasn't a great performance.

"Manchester United's biggest problem is not Cristiano Ronaldo. Their defending is awful. Every team that comes here creates bags of chances."

Gary Neville labelled Manchester United "a disgrace" after their feeble second-half surrender in the 4-1 derby defeat to Manchester City.

After an exciting first half saw City edge 2-1 in front thanks to a Kevin De Bruyne double, the fizz went out of United's performance and they barely saw the ball in the closing stages.

Riyad Mahrez helped himself to two goals and United were out-shot 14-0 in the second half by a rampant home side at the Etihad Stadium.

It became a drubbing as United folded, and former club captain Neville said Ralf Rangnick's team let themselves down dreadfully.

During the final minutes of the game, Neville – now a commentator for Sky Sports – offered a string of stinging assessments.

"They've given up... they're walking around the pitch... nowhere near good enough," he said.

"They've absolutely thrown the towel in. The intensity and effort in the last 20 minutes has been non-existent."

United had just 21.1 per cent of possession in the second half, and their passing accuracy after the break was a poor 75 per cent. City's accuracy across the 90 minutes was a precise 92.7 per cent, underlining the quality they displayed.

Neville continued to be stinging as City's win was confirmed, adding: "Manchester United finished like an absolute shower.

"They were a disgrace in that last 25 minutes."

He spared Rangnick the most excoriating of his criticism, with the interim manager filling a gap between full-time appointments.

United had been unbeaten in eight Premier League games prior to this crushing setback.

The performance must have come as a shock to Rangnick, and Neville said: "The first time he's come up against a proper team, they've been given a proper doing."

Manchester United's season will be defined over the next month, according to former Red Devils captain Gary Neville.

United defeated Leeds United 4-2 on Sunday to extend their advantage over fifth-placed West Ham to four points as the top-four race for Champions League qualification continues to twist and turn.

Arsenal are down in sixth, also four points behind United, but the Gunners boast three games in hand heading into the crunch period of the Premier League campaign.

With trips to Manchester City and Liverpool to come in March, sandwiched by a home clash with Tottenham, Neville believes the upcoming month will be pivotal for Ralf Rangnick's side.

Speaking on his Sky Sports podcast, Neville said: "They are playing Atletico Madrid away on Wednesday; they have got Tottenham, Liverpool, Manchester City coming up.

"It is a big month and that month is going to define the season in terms of finishing in the top four and progressing in the Champions League.

"There is a lot of stuff coming out on a continuous basis: the captaincy, who they want as the next manager, cliques in the dressing room. 

"All that sort of stuff comes out, but they do continue to keep having those big moments in matches where their brilliant players can still deliver for them and they do win games in moments.

"They have got to stop those mad moments, those five-minute periods where they concede two goals, because if you concede two against City, Liverpool or Atletico, you are out of the game.

"Manchester United needed these points in the bag. It is inconceivable that, coming out of Tottenham at home, Manchester City away and Liverpool away that they are going to get seven to nine points. 

"They could easily come out of those three games with four points or five points or three points - you don't know. They are the type of games in any season over the last five or 10 years you could lose.

"If you are Ralf Rangnick, you have got to plan that you are going to drop points in those three matches, not that you would foresee it or want it, but it could happen. 

"These points that he has got from these last few matches will be needed. If you had said to me when Rangnick took over with the run of fixtures that they have got, this is where I would have wanted them to have been, maybe a point or two in front. 

"I still don't think it is plain-sailing and I still think it could turn quite quickly as I don't think it is stable behind the scenes at all."

Rangnick was appointed in the wake of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's departure from Old Trafford, with the German arriving on an interim basis with an agreement for a two-year consultancy role after.

There were some suggestions that Rangnick could continue in charge after the 2021-22 campaign, but Neville insisted that United will have a new manager in place for the following season.

"I don't think he gets the job at the end of the season, come what may, now," he added. 

"Maybe there was a feeling at the beginning that it could happen; that isn't going to happen. Manchester United will have a new manager next season.

"He will have a say in who gets the job because what he has got is a real good view of the characters, personalities, performance levels and training levels of the current group of players so he is in a strong position to advise. 

"He is probably in the strongest position to advise because he is having day-to-day contact with them. He is seeing how they cope with disappointment, how they cope with atmospheres, how they cope with big games, how they cope with training; can they meet the demands of the club? Have they got the quality?

"People say he is a sporting director and a coach, but the reality is that his position as a coach is short-term; his position as assisting the club, constructing their new methodology and structure moving forward is a longer term position for two years. 

"I'd rather him get that bit right; I'd rather suffer in the short-term for the longer-term perspective being right. He has got good experience around building structures in football clubs and Manchester United do need that.

"The manager has got to be right next season to be able to take on [Thomas] Tuchel, [Pep] Guardiola and [Jurgen] Klopp because if you don't take on those three with a manager who can face them like-for-like, you will get beat up. 

"It has been proven over the last few years that great managers in this league will bring you great things; Manchester United need a great manager to compete with the ones that are at that level in this league at this moment in time."

Gary Neville has described Manchester United as being "like a broth of 100 ingredients" and insisted Ralf Rangnick is not solely to blame for his former club's issues.

United have squandered half-time leads to draw 1-1 with Burnley and Southampton in their past two top-flight matches, seeing them drop to fifth.

It marks only the second time in their Premier League history that United have failed to win back-to-back games in which they have led at the midway point.

United are winless in three in all competitions, meanwhile, having also been pegged back at 1-1 by Middlesbrough before losing on penalties in the FA Cup fourth-round tie.

The Red Devils strengthened ahead of this campaign by bringing in Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo, but Neville does not believe there is any real plan at Old Trafford.

"You put that many ingredients into a soup, you don't know which one in the end is making it taste bad," he told Sky Sports. "You lose your sanity over what's good and what's bad.

"I felt they were near last season [when they finished second] but now I feel they are as far away as they've ever been from winning the league.

"Maybe the right appointment in the summer and a little bit of a shuffle with someone who is calculated, ruthless and knows where the problem lies could change things again.

"Right now, I'm looking at a broth of 100 ingredients and don't know which of them I want to get rid of to make it taste better. It's a mess and United fans must take their medicine."

Rangnick, appointed as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's successor on an interim basis until the end of the campaign in November, has naturally shouldered much of the blame of late.

United have averaged fewer goals per game under the German than they have under any other manager in Premier League history (1.4 – 14 goals in 10 games).

Former United midfielder Paul Scholes claimed on the back of Saturday's draw with Southampton that Rangnick is nothing more than a sporting director.

But amid rumours that United's players are pushing the club to appoint Mauricio Pochettino, Neville is not sure if a new man in the dugout will have the desired effect.

"It now gets to a point where you don't feel it's down to the manager anymore," said Neville, who won 17 major honours across his near two decades in United's first team.

"Ole was getting a lot of criticism at the start of the season and loses his job and it's now being suggested that Rangnick isn't good enough because he's a sporting director and he's not a coach.

"There's a confidence issue but there's also an issue of excuse mentality and of looking after themselves and not looking at the bigger picture, which is creating a brilliant team and trying to get back up that league."

Rangnick was forced to defend himself after the draw with Southampton, pointing out that United are not getting the results that their performances deserve.

United had 12 shots against Southampton to go with 22 attempts at Burnley and 30 over 120 minutes of the FA Cup clash with Middlesbrough, yet they failed to win each.

Since Rangnick's first game in charge on December 5, United have scored 17 goals in all competitions, but their expected goals (xG) figure is 23.3.

That differential of -6.3 is the third-biggest among all teams in Europe's top-five leagues in that time, behind only Lyon (-8) and Rayo Vallecano (-7.4).

By contrast, Premier League leaders Manchester City have scored 38 goals in the same timeframe from an xG of 29.9 – a positive differential of 8.11.

While an inability to put chances away is proving an issue, Neville believes United's issues run much deeper.

"You can't put your finger on one thing when you watch United nowadays," he said. "Every day feels like a soap opera. You hear the players want Pochettino, then Ronaldo's going to leave.

"The last few weeks have been terrible in terms of off-the-pitch incidents. On the pitch, I saw [Southampton manager] Ralph Hasenhuttl's quote after the game, which I think is the biggest criticism you can have levelled at you as a sportsperson or an athlete – that you don't work hard enough.

"I look at them on the pitch and there's definitely a number of them who are lacking in confidence. There's also a few of them who are not putting a shift in. The hard yards.

"That I can't forgive because as a United fan all that you can ask is that they give their all on the pitch. It looks lethargic and they don't look like they have the quality to chase games. Something has got to change there very quickly."

Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick brushed off criticism of his players' body language instead insisting their problem was physicality in Monday's 1-1 draw with Newcastle United.

United needed substitute Edinson Cavani's 71st-minute strike to earn a point away to the struggling Magpies who went ahead early from Allan Saint-Maximin.

Former United defender and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville was scathing of the side's performance but also the "whinging" body language of Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes' specifically.

But the German boss brushed off that criticism, calling it a "side effect" from other issues.

"I don’t think today it was a problem of body language," Rangnick said during the post-game news conference. "It was a question of physicality, meeting the demands with regard to speed, tempo and physicality.

"The side effect is the body language afterwards. I don’t think that was the major problem for us today.

"The major problem was the way we played in those moments when it was about physicality."

Neville was forthright in his criticism of the Portuguese pair in particular, insisting more is needed from the side's senior and better players.

"Yeah, it's annoyed me for about two months," Neville said on Sky Sports. "Your best players in your team, it's devastating when those players are giving that look and body language towards the other ones. They have to help them and be the father and the grandparent in the team.

"I made massive mistakes as a young player at Manchester United but had good senior players who would have a go at me, but they would also put their arm around me and help me and I don't get the feeling that's happening.

"I think there's something wrong in there. Bruno's whingeing all the time. You've got to be there when your team-mates need you in the most difficult moments."

Rangnick also refused to use United's recent COVID-19 outbreak as an excuse, which saw two games postponed and the side not play since the 1-0 win over Norwich City on December 11.

 "It’s also a question of rhythm, but we shouldn't look for excuses - we need to get better and get more physical and more precise when we’re in possession of the ball," Rangnick said.

"I was not happy with our performance with the ball or when we had to press and counter-press. It’s about sprinting, about energy and what kind of energy mode do we play with the ball and against the ball.

"In three days, we have the next game at home against Burnley and then another, four days later, when we play Wolves at home, so both games are in our own stadium.

"We can do better, I know the players can play better than we did today, but we have to do it and sustainably do it on the pitch in those two home games if we want to get the points."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's lack of playing time will cause problems for Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, according to Gary Neville.

The Gabon international dropped to the bench for Monday's 2-1 defeat to Everton, with Arteta instead using Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Martinelli in attack.

Arteta turned to Eddie Nketiah from the substitutes' bench before finally introducing Aubameyang five minutes from time.

Aubameyang missed a glorious chance shortly after Demarai Gray had fired in what proved to be a superb late winner for Everton to relieve the pressure on Rafael Benitez.

Arsenal's out-of-form captain has now failed to score in his last six Premier League appearances, which is his longest run in the competition and his longest goalless league run since going 14 without a goal for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga between February and August 2014.

Former Dortmund striker Aubameyang has had 15 shots across that barren spell and has failed to find the net from an expected goals (xG) return of 3.1.

Neville does not believe Aubameyang will react well to being left on the bench for so long, with the Manchester United legend predicting a possible parting of the ways between the player and club in January.

"I think there will be a problem with Aubameyang off the back of this game," Neville told Sky Sports. "I don't think he'll like the idea of Eddie Nketiah coming on before him. I don't think he'll like the idea of being a substitute, full stop.

"There's always that little bit of a bug there between Arteta and Aubameyang. I know he's the captain but he leaves him out and it just feels like something that's a little bit awkward, and it's going to cause a problem.

"I suspect, if Arteta could probably get money for Aubameyang and he could get someone else, they probably would. And I bet if Aubameyang could move on he probably would as well because it could maybe turn a little sour."

Aubameyang failed to find the target from his two efforts against Everton and now has a big chance conversion rate of 33.33 per cent in the Premier League this season.

That is down from 46.2 per cent last season and 63.0 the season before when registering 22 goals in 36 games, matching his tally from 2018-19.

Arsenal, who had taken the lead against Everton through Martin Odegaard's strike before late goals from Richarlison and Gray, are seventh in the league after losing three of their last four games.

The Gunners have named the youngest average starting line-up in the English top flight this season and Neville believes a lack of experience is costing Arteta.

"I think when we talk about this being a young team in terms of the average age, when you go to places like Old Trafford and Goodison Park in a night game one or two of the young players won't have experienced it too many times," he said.

"I remember my first game going to Anfield and it was tough, going to Arsenal at Highbury. You need experience to get you through those difficult moments when the crowd go up and a few decisions go against you and you can feel something happening.

"You need comfort in there. You need that spine. Arsenal's senior players are not really massive characters. They are not really leaders. They don't get those young players through those difficult moments in the game so the other players just go under a little."

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