Gary Neville has pinpointed two huge ‘problems’ which have led to question marks over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his Manchester United future.
For the second time in 14 days, the Old Trafford giants suffered a hammer blow to their Premier League title hopes, against genuine contenders for the English crown.
Conceding five during their heavy and humiliating defeat to bitter rivals Liverpool, the score-line that was totted-up by Manchester City in the Manchester derby on Saturday afternoon was less eye-catching, but damage done to Solskjaer and wounded United hit the exact same level following their 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford.
Indeed, the Norwegian remains under intense pressure from supporters and the media.
Speaking about his one-time teammate, pundit Neville reflected on the heart-breaking Europa League showpiece – in Gdansk – and an early Carabao Cup exit to West Ham as being two catalysts for the current issues at Old Trafford and beyond.
Speaking on the Gary Neville podcast with Martin Tyler, he said: “Ole has progressed the club in the last two or three years – sixth, third, second. They should have won the trophy against Villarreal.
“I still harp back to that, it was a bad moment. When you lose trophies and you lose finals, it has a real impact on players. On the other side of that, if you win the trophy, that medal around your neck – it removes that issue that you’ve got of not winning a trophy for a few years.
“You need that trophy under your belt.
“Going out of the Carabao Cup to West Ham. That’s a problem. It’s a big problem. You can’t go out of the Carabao Cup. That’s a trophy that you can win.”
Neville added: “As for the Champions League and Premier League, the Premier League has gone, almost, now.
“Winning the Champions League is a one in a hundred chance, because of the quality of the teams. Maybe it’s less than that, but you know… The FA Cup and the Carabao Cup can’t simply be dismissed.
“I think that going out of the Carabao Cup was a really bad situation. I think the fans left the stadium [vs City] tired; ‘Where are we as a team and a club in our journey and United getting back’?”