Gary Neville condemned Manchester United’s performance in Newcastle as “a disaster” after describing Ralf Rangnick’s side as “a bunch of assholes” during a withered half-time evaluation.
United were second best against penultimate Newcastle throughout the match with Edinson Cavani scoring a leveling in the 71st minute for an undeserved 1-1 drawing.
Newcastle then hit the post as the home side continued to pose the biggest threat in attack even with strikers Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin forced out through injury.
“There was a disaster in the second half, in terms of lineup, style – it was desperation,” said Neville. Sky Sports Monday night football full time.
“It was really worrying. I think Rangnick is going to hate a lot for that performance.”
United, who were playing for the first time in 16 days, fell behind in the first 19 minutes when Saint-Maximin shot in the back of David de Gea. The striker then wasted a glorious chance early in the second half before De Gea made a superb save in the final to save a point for the visitors.
Neville had been fierce in his criticism of the half-time guests, repeatedly describing the United players as “middle-class”.
“They haven’t done a single thing right as a team, and no single player can come in and say they’ve done their job, or even done themselves justice,” Neville said. “There were no positives. Nothing.
“They’re whining to each other! They’re a bunch of assholes! A bunch of assholes! Watch them on that field, honestly, with their arms in the air, moaning about everything! Honestly, they’re absolutely shocking out there in this first half. They took the sack from the last coach! Ralf Rangnick will not get the sack, he only had a few weeks with them, but honestly, they will take the sack of many coaches, so many, if they carry on like this. “
After the game, Neville added: “There is something wrong. I don’t know what it is, but there are definitely complaints going on: they are all against each other and not helping each other.
“The spirit of a dressing room is really important and I don’t think they are all together at the moment.
“There is a struggle for leadership underway. Harry Maguire is the captain but he doesn’t feel like the captain.”
Neville is furious at Ronaldo and Fernandes’ “whining”
Cavani was introduced as a half-time substitute in place of Mason Greenwood and was one of the few United players to make something of a positive impression on the proceedings.
Cristiano Ronaldo was quiet, but it was the striker’s subdued response to the final whistle that particularly annoyed Neville.
“We talk about body language and we talked about it at the start of the season when Ronaldo ran away at the end of the game with Everton. He ran away again tonight. He fled to Watford, when everyone knew the manager was going to be fired. And in Norwich.
“And there are also Fernandes’ complaints.
“They are the two senior players. It is devastating for the younger players when the two best players look at each other player as if they are not good enough.
“Cavani takes it off. I don’t think Cavani fades in the presence of Ronaldo or Fernandes, I think he stands up to them and helps other young players on the pitch. He needs to be on the pitch.
“I don’t care how you played, you have to go further and cheer the fans at the end of the match. Get close to them, especially when you are the best player in the world and one of the greatest of all time.
“It has been bothering me for about two months. The best players on your team … it’s devastating when they show that look and that body language to the younger ones.”
Neville worried about the new lineup
Neville had expressed his reservations before Rangnick’s favorite 4-2-2-2 match and these concerns were reinforced by United’s troubles at St James’ Park.
“I don’t like the system,” Neville said. “The balance in attack is difficult and the balance in defense is difficult.
“The 4-2-2-2 was a fight from an offensive point of view but I also thought about it against Norwich [in United’s previous game] that there were signs that you could have isolated Manchester United full backs.
“I felt for Diogo Dalot tonight. He was exposed at times but kept his job. But let’s be clear, the two Man Utd midfielders were absolutely atrocious. Harry Maguire is having a nightmare season and Varane has just come back. inside.
“I don’t know of any team in Europe that play very well with this system. It’s a huge demand for full backs.”