Manchester United legend Gary Neville has insisted that the club’s players should stay out of the process of hiring the next permanent manager.
Ralf Rangnick is currently in place as interim manager until the end of the season, and is expected to be replaced by a new permanent appointment in the summer.
A host of big names have been linked with the Man Utd job, with the Telegraph recently reporting that Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino is the players’ preference.
Neville, however, does not want to hear anything about that, saying it shouldn’t be up to the players to get involved in discussions about who the next manager could be.
“I don’t like reports of players wanting this manager or that manager, stay out of that,” Neville told Sky Sports, as quoted by the Metro.
“You’re not in a position to be able to choose who the next manager is. Just get your own jobs right and make sure you’re together and doing your bit right. If Mauricio Pochettino is the choice of the board they should appoint him, but they shouldn’t appoint him just because the players think [they should].
“I’d hate to think, for one second, they’re listening to the players in the dressing room. They’ve [the players] got big PR machines, they’ve got big social media teams… they’re active and they have been for a good few months – and I’ve not liked it for a few months.
“At this moment in time, they’re all looking after one another. ‘Who do I want in next? I know him’… all that nonsense is happening behind the scenes at Manchester United. I don’t know that from a point a view of intelligence – I don’t speak to anyone in the club, I genuinely don’t – but I can see it because I read the newspapers and I’m on social media.
“I see the stories coming out – so and so wants to leave, they want him as the manager of they want him as the manager – and I’m thinking, ‘Oh my gosh.’”
“This Manchester United team are at it. Self-preservation, looking after one another, excuses all the time. Stop it. Go in, work as hard as you can, do the best you can, never give in
“Represent you, your family, the club the very best you can every single game. If you get picked, go for it. If you don’t get picked, support the lads on the pitch who are there.
“That’s it. That’s your job. Don’t think of anything else in life. Don’t try and be clever. Don’t try to blame anyone else. Don’t push your messages out thinking were going to bite.
“We’re not buying it, none of us are buying it and the fans can see right through it.”
On the one hand, Neville is probably justified in being concerned about a culture of too much player power at Old Trafford, but it might also be useful for MUFC to take into account which names out there would be popular and help lift morale in the squad.
United have made a host of poor choices with their managerial appointments since the retirement of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.