Manchester United have confirmed the appointment of Erik ten Hag as the club’s next first team manager, with ex-Red Devils defender and assistant manager offering his view
Phil Neville believes the decision to sack David Moyes after less than a season was one of the worst Manchester United have made in the last decade.
Neville worked alongside Moyes when he was named as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor at the end of the 2012/13 season. However, after a promising start, results eluded the Scottish boss and once it became mathematically impossible to finish in the top four he was sacked.
Moyes is one of four permanent managers to attempt to replicate Ferguson’s feats and Neville thinks his subsequent success in transforming West Ham into Europa League semi-finalists has proved that Old Trafford bosses made a huge error in not giving him enough time.
“If you look back now, it was totally wrong the lack of time he was given,” Neville told Sky Sports. “The lack of time, the lack of backing, the lack of finances in terms of the investment that other managers have had, that’s the biggest thing.
“When we both left the club at that time, we needed another season, I think we deserved another season. Ten months at Manchester United – at a difficult time when the greatest manager of all time – wasn’t enough.
“He had unbelievable plans to take the club forward in that summer and looking back I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes United have made over the last five or six years since Sir Alex left was not giving David more time. He’s proven now at West Ham, with time he can build a football club to sustain with quality and to be successful.”
Erik ten Hag was last month named as United’s next permanent manager, replacing interim boss Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season. The Dutchman is expected to oversee a dramatic overhaul of the playing squad, with a number of high-profile players expected to depart.
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Rangnick is expected to stay on in a consultancy role and will liaise with the new manager over major recruitment decisions. The German previously stated that the rebuild could take up to six years, but Neville, now in charge of Inter Miami in MLS, has predicted it could happen significantly quicker than that.
“There obviously needs to be big changes at the whole of the club,” he continued. “But what I would say is that it can change very quickly. I’ve heard people say five or six years…it can change within 12 to 18 months.
“If you pick the right manager, have the right players and get the structure around the club, that can change very quickly. All it can take is two or three new signings, gain some confidence, gain some momentum.
“You look how quickly it took Jurgen Klopp to turn it around at Liverpool – two, three seasons. United need to act fast now, they’ve got a brilliant young manager and now he needs backing and he needs time. And I think at this moment in time United will give him that.”