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07th Dec 2023

Gary Neville on ‘biggest betrayal’ at Manchester United right now

Patrick McCarry

“F***ing unforgivable.”

Gary Neville is livid about the recent leaks, regarding Erik ten Hag, his training methods, tactics and signings, to the media.

The Manchester United boss relieved some of that near-constant pressure on both him and the club, on Wednesday, with a home win over Chelsea. United are only three points off the Champions League places but never seem far from their next crisis. They have already lost 10 times this season, and Jadon Sancho has been banished from the senior squad.

On the latest episode of Stick to Football, the United cluster-bomb ball was set rolling as Neville referred to a recent interview given by former Red Devils midfielder, Nemanja Matic to YU Planet. 

“Among the players who would always be late were Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho and couple of other players,” said Matic, before adding that a fines list was drawn up, one season, and late fee fines made up a good chunk of the £75,000 collected.

The entire panel, Neville, Roy Keane, Ian Wright and Jamie Carragher, were staggered that certain players would constantly be allowed to show up late and hold up sessions. Keane stressed that at United, when he was playing, senior players would nip such behaviour in the bud. Keane admitted to being late on a couple of occasions, early in his United career, and being benched by Alex Ferguson for the transgression.

That was the lads just getting started. It was when the panel discussed the recent leaks from inside the United dressing room to the media that Neville, in particular, got fired up.

Gary Neville

Gary Neville on Manchester United leaks

Gary Neville wondered, aloud, if Erik ten Hag banning reporters from four outlets from some press briefings was Manchester United trying to send out a message or ‘a club in crisis’.

Roy Keane reasoned that, as usually happens, results on the pitch will dictate how that ban on reporters is ultimately perceived. To Neville, the leaks casting aspersions on ten Hag ‘felt like Groundhog Day’ as it had happened to David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and even interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

Neville claimed he had been ‘soft on the players’ over the past 12 to 18 months as he had been concentrating on the ‘rotten environment’ caused by the ownership group at United. The latest leaks has ticked him off, though.

“I think the biggest betrayal you can have in a dressing room, in football, is when players, or players’ representatives, are going to the media to undermine the manager. Honestly, that is f***ing unforgivable.

“For me, I concentrated on Monday and Tuesday and when I heard these stories come out, I went, ‘Here we go again, stories coming out, The f**kers. They’re at it. They’re at it, trying to get another manager sacked, another group of players thrown out and their teammates banished’.

“You know it’s happening and you can tell it has been fed [to the media]. And I thought, ‘Stop whinging, shut your mouths, work as hard as you can and, the day after, come back and do it again’.”

You can catch that Gary Neville tirade from 30:05 here:

Manchester United have Bournemouth at home, next up in the Premier League. If results, at the weekend, went in their favour, the team could be level on points with Manchester City, last season’s treble winners, and six points off league leaders Arsenal.

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