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…
As quoted by Sky Sports, ex-Manchester United ace Phil Neville has hailed Scott McTominay for his “hard work” and “dedication”.
The 22-year-old was part of an impressive team performance against Chelsea as the Red Devils hammered their top-four rivals 4-0.
After seeing McTominay’s display against the Blues, Neville singled out the midfielder for high praise and revealed his mentality will be key to his progression.
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He said: “He’s an impressive young man. There are probably more skilful players, players with better reputations than McTominay, but if you’re talking about character and resilience, that lad’s gone through it all to get to where he wants to be. That’s through sheer hard work, dedication and training and doing extra.
“It’s no coincidence Jose Mourinho picked him in the biggest games against Chelsea and PSG, and Ole’s doing the same now. There’s nothing better than a level-headed young lad absolutely working his socks off. The fundamental basis of any successful person is hard work, and Scott McTominay is doing that in abundance.”
Amidst Solskjaer’s new approach of trying to build the Red Devils around its talented academy players, McTominay is perhaps the man who embodies what United are trying to go for. The Scotland international may not be the most technically gifted player in the Premier League, but his sheer hard work on the pitch means he has already become a trusted lieutenant for his manager.
In years gone by, the likes of Darren Fletcher and Ji-sung Park formed part of the cornerstone of Sir Alex Ferguson’s most successful sides. They did whatever the manager asked of them and carried it out to the letter without any complaints. Having someone like McTominay in midfield gives United fans another player for them to relate to in this modern world of money-hungry players and ego-driven stars.
He may not be more talented than his opposing number, but he will definitely outwork them.
The ‘new’ United that Solskjaer is trying to create is perfectly symbolised by everything that their academy graduate stands for.