Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville is feels his old club are just two signings away from being contenders for the league title.
Speaking after Man United’s 1-1 draw with top of the table Leicester City, the ex-right back admitted that the work being done by Louis van Gaal can see the Reds reap the rewards in the future. United haven’t been the most entertaining team in the league this season but have been extremely difficult to break down, conceded just one goal from open play in over 700 minutes of football.
However, the team’s struggles in the final third have been highlighted throughout the campaign and many feel that United are losing their identity under van Gaal. Not many people know more than Neville about great United teams and the way they play their football but the pundit is not getting carried away with criticisms.
The 40-year-old told Sky Sports: “If you put two more players into Manchester United’s team, say a Gareth Bale or a Cristiano Ronaldo into that team, that team could win the league. Because the structure that is being built at this moment in time is solid.
“But they need that match-winner, that Neymar, that Luis Suarez, the one that is going to light up a game and score one or two goals to take it away, then all of a sudden they would look like a Barcelona, because they’re dominating possession, making teams look foolish.”
United fell behind to a Jamie Vardy opener before Bastian Schweinsteiger‘s header brought them back on level terms on the stroke of half0time at the King Power Stadium. The Reds dominated in the second half but failed to create many clear cut chances and were unable to find a winner, something that disappointed Neville.
“Even in the last 15 minutes, they didn’t fully commit to winning the game. Historically, you would like to see punch after punch, you would want to see bodies being thrown forward, but you might get caught on the counter attack and lose 2-1 that way.
“But that’s not the way in which this Manchester United team play, and the heart wants them to go forward, commit players and be reckless in some ways.
“I do think they are quite close when I think about it with my head, but my heart thinks I’d like to see them die trying a little bit more and go for it.
“But he’s a year-and-a-half in, Louis van Gaal, and he should get a lot more time to do what he wants to do. I was in the same opinion when David Moyes was at Manchester United, and I’m in the same opinion now.”
It is clear that United have a long way to go before they can be considered as a team who can definitely win the league but the side are showing signs of shoring up problems that they have had in the past. The defence has been an issue for van Gaal since he took over at the club but he seems to have solved that issue, with the Reds boasting the best defensive record in the league thus far this season.
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