Gary Neville’s 2014 transfer rant still holds true today

Manchester United have ruined their summer transfer window – again.

Erik ten Hag arrived with the hope that he could dismantle and begin the process of rebuilding a broken team, but that just didn’t happen.

After a dismal sixth place last season with their lowest ever Premier League points tally, it was widely expected that Ten Hag would be able to present a plan from the start with major reinforcements.

As the summer transfer window draws to a close, United have signed four players, but it still doesn’t seem close enough and the way they have been doing business has been incredibly concerning.

The club have been embroiled in a transfer saga surrounding Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong essentially from the minute Ten Hag first arrived at Carrington, but a move for the Dutchman now looks dead in the water after the continued all summer.

United have since signed Casemiro from Real Madrid, and while it looks like a serious signing, it doesn’t sound as promising when you hear he was the third-choice midfielder after prime target De Jong, and that Juventus chased Adrien Rabiot.

Ten Hag has argued the club should only move to sign the right players in the market in his press conferences so far, but it’s clear they’ve failed to offer him the transfer window summer he needed – especially since this is a team. which required “open heart surgery” to be repaired according to Ralf Rangnick.

Chelsea sign Wesley Fofana (Football Terrace)

At this point, with the amount of money generated by the club having been thrown around aimlessly since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement, it’s chaotic to see how little United have to show for it. It’s also no surprise how they acted in the transfer market as a result.

Fans are tired of Glazer family ownership, which has allowed the club to be so mismanaged over the years and is now in turmoil. Throughout the summer, more and more ownership protests erupted and even the media and pundits weighed in on the Glazers’ failures in running the club.

Neither is Gary Neville, who is one of football’s most decorated players, a United legend and now one of football’s best-known pundits.

BRENTFORD, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 10: Sky Sports broadcaster Gary Neville speaks before the Premier League match between Brentford and Watford at Brentford Community Stadium on December 10, 2021 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Neville has been outspoken in his criticism of United and particularly their owners of late, with his Sky Sports rants hugely popular among football fans.

But footage has emerged on YouTube via Sky Sports Retro that shows his concerns actually date back to 2014, during Louis van Gaal’s first summer. Considering where United are now, it’s a fascinating viewing, so be sure to check it out below.

WATCH: Neville’s 2014 United rant

Pretty strong stuff from Neville, who won’t fare well when it comes to criticizing his former employers.

Van Gaal’s United lost to Swansea in their first Premier League fight, prompting fans to climb for the club to get him more signings down the line. The presenters look at a graph, which showed that only Paris Saint-Germain had spent more than United in the five transfer windows preceding the chat.

Neville analyzes spending, explaining that there has been underinvestment under Ferguson followed by a period of panic buying since then.

“I’m a United fan. If you had told me, (12 months ago) champions of England, just beat Swansea away from home, we’re going to spend £140m over the next 12 months and being where they are today, I would say ‘you’re mad’.”

Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney in action in 2014
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 16: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United looks on with teammate Ashley Young (L) during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on August 16, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

He continued: “Of course they have to spend, because they have to. They need to bring in more players, there’s no doubt about that. But it is essential that they bring in the right players.

“They’ve spent £140million in the last 12 months and they’ve got (Wilfried) Zaha, (Ander) Herrera, (Luke) Shaw, (Marouane) Fellaini and (Juan) Mata. Last season I would say some of those buys were panic buys – didn’t fit the philosophy and they pay now.

“For that money or for a bit more money, you could have had (Gareth) Bale, (Toni) Kroos, (Cesc) Fabregas, Luis Felipe. For the same money that they spent, you could have integrated these four players in this team.

Pretty strong stuff from Neville, who wasn’t afraid to criticize the United board for their transfer activity at a time when others were convinced they were spending well and backing Van Gaal.

We all know how it has gone since. Van Gaal was sacked in 2016, but United remain adrift of the top teams in England and Europe, and the pressure is now higher than ever for change within the club. Only time will tell if Ten Hag can be the man to finally bring change.

QUIZ – Can you name these obscure January transfers Man Utd made?

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