Gary Neville: Solskjær Must Clear Out Deadwood To Succeed


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Gary Neville believes Ole Gunnar Solskjær must rid of any players at Old Trafford who don’t ‘align with the Manchester United principles’ if he is to succeed this season.

Neville, who recently admitted his belief United need another two years before challenging for the Premier League, also suggested that the dressing room lacks any real leaders.

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As quoted by Training Ground Guru, on the topic of leaders, Neville said: “When I was playing, you always had three groups: the guardians, the middle group and the younger ones. When I started in the first team, there were players like Paul Ince and Roy Keane and one bad pass was regarded as an absolute crime.”

“Manchester United doesn’t have the guardians now. Absolutely not, no. There are some good professionals, Juan Mata for instance, Ander Herrera, when he was there, and Scott McTominay. You can see he’s a good lad and wants to play football.”

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“But I don’t think they carry the influence in the dressing room to be able to dominate the culture and that’s a real problem. In any business, in any football team, if the guardians in the dressing room, the ones who have the influence, are not setting the example, then you have a big problem and have to clear them out.”

“I’ve referred to it as Japanese knotweed. When it starts to grow it needs a real aggressive approach. If you think of when Sir Alex Ferguson was there, he cut it out straight away, got rid of it. I love Ole [Solskjær] to bits. Whoever he feels is not aligned to the principles of Manchester United, he has to get rid of them. I remember when Mauricio Pochettino went to Tottenham, I went to see him and he had this board split in two – the ones he wanted to work with and the ones he didn’t.”

“Look at Tottenham now. He did a brilliant job, along with whoever helped him on the recruitment side in the first two or three years. But he had to make some tough decisions and the club had to lose money to get it right and that’s what United will have to do,” Neville added.

Back in April, Solskjær warned that the summer ahead would see those not fit to play for United pushed out of the door, however with pre-season on the horizon, only Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia have departed from the usual matchday squad, causing frustration in the minds of many fans who have wanted a mass exodus from deadwood at the club.

The latest reports linking players away from the club has been Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, though no agreement has been reached for either player to leave Manchester this summer.

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