LIVERPOOL, England, April 21 (Reuters) - Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville labelled his old club’s 4-0 loss to Everton on Sunday as “rancid” and suggested several players would need to be cleared out if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were to progress.
Neville, the ex-England full-back now working as a Sky Sports pundit, declined to name which players needed to be sold but gave his backing to manager Solskjaer whose remarkable start to life as United boss has quickly turned sour.
“I’m furious with the fact that he’s (Solskjaer) had to go over to apologise to the fans,” Neville said.
“I’ve often said that if clubs have got weeds in the garden, you’ve got to get rid of them. There are some Japanese knot weeds at that football club and it’s attacking the foundations of the house and needs dealing with properly.
“The fans are not going to turn on Ole. The players have their heads on the line.”
United’s loss was their fifth straight away defeat in all competitions — their worst run of away losses since 1981.
Sixth-placed United face title contenders Manchester City on Wednesday but Neville did not sound optimistic about their chances of beating Pep Guardiola’s side.
“I watched Man City yesterday and they are a club who Manchester United are trying to get to in terms of the top of the Premier League,” said Neville.
“Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva — all far better players than what’s in the Manchester United dressing room, (players) who work twice as hard.
“Everton ran four kilometres further in the first half. Everton. And then you watch...Liverpool, who are their biggest rivals. They die for every single inch on the pitch.
“It was embarrassing watching some of those Manchester United players out there today.
“I have full belief in Ole with what he needs to do. The club will fully support him. That performance today was rancid.”
Asked to name which players he believed were a problem, Neville said: “I don’t need to name names. They know who they are. They are in the papers every day and are on social media.
“I’ve fallen into the trap of talking about talent. Forget it if they don’t work hard enough.” (Reporting by Simon Evans Editing by Ian Chadband)