Gary Neville has explained why he labelled Manchester United “an odd bunch”, alluding to the team’s lack of consistency within matches despite challenging for the title.
During United’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Saturday night, Neville described his former team as “an odd bunch” while on co-commentary duty.
The former United right-back has since elaborated, referencing how United experience regular dips in matches and that he doesn’t feel their patterns of play are improving, despite being only three points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Neville argued that United’s lack of rhythm could be as a result of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s regular rotation.
“I called them an ‘odd bunch’ because they don’t put really good performances together over the course of a few matches,” he told the Gary Neville Podcast. “They play for 10 minutes and then they go away for 15 minutes and there’s a moment when they go one down and then come back – it’s just odd.
“You watch them, you see patterns of teams develop, but there are very few patterns with the Manchester United team and that’s maybe a little bit because of the fact that they do rotate a little bit more.
“Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does seem to rotate four or five times in midweek and then change it again at the weekend, maybe that consistency isn’t quite there. That’s a good thing, he’s got that from the Sir Alex Ferguson era – trust your squad, trust your players, trust your squad and I do think he’s got a number of players whereby if you see the Liverpool front three, the drop off is huge.
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Manchester United missed multiple chances to beat Arsenal on Saturday evening, drawing 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium.
Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford were culpable of squandering opportunities, as United now sit three points off league leaders Man City having played a game more.
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“But actually, if you play McTominay, he’s probably the number one in midfield alongside Fred, but if you play Matic, it’s not a huge drop off, actually, you could flip a coin between them who plays. It’s the same with Van de Beek, Pogba and Fernandes – Fernandes is number one but actually the drop off to Pogba is equal probably at times.
“There’s not that massive drop between all the players. There’s a couple that have to play, Maguire has to play, Fernandes plays, but the rest of them you can drop without a big drop off. Luke Shaw now, even though Telles has done well.”