Neville has maintained Manchester United’s re-signing of Cristiano Ronaldo would not be enough for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to win the Premier League title, describing them as “an odd bunch”
Gary Neville is being proved right in his argument with Jamie Carragher over Cristiano Ronaldo ‘s impact at Manchester United.
Ronaldo has scored four goals in four games for the Red Devils, who slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa on Saturday and sit fourth in the table.
Bruno Fernandes missed a stoppage-time penalty, taking it instead of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
In a fiery debate in August, Neville claimed United would still be unable to make them true Premier League title contenders.
Following the re-signing of Ronaldo, fellow pundit Carragher asked in confusion: “Hang on, you’ve just said he’s the greatest player of all time. Why can’t United win the title? The greatest player of all time cannot take Manchester United to the title?”
To which Neville responded: “The introduction of Ronaldo at 36 as a penalty box striker, I don’t think will make them a complete enough team to win the title.
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“If he was still the player he was at Real Madrid, he might be able to take them to the Champions League.”
The former Liverpool defender then stated: “You said [Harry] Kane, [Raphael] Varane and [Jadon] Sancho would win them the league.”
“Kane would get more involved in the build-up, he’d glue the team up more, he’d get the same goals as Ronaldo,” the ex-Red Devils right-back said. “I don’t think Ronaldo will get involved in the build-up. He’ll be a poacher. I think United will fall short of winning the league this season.
“We’re talking about two things here, the greatest player of all time, a player who has had an 18-year career, assessing that career, and a player who at 36 will he take the team to the title? They’re two different things.”
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Neville continued: “However, caveat that by if that atmosphere and spirit I witnessed and saw on Saturday, if that momentum builds, he could do something spectacular.
“I don’t think it’ll happen because I think [Manchester] City and Chelsea have better teams than United.”
Carragher then followed up by quizzing: “Would Messi win them the league?”
Neville admitted: “I don’t think he would.”
And on Sunday, the former United captain maintained his point.
“I said it even when they were winning, even when Ronaldo scored, they don’t play well enough as a team to win this league in my view,” he said on the Sky Sports’ Gary Neville podcast. “They don’t play well enough as a team.”
“They’ve got to come together as a team and start to define a style of play. Then you start to get results when you don’t play well. The way they are at the moment, they’ll always have days like Saturday against Villa.”
He added: “They’ll have patches of four or five games where they only win two, but then they’ll go and win 15 on the bounce and be unbeaten away from home for a while. That’s the type of team they are. I have called them the odd bunch.”
“I still look at them and think of them as a team who win games in moments. I look at Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City, they are teams. They put team performances in. That’s not to say United never do, but Ole now has to get United into a team.”