With a sensational Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick at Old Trafford on Saturday, the Red Devils recaptured fourth place – at least until Arsenal play – and beat Spurs 3-2 in an enthralling match.
Ralf Rangnick, the interim manager, has only lost twice since taking over, but Neville believes there are still major difficulties with team spirit and togetherness at United, and that the win over Tottenham should not be taken too seriously.
After United’s win, Neville remarked on Sky Sports, “I think there’s enormous difficulties in that dressing room, I truly do at this moment in time, between the characters in the dressing room that exist.”
‘I don’t think it’s really good.’ To be fair, if Tottenham had taken the lead at any stage during the game, it would have capitulated swiftly.
‘I don’t think there’s a deep spirit in that changing room that you see in games.’ The performances are inconsistent.
‘You get the idea from Ralf Rangnick’s interviews that he doesn’t care about the team; it’s not in his name, in his attitude, or in the way he wants to play.’
‘He’s just trying to get through the season as best he can and perform the best job he can, and he’s plastering over major cuts and wounds,’ says the coach.
‘Obviously, if you don’t accept being left out, you’ll have an issue with the manager, but your friend who’s gone to play for you, you’ve got to make sure you look after him and wish him all the best,’ he continued.
‘We’ve all been left out in situations where we felt it was harsh, but you go into that dressing room and tell the person who’s taken your position, “Come on, have a good one today.” That is, if you have a good dressing room.
‘At the moment, Manchester United do not have that dressing room.’ “I hope the person who’s going in for me has a horrible game today,” they’ll presumably be thinking as they sit on the sideline watching their teammates. I believe there is some of that, but I don’t believe it is that powerful [a dressing room].’
‘Yeah, it doesn’t look like a good dressing room,’ said fellow pundit Roy Keane. Man United have some quality players, but that is why they are fighting to finish fourth and are losing to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup and West Ham at home in the Carabao Cup.
‘This collection of players lacks that spirit and fighting spirit. We saw a little bit of it [against Spurs], we saw Ronaldo’s brilliance, but Man United’s problems remain. And that’s why Man United is fighting for fourth place, which is the best it’ll get for a while.’