“Live your life” – Former Man United ace sends message to Red Devils players following Neville criticism

Posted by

Manchester United players often get stick after disappointing results these days, especially with so many of their former players taking up high-profile positions in the media.

Gary Neville is known for being quite outspoken when it comes to matters involving his old club, and he has suggested that Man Utd’s current players should be lying low instead of attending big public events following the recent defeat against Atletico Madrid.

The Red Devils were in a good position going into the second leg of that tie, having drawn 1-1 in the first game in Spain, but they lost 1-0 at home to Diego Simeone’s side to exit the Champions League at the last-16 stage.

Neville enjoyed a lot more success during his United days, but, speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, former MUFC midfielder Luke Chadwick insisted that the game and society as a whole has changed a lot since then.

“In my opinion they’re entitled to do that,” Chadwick said of United’s players. “They’re playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world, but they’re still human beings that deserve to life a life that they enjoy.

Man Utd had a disappointing night against Atletico Madrid

“It’s a different world we live in now in terms of superstars at a club like Manchester United not being able to do anything without it appearing on social media. You understand Gary Neville’s frustration, he’s a legend at the club and was part of a very successful squad, but there will have been times in his day when players went out, but you didn’t hear about it as much.

“There wasn’t the same scrutiny – now it’s not just newspapers reporting on it, but anyone with a smart phone that can get footage of players while they’re out. But whether you’re a footballer or anything else, you deserve to live your life the way you want to.

“I don’t think Gary Neville really experienced anything at the club like what’s happening now. He was part of such a hugely successful team that won trophies year in, year out. It’s hard to say what it was like then, because they’d win one of the big trophies almost every season. It was a different era in that sense, and also because you didn’t have people who could just snap you on a mobile phone, so it’s hard to compare.

“From what I remember from my time at the club, it was quite rare that players went out. But part of that was because the schedule was so intense, there wasn’t that much time. There might’ve been a few times the players got together for a meal or a drink, but I don’t know much about players partying and what not after a bad defeat.”

Manchester United ran out of ideas against Atletico Madrid

Still, as much as Chadwick may have defended the club’s players for what they do off the pitch, he wasn’t impressed with what he saw from them on the pitch in that defeat to Atletico.

Chadwick told CaughtOffside he felt the game as a whole was a bit flat, but that United failed to really come up with any ideas to break down Simeone’s game plan.

“It was quite a flat game, which was surprising. Atletico Madrid came with a game plan as they always do, and they executed it well. United couldn’t break them down and seemed to run out of ideas,” he said.

Atletico Madrid won 1-0 in a “flat” game at Old Trafford

“It was underwhelming for such a big European night at Old Trafford, the game started with such a great atmosphere. Credit to Atletico, they silenced the crowd a bit and deserved to go through.

“There’s a lot of work to do now if the club is going to get in the top four and secure Champions League football next season. If that doesn’t happen it changes the calibre of player United can look at in the transfer market. Not many world class players at the top of the game will be ready to sign for a club who aren’t competing in the biggest tournament in Europe next season.

“It would be unfair to single out anyone in particular, the whole team on the pitch need to take responsibility, which I hope they’ll do. It was hugely disappointing from every player really, no one really made a huge impact. It just looked like they ran out of ideas, especially when they needed something in those last 20 minutes, but there was nothing really. No one stepped up and nothing materialised.”

More Stories Diego Simeone Gary Neville Luke Chadwick Ralf Rangnick Sir Alex Ferguson