Gary Neville has changed his mind over Manchester United’s prospects for the season.
Gary Neville has said it will be “tough” for Manchester United to get into the Champions League this year, as they have yet to impress, despite having only played one of last season’s top 10.
“It’s going to be an important few weeks but exciting as well,” Neville told the Manchester Evening News. “We’ll find out in the next few weeks, as the West Brom, Chelsea and City games are all massive ones, and my thought is we’ll find out exactly where the team is at this season. It’s going to be tough for United to get into the Champions League and that would be a big achievement.”
The prediction marks a rapid decline in expectation following Louis Van Gaal’s disappointing start at Old Trafford. In July, Neville was predicting a 3rd place finish for United – who have since spent over £100m on new players!
I actually think we will finish 3rd ( Birdie for those that are referring to the last tweet)
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) July 16, 2014
Neville’s new-found pessimism is based on United’s poor start, but the Champions League still seems like a relatively modest ambition given the quality of their squad. Chelsea have streaked into a five point lead, and United would struggle to catch them, but none of the other top teams have played consistently well. Manchester United are in fourth at the moment, and while they may drop points in the tough run they have coming up, does Neville really think that an inconsistent Arsenal and a struggling Liverpool will both move ahead of the Red Devils and hold on over the course of the season? Manchester City have looked strong at times but are perfectly beatable.
Manchester United should be aiming for the title, not resigning themselves to the Europa League.