Four Man Utd players receive backlash for Negative vibes during derby defeat as club legends criticize the performance.
In his usual manner, Gary Neville has alleged that a couple of Manchester United players had brought “negative vibes” to Sunday’s 6-3 loss to Manchester City.
He named the following players for performing below par during the game: Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, and Scott McTominay.
Erling Haaland’s and Phil Foden’s hat-tricks secured a well-deserved victory for City at the Etihad Stadium against Erik ten Hag’s squad.
Neville believes Ten Hag’s attacking players are to blame for their “lack of composure” when in possession, based on United’s four-goal deficit at halftime following a dreadful first-half performance.
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“I don’t think if you’re analyzing Manchester United’s performance you should be saying, ‘why didn’t Casemiro start alongside McTominay?’ I don’t feel like that was a mistake from Ten Hag at all,” Neville said on Sky Sports The Gary Neville Podcast.
“I know there’s been the disruption of the international break and the Queen passing which isn’t helpful when the team is on a good run, but the players he put out on that pitch were confident together.
“It was the unforced errors, the anxiety on the ball and the lack of composure. I’m not talking about the defenders at the back who are being pressed but the midfielders and the forwards: Rashford, Eriksen, Fernandes, McTominay.
‘They were all giving it away in that first half unnecessarily. It just then brings further negative vibes throughout the team when your best players aren’t handling the ball well. They should’ve been better, a lot better.
“They were forcing it far too early. It’s almost like they got into their heads, when they get it they’ve got to counter-attack, they’ve got to put the ball in behind City, but to do that you’ve got to play those two or three passes in midfield and through midfield to set it up.
‘You can’t just think you get the ball, play one pass, turn and knock it over the center-backs, even if they’re not City’s best center-backs, they’re going to read that. It just became really simple for City’s defenders to be able to cope with it.
“There were problems with Dalot in defense, there were problems at center-back with Varane and Martinez, there were problems with Malacia at left-back, there’s no doubt they didn’t have their best day. But the standout thing for me was just how badly Manchester United’s players in midfield and up front handled the ball in the first half.
“The teams I’ve seen here do well have had to cope with defending a lot during the game but they’ve also had to demonstrate that they can punch through City and hurt them to make the crowd nervous.
“United never did that in the first half, they just encouraged City all the time by giving the ball away in really poor areas. It was from players you wouldn’t expect it from.
“I said United bottled it, they froze, they were nervous. Whatever word you want to use, the performance was it in a bucket really. You’re playing against a top team, City had players missing but up front, you’ve got Grealish, Foden and Haaland, fed by Bernardo Silva and De Bruyne, with Gungogan who’s a brilliant passer in midfield as well.
“It’s a lot to ask of the United back four but I expected them to handle it better. Varane and De Gea are experienced while Martinez has played in plenty of big games in the Champions League with Ajax. Grealish really got on top of Dalot in the first few minutes. Malacia never really handled Foden.
“It’s difficult, I expected them to handle it better but I wouldn’t put the blame of today on the back four. I was more disappointed with how Manchester United’s midfield and forward players were, I thought it was really poor in that first half. They didn’t turn up and you’ve not got a chance if they don’t.”