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Man United manager sackings create ‘difficult positions’ – Gary Neville

Neville only played for Sir Alex Ferguson at United before retiring in 2011

Former Man United football player Gary Neville

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has said the club’s managerial sackings have put him in “difficult positions” during his Premier League punditry.

The 20-time top-flight champions have had five permanent managers since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, as well as a spell under Ralf Rangnick in an interim role for less than six months.

Neville, who spent his entire career with United under Ferguson and won eight Premier League titles, has frequently had to temper his support for the fallen giants with scrutiny during their struggle to challenge at the top of the table.

“It could be different moments during the last ten years, it could be just a normal game, run-of-the-mill game where you basically find yourself being critical of the team,” the former full-back told the UTD Podcast.

“When you leave the club and you’re working in the media, you obviously then find yourself in difficult positions at times. Those difficult positions could be a really bad defeat, 7-0 at Anfield.

“[It could be when] they sack a manager or a player leaves or you find yourself actually talking about a player that maybe you used to play with.”

Man United ‘promised’ Champions League win

Current United head coach Erik ten Hag’s position remains uncertain more than a week after the Dutchman led his team to an FA Cup final triumph against Premier League champions Manchester City.

The result was a surprise end to a poor second season for Ten Hag in which United finished eighth in the league and were eliminated from the Uefa Champions League at the bottom of their group.

Neville recalled the far headier days of United’s treble-winning season in 1998/99 and a trip he made to visit a supporters’ club in Malta with team-mate David Beckham.

“We promised them we’d win the Champions League,” he said. “They were obsessed with the Champions League over in Malta.

“I could not believe the passion for Manchester United. I fell in love with the place and the people. I went over there every year for about 20, 25 years.

“I contributed to the supporters’ club because they’d been so good to me. We won the treble and a week later, we flew out with the Champions League trophy.  We said ‘one day, we’ll bring it out to you’. The club let us take it out.”

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Ben Miller

Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.