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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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Neville slams Man Utd stars use of social media for making them look ‘fools’

GARY NEVILLE has continued his criticism of footballers’ ‘inauthentic’ social media posts by claiming he no longer recognises many in Manchester United’s dressing room due to their ‘vanilla’ and ‘sanitised’ messages.

The former England international, 46, has been heavily critical of stars not controlling their own accounts and engaging themselves with fans.

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Gary Neville has continued his criticism of how players use social mediaCredit: Rex He says players are being treated ‘like fools’ as employing a social media manager suggests they ‘can’t be trusted to be themselves’.

Writing in his column for The Times, Neville said: “There are characters inside the Manchester United dressing room that I greatly admire not just for their football abilities but their human qualities — vulnerabilities, resilience, sense of humour and all the things that make them distinct. I don’t recognise them at all when I see some of their social media posts.

“I see vanilla, sanitised messages. I read apologies that don’t come over sincerely to me or any United fan. I see half the dressing room posting almost identically-worded tweets like they are reading off a script. And not just at United.

“Some of these tweets and posts are diversion tactics. You feel manipulated reading them and this is meant to be football, not some Putin-esque plot to control the narrative.

“I see social media posts from footballers I know using words, phrases and sentiments that don’t reflect in any way the real person. The posts are ridiculously inauthentic and fans know it.”

United captain Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes have both used Twitter to apologise this season after heavy defeats.

Neville says ‘scripted’ tweets take advantage of fans and players and that they should instead do short pieces-to-camera videos or allow themselves to open up on another platform such as a YouTube channel.

The Sky Sports pundit did admit he has help from outside sources for his social media posts but says he always signs the words off.

It comes after Neville launched a stinging attack on Manchester United’s CEO of media, Phil Lynch, last week for comments made to Sports Pro Influencers.

Neville also criticised the England squad for not sounding authentic on Twitter back in March after several of them posted similar ‘job done’ messages after defeating Albania.

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Harry Maguire has used Twitter several times to apologise to supportersCredit: AP

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Eric Bailly shows his dejection as United were beaten by City in last week’s Manchester derbyCredit: EPA Rio Ferdinand disagrees with Gary Neville and reckons Man Utd’s attacking stars must press or ‘get off the pitch’

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