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Gary Neville: Man Utd are a train off the track, but I don’t see them sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Gary Neville says Manchester United are “a train off the track” at the moment, but does not believe the club will sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

A dismal first-half performance consigned Manchester United to a 2-0 defeat by Manchester City at Old Trafford, their fourth defeat in six Premier League games.

After a relatively stabilising week leading up to the derby, the heat is back on United and Solskjaer as they sit nine points off leaders Chelsea with just over a quarter of the season gone.

In his latest podcast, Gary Neville gives his views on the managerial situation, and where Manchester United go from here…

Download the Gary Neville Podcast on: Spotify | Apple | Castbox

‘Horrid, horrid week ahead after break…’ Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Gary Neville says Manchester United’s performance against Manchester City was unacceptable, and he fears it could get ‘ugly’ if things don’t improve. Neville doesn’t doubt that the players are putting in effort, but he fears for the three upcoming games after the international break, and describes Manchester United as a “train off the track”.

“I think these players care. I want to make that point; there were times a few years ago where I left Old Trafford thinking: ‘Are these players really with us?’ But with these players, I don’t think it’s a lack of effort or willingness or want. I think those players want to do well, and want to be at Manchester United, every single one of them. But they look like they are suffering badly at this moment in time.

Man Utd’s upcoming fixturesMan Utd 0-2 Man City – Report and highlightsKeane shocked by Man Utd performanceUnited outclassed by City but what now?”I think the club will put Saturday down to Pep Guardiola, Manchester City, and believe that this could happen to any team in any season.

“They’ve got Watford away, Villarreal away and then Chelsea away. That’s a horrid, horrid week. This is not going to get any easier in the short term.

“The social media noise is different to the noise in the stadium. They were shouting against Nuno in the Spurs stadium last week; that won’t happen here with Ole at Old Trafford. We didn’t hear that with Jose, with Van Gaal, with Moyes, or even with Ron Atkinson 35 years ago. The fans here don’t do that, they are respectful of the situation, but this is a train off the track at the moment.

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Roy Keane didn’t hold back in his criticism of Manchester United’s defending in the first half of the Manchester derby. “Last season, people said second in the league is progression, it’s now not progression. That has to change very quickly. Against big teams, they look desperately short, and they shouldn’t. That’s where the manager comes under enormous pressure, and questions are asked, and on social media the pressure will be hot, but the contingent on social media are very different to the fans in the stadium itself.

“The contingent on social media don’t have the sympathy, the empathy, the compassion that the fans in the stadium have. But the fans walked out towards the end of Saturday’s game, because they knew it wasn’t right.

“The club have not prepared for this, not prepared for a new manager, they didn’t expect it, they thought everything was sort of plain sailing along.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits his Manchester United side are going through a ‘difficult period’, but insists he is capable of turning their fortunes around. “They’ve planned around a structure of way of working in the last two or three years that they’re not going to veer away from, but in this moment in time they’re going to have to put their helmets on if they’re going to defend it.

“Because the reality of it is it’s nowhere near good enough and you can’t defend it. They’ve only played a couple decent sides in Tottenham, Liverpool and City. They should have already had plenty of points in the bank to deal with that. It’s unacceptable with this squad.”

Man Utd’s next six fixturesNovember 20: Watford (A)

November 23: Villarreal (A) – Champions League

November 28: Chelsea (A) – Live on Sky Sports Premier League

December 2: Arsenal (H)

December 5: Crystal Palace (H)

December 8: Young Boys (H) – Champions League

‘City game was 12 rounds of real pain’ Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester City’s win against Manchester United in the Premier League. Neville described the Manchester City defeat as demoralising, and said United’s neighbours were toying with them in the second half.

“At the end of the game there was a consensus as to where Man City are and where Man Utd are, and it’s not where anyone expected Man Utd to be at the start of this season.

“They came second last year, third the year before. This was the year, especially adding Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, where Man Utd were going to get closer.

Premier League fixtures | Results | TableGet Sky Sports | Live football on Sky Sports”It’s difficult to summarise the game other than to say that against Liverpool it was smash, bang, wallop. But this was like a general anesthetic – City put United to sleep. For the last half an hour, City toyed with United and made them look really ordinary. It was demoralising.

“I’m a Man Utd fan, and you marvel at the exceptional quality and discipline of City. The discipline of Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus to stay in their position; there’s a method to it which is clinical and ruthless. That was a brutal second half, even though they didn’t score.

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Gary Neville and Micah Richards engage in a heated debate over the degree of responsibility that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should take for Manchester United’s current problems. “That was like 12 rounds of real pain, like when Tyson Fury says he wants the other boxer to feel the pain for 12 rounds of three minutes, not to knock them out but to toy with them. That’s how it felt. It’s a brilliant team, and it’s a sobering day for United.

“We saw what this City time were like at Anfield, and at Stamford Bridge. They’re not going to come here to Old Trafford and panic, especially on a big pitch that’s like a carpet. They’re going to come here and rub their stomachs, imagining what they’re about to eat, it’s delicious!

“City did what they do, and United had no answers for it, and those lack of answers are the most disturbing thing. What City delivered is what we expected.

“It was demoralising to the point that it gives you a headache watching it. You can lose football matches, but I always feel Manchester United have to lose football matches in a certain way. They’ve lost against Liverpool and City in poor ways. They’ve not left a glove on City. On Saturday, it felt like Manchester United just got into their shape and that was enough.”

‘The club won’t do anything’ Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

The Soccer Saturday panel debate whether Cristiano Ronaldo makes Manchester United a better side or whether he’s a hindrance to their style of play. Neville still believes the club won’t act by sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and said new Spurs manager Antonio Conte was never an option, but admits the fans will be confused as to where the club are going.

“The club aren’t going to do anything here. Getting Antonio Conte was never, ever going to happen. The hierarchy were never going to appoint him, as great a manager as he is.

“The plan all season has been to stick with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer until the end of the season, and that’s where I’m at, even after Saturday.

“But it’s tough going. Being that far behind the top with 11 games gone, that can’t happen. He’s progressed from sixth to third to second, and should have won the Europa League final against Villarreal. I hark back to that because when you lose finals, it has a real impact on players.

“If you win it, the medal around your neck, you get used to winning. Going out of the Carabao Cup to West Ham – it’s a big problem. That can’t happen, it’s a trophy you can win. The league has almost gone, the Champions League is a long shot because of the quality of teams. The FA Cup and Carabao Cup cannot be dismissed, and going out to West Ham was a really bad situation for the club to be in.

“I think the fans left this stadium on Saturday tired and drained from what they’ve seen. Thinking: ‘Where are we on our journey as a club?'”

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