This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking on his podcast for Sky Sports, Gary Neville has suggested there is now some cause for optimism for Manchester United after their recent run of good form.
After losing to Newcastle 1-0 before the beginning of the last international break, the Red Devils have earned some consistently good results. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have racked up five wins from their previous six games, and are up to seventh in the Premier League – nine points off fourth-placed Manchester City who occupy the final Champions League qualifying spot.
And having seen his former side return to some decent form, Neville gave his take on some of the positives the Red Devils can take over the coming weeks and months.
He said: “Barring the Bournemouth defeat it’s been a really good month for United. The Bournemouth defeat was frustrating and took them back a few steps, but generally it’s been a better month than the one before.
“You can see real excitement with Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Daniel James, there is something there to work with. Defensively with Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, there is something there to work with, and the young boy Brandon Williams gives me a great deal of hope.
“Manchester United need four or five players of real quality and experience, and that’s probably not going to change in January to the tune fans would like. But there is something there. Patience is needed because it is going to take time, but they will get back because the cycle will turn.”
The 1-0 defeat to Newcastle over a month ago felt like a moment where United could have truly fallen into the mire. Reports immediately after the game claimed Solskjaer’s long-term future at the club was in question, but since then, they have been back to their fluid, attacking best.
Anthony Martial’s return from injury has coincided with multiple games now where they have scored more than one goal in a match, whilst against Brighton on Sunday afternoon, they fired 21 shots on goal. As Neville alludes to, there are some problems the club will have to address in the transfer market in the upcoming January window, but there are now clear signs they are heading in the right direction for progress to be made.
And in the seven players Neville name-checks, United do have the basis for a bright future. A group of young players who are yet to hit the peak years of their career, and a clear emphasis from their manager to play them.