Gary Neville criticises Manchester United’s attacking players for bringing ‘negative vibes’ during Man City defeat
Posted by  badge Boss on Oct 03
Christian Eriksen struggled to make an impact as Manchester City ran riot against Manchester United (Getty)

Gary Neville has accused Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes, and Scott McTominay of bringing ‘negative vibes’ during Manchester United’s 6-3 defeat to on Sunday.

Erik ten Hag’s side were well beaten at the Etihad Stadium as hat-tricks from and sealed a deserved win for City.

After a dismal first-half display, United were four goals down by the break and Neville believes Ten Hag’s attacking players should shoulder the blame for their ‘lack of composure’ when in possession.

‘I don’t think if you’re analysing ’s performance you should be saying, ‘why didn’t 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 are 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.

Manchester United were 4-0 down after a woeful first-half performance (Action Plus/Shutterstock)

‘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 centre-backs, even if they’re not City’s best centre-backs, they’re going to read that. It just became really cimple for City’s defenders to be able to cope with it.

‘There were problems with Dalot in defence, there were problems at centre-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.

Erling Haaland and Phil Foden scored hat-tricks to sink Manchester United (Reuters)

‘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.’

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