It has been a rocky old period for Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Red Devils are outside of the top four in the Premier League, and have endured some very disappointing results – not least their 2-0 defeat to Burnley last time out.
However, speaking on Match of the Day after that loss, Phil Neville has insisted people simply have to “accept” where the club are right now, and that there are signs they are heading in the right direction.
He said (as quoted by The Manchester Evening News): “It’s a massive concern. I think they’ve got to stick with him (Solskjaer). The squad to me looks light, it looks inexperienced, it looks weighed down by the expectation. I think they need two signings in this window to have any success this season.
“There’s bits I see from them that I think, ‘They’re heading in the right direction’. The youth side, the energy around the place. It’s just that lack of quality. United are where they are at this moment in time and people have got to accept it.”
After hearing about Neville’s comments, United fans took to Twitter to voice their thoughts on what the former Red Devils ace had to say.
Was always a coward
— MUFC1999 (@Mufc_1999__) January 23, 2020
Everton mentality kicking in
— SystematicChaos 🔰 (@s3nbonzakura) January 23, 2020
A couple of fans refused to fall in line with Neville’s perspective, and insisted they are under no obligation to “accept” anything.
We won’t accept it! How can we as fans?
— Sue Andreou (@tsula18) January 23, 2020
We don’t have to accept anything
— Paul Taylor (@boneyjoe69) January 23, 2020
A couple of United supporters also appeared to label Neville a “puppet”.
Too many puppets now.
— Dyl (@UtdDyl) January 23, 2020
Phil Neville another Glazer puppet I see #GlazersOut
— Palmarius (@_Palmarius_) January 22, 2020
Some fans of the Manchester side insisted the kind of mentality their former ace showed is exactly how, and why, clubs become “mediocre”.
That’s how you become mediocre.. Accepting poor performances and quality in both players and management
— you are no kin of mine so I will have your silence (@RedDeviil93) January 23, 2020
speak for yourself, I’ll never accept mediocrity
— 🔰 Thiago Medeiros 🔰 (@ThiagoDesu) January 23, 2020
United fans are absolutely right to be fuming with Neville’s assessment of the club’s plight, and how people should “accept” it. That kind of resigned stance is exactly why the Red Devils appear to be heading on this downward spiral, unable to lift themselves from their slumber. It’s all a case of a lack of responsibility and accountability, and no-one really sticking their neck out to truly question the natural order.
Fans voicing their opinions on how badly they feel let down, and how they deem the ownership to be the prime culprits for that is how change can happen. The bigger and more powerful the fan movement gets, the harder it becomes for those dining at the top table to ignore.
Ex-professionals, and former United players like Neville have a duty of care to uphold the club’s values. Instead, comments like the one the England Women’s boss made on Match of the Day completely undermines all the work the supporters of the Manchester side have done in trying to initiate real, and beneficial change.