Neville claims Man Utd have made the same mistake ‘again’ with Ten Hag; reveals concerns over duo

Joe Williams
Man Utd duo Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho
Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho speak during a match.

Manchester United legend Gary Neville hopes the Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho situations aren’t doing “damage” to Erik ten Hag’s job at Old Trafford.

Sancho came off the bench in the Red Devils’ first three Premier League matches but was left out of Ten Hag’s squad for their 3-1 defeat at Arsenal before the international break.

Ten Hag revealed that it was because of the Man Utd winger’s poor performances in training with Sancho hitting back in a social media post and declaring himself a “scapegoat”.

Reports have claimed that Sancho has since refused to apologise to Ten Hag and he’s now training away from the first team squad.

Maguire, meanwhile, had the captaincy taken away from him before the season after dropping down the pecking order at Old Trafford with many expecting him to leave Man Utd before the end of the transfer window.

And Neville wonders how damaging those two “situations” are becoming within the Man Utd dressing room.

READ MORE: Sacking Ten Hag would solve nothing. Man Utd should look at Fergie, Arteta for inspiration…

Speaking on his Sky Sports podcast, Neville said:”[Ten Hag] will continue to keep doing what he is doing, which is following his beliefs, his values, his principles.

“The only thing I would say is, how popular is Sancho in the dressing room? How popular is Maguire in the dressing room?

“This discomfort and uncertainty is being created on the inside. You have got a player at the moment, who is probably changing in the first-team dressing room but is obviously over with the academy.

“You have got Harry Maguire, who was captain of these players 12 months ago by the way, who is now almost in some ways alienated and is now third, fourth, fifth-choice centre-half.

“So, he’s got some situations in there and I don’t know the damage that they are having.

“But in terms of his work on the pitch, I don’t think Erik ten Hag will change, and the fact of the matter is that there are many a manager, good managers, over the last 10 or 12 years since Sir Alex Ferguson left that have found challenges at Manchester United.”

Neville believes only a “change of ownership” will see Man Utd challenging for Premier League titles again with the Red Devils making the same recruitment mistakes once again.

The Man Utd legend added: “What I am hoping at the moment is that this is just a difficult start to the season and it’s not a repeat of what we have seen previously, where it became challenging for [Jose] Mourinho, for [Louis] Van Gaal, for [David] Moyes, and obviously for [Ralf] Rangnick and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“So, I hope that this is not the beginning of that.

“There is no Manchester United fan I know, that has got a brain, that is most angry with Erik ten Hag. What they want really is a change of ownership and they want stability and they want a group of players that are committed.

“And I don’t think the players aren’t committed. I just wonder how good they are. That is my concern.

“The club has been pulled from pillar to post over this last 10 or 11 years from a sporting point of view because of their manager’s wishes on recruitment. And it’s happened again.

Erik ten Hag Man Utd

“They are Erik ten Hag’s players, those are the ones he wanted, Jose brought in the lads that he wanted, like Lukaku and Pogba and those lads, and Van Gaal went for a very technical type of player, loads of left-footed centre backs and left-backs and stuff like that.

“They have all brought in who they wanted to bring in. I thought this time there would be a stronger sporting project behind the scenes that would enable Manchester United to bring in a group of players.

“But Manchester United have again allowed the manager to influence the signings and that is my concern with the club. They have got no strength at the very top.

“If you are talking about the best sporting operators in this country and in Europe, Manchester United don’t have them, they just don’t and that is my concern.

“Look, there is no hysteria, we are where we are but [the Brighton game] was a sobering day and I don’t think many people were surprised by it.

“They go to Munich in midweek and then an awkward one at Burnley on Saturday night. Munich, you would fear the worst for them a little bit, but you never know. There are players there that can step up.

“But the amount of money Manchester United have spent on that squad, it should have been a lot better. They’ve signed Onana, Hojlund and Mount.

“Does that make them better than what they were? Hojlund has got promise, but I feel for him a little bit. He has been asked to carry the whole of the team in some ways.

“Let’s see what happens but there are concerns, definitely, and concerns from the fans and concerns generally within the club. It doesn’t look right at this moment in time and it needs to stabilise.”