After Manchester United was routed by Everton 3-0 last Sunday, former Red Devils defender Gary Neville says that the team was “toothless” in the match.
“United were toothless, and that is being kind,” Neville remarked in an interview. “I didn’t really see them try and dribble past a player, make any forward runs. At times they were not getting enough men in the box and the final pass was poor.”
“It is the worst I have seen United play for five or six weeks. They have been playing so well. Even in defeat at Stamford Bridge last week they played really well,” he further observed. The loss against Everton comes in as the team’s second consecutive defeat in the last two weeks, after they lost 1-0 against Chelsea last week.
“For a long time United have had a good record at Everton but certainly not in the last three seasons. Last season was such a poor performance. I don’t think United were that bad [on Sunday], despite it being a worse result.”
However, Neville also notes that the absence of defender Michael Carrick also contributed to the loss. “They miss him badly, they really do,” he said. “It is no coincidence they have lost the last two games without him.”
“When Michael Carrick doesn’t play, their record without him shows he is missed. It is not just the control and composure, but it is his forward passes, he just moves the ball forward into good areas quickly.”
Carrick is currently out of United’s line-up after suffering an injury during the Manchester derby tw weeks ago.
Meanwhile, United center-back Chris Smalling admitted that they had a bad game last Sunday. “Right from the first minute we were off the pace and they had a pressure that we usually have. We were second best. This is a massive wake-up call for us.”