Manchester United legends Patrice Evra and Gary Neville have both lamented the current state of affairs at Old Trafford, showing just how tough of a task Erik ten Hag faces to fix the “broken’ club
Patrice Evra has echoed Gary Neville ‘s claim that Manchester United have a “broken” dressing room.
The pair of Red Devils legends – who, combined, boast a whopping 13 Premier League winners’ medals – have slammed the current state of affairs that new manager Erik ten Hag will be tasked with remedying during his first season at the helm. Neville has reaffirmed his long-standing belief that the inner sanctum at Old Trafford is in disarray, while Evra has suggested that some members of United’s dysfunctional squad joined the club for the wrong reasons.
After featuring in a legends charity match at Old Trafford on Saturday, Evra spoke to Mirror Football and lamented the contrast between how his fellow icons were hailed by Red Devils fans – even after losing 3-1 to old foes Liverpool – and the frosty reception which the current crop receive. “You see how crazy [the atmosphere] is and that’s what it should be like for the first squad,” the Frenchman declared post-match.
“Because [the legends] today felt like the players they were in the field in the past; they give everything, they fight for the badge. They didn’t come here for the money, they didn’t come here to get famous. You can’t lie to the United fans, you can’t lie. So when you bleed for the badge, you run like crazy, they will support you.
“We’ve got the best supporters in the world. You see again today for the [Manchester United] foundation how many people show up and how happy they are even when we get beat by Liverpool.”
Evra’s verdict is shared by plenty of seething supporters, who’re hoping Ten Hag can root out the issues this summer and kickstart a revolution working alongside the likes of football director John Murtough and newly-appointed chief executive Richard Arnold. But Neville’s comments hint at how difficult the Dutch tactician will find turning around things around.
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On an end-of-season episode of The Overlap Fan Debate, the ex-United captain – who also suffered defeat to Liverpool but more importantly helped raise £1.3million for the club’s foundation – stated: “It’s broken, that dressing room, absolutely. You can’t fix that dressing room.
“I don’t know where Erik ten Hag starts and that’s my biggest fear for him in the first few months… I don’t know where the cliques are, I’m not close enough to it. But you mention the words ‘rotten’, ‘broken’. [Club captain] Harry Maguire has gone from someone who I think was growing on the pitch last year in Covid to someone who now looks like he’s shot to pieces when he pulls on a red shirt.
” Bruno [Fernandes] looks like half the player. The rest of them, the young players look completely like [the club] have lost complete faith in them, ‘Let’s get rid of them’. That’s when something’s gone fundamentally wrong in the club, in the changing room, with the leadership, and I don’t you can completely dissolve anybody of blame. Everybody has to take blame for that.”
Neville added: “It’s a massive problem and look, we’re all optimistic about a new manager coming in at any club, that’s how it works. But I’m actually very cautious in my optimism. I don’t think there’s many United fans sat there thinking, ‘Wow, here we go’. We’re almost cautiously optimistic.”