May 13, 2021

Man Utd

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What pundits have said about Manchester United so far this season

4 min read

Manchester United’s 2020/21 season has been a bumpy ride, with the campaign stuttering at the start and leading to pressure upon Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

However, the response since December has been superb as United have one foot in the semi-finals of the Europa League and hold their top-four fate in the Premier League in their own hands.

That has presented Solskjaer with a solid platform to build upon heading into the final months of the campaign and into next term, where United will hope to be fighting for Premier League glory.

Unsurprisingly, leading pundits have been outspoken about United so far this season and we have gathered a selection of what they have had to say.

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Gary Neville (Sky Sports)

Speaking during the match against West Ham: “The onus is on United. When you see United, you watch them at Crystal Palace a couple of weeks ago and today, they pass it too slowly. Lindelof here just wondering across the pitch and then he does that (long ball to nobody). It’s almost like they need to be spiked, this Manchester United team, into action and that’s probably why they’re not where they want to be in the league.

“Last week against Man City, City were playing quickly and United proved they could play at the right level but when they play against a team that drops off them, the speed of their passing drops, the tempo drops and it’s not good enough.

“They have to get it up every single game, week-in, week-out, otherwise, they won’t win the title again.”

Rio Ferdinand (BT Sport)

Speaking about United’s title charge: ‘You can’t defend it. Man United were sitting pretty at the top of the league. You see the league table, you look at the results, you get excited. When you put yourself in that position, Man United have to strike.

“When there’s an opportunity you’ve got to go. The problem is we’ve let this opportunity slip through our hands. You can see Man City with their experience, they’ve smelt blood, they’ve put their heads down, they’ve gone. But Man United have stuttered, we’ve got the choke going in and out, haven’t got it quite working properly.

“We have choked, it’s simple as that. I’d put us out of the title challenge unless we go on a run and we change our habits and our lack of consistency. But I haven’t seen enough to suggest we can go on a ten, 15-game winning streak. We’re tripping ourselves up all the time.”



Rio Ferdinand has backed David de Gea to leave Manchester United should he be replaced as first-choice goalkeeper by Dean Henderson

Roy Keane (Sky Sports)

Speaking after the 3-3 draw with Everton: “I’m surprised, really, because I still think United – we’re not saying over the last 12 months that they could challenge Man City – but I think they will be the best of the rest.

“They were disappointed to drop points (against Everton) but they still scored three goals and I still think they’ll finish second. I think they’ll be the nearest to Man City.

“But listening to Ole and maybe the last few performances – again the goalkeeper (David De Gea against Everton) – they probably don’t have the belief that they can challenge Man City. And if you don’t have the belief that you can do it, there’s a good chance you won’t do it. But they are capable of scoring lots of goals…”

Michael Owen (BT Sport)

Speaking after United’s FA Cup win against Liverpool: “It was open. ‘I suppose from Liverpool’s point of view it was a disappointing result, however, scoring two goals that will delight Jurgen Klopp. Mo Salah with both of them.

I think today the difference with the two sides: one is very confident, on a great run of form at the moment and the other just having a bit of a blip. That almost played out.”

Micah Richards (Sky Sports)

On Bruno Fernandes: “There are many fine candidates this year, not least Ruben Dias and Ilkay Gundogan, but the outstanding footballer of 2020-21 is Bruno Fernandes.

“His numbers at this stage of the campaign are frightening for a midfielder: 15 goals, 10 assists. Involved in a goal, either scoring or setting up, every 84 minutes. Fernandes has created 71 chances and I don’t believe United would be in the top four without him.

“The real mark of an outstanding player is what he does to others in the team and Fernandes has dragged improvement out of those around him. He also has a reputation now. If I hear United have scored, I have one thought: it’s Bruno!”

Jamie Carragher (Sky Sports)

On United’s title challenge: “I think Man Utd have bottled it now they’ve got there, they’ve almost talked themselves out of it. I think it’s only Liverpool who can stop them [Man City] – I don’t think Man Utd fancy it.

“Listening to the comments of the Manchester United manager…Man Utd just seem happy to be involved – I cannot believe it. It’s a unique season; Liverpool have no centre-backs, City have had no strikers and De Bruyne has been out.

“We were saying last season that City were off the boil; they’re only three points better off so it shows they’re still not the City of two, three years ago.”

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