Gary Neville did not hold back when describing the performance put in by Manchester United players during the first-half of their Premier League encounter against Newcastle.
Second-from-bottom Newcastle went to the interval with a one-goal advantage after Allan Saint-Maximin capitalised on a Raphael Varane error to give the home side a seventh-minute lead.
The Magpies – who had conceded 11 in their previous three fixtures against Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester City – held United at arm’s length for the rest of the half, and Neville did not hold back in his criticism. Edinson Cavani would emerge from the bench to salvage a point for Ralf Rangnick's side.
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"There's no pressing, there's no urgency and the basics of the game are not there,” began Neville at half-time while working as an analyst for Sky Sports.
"Every single battle they've lost. It has been a really poor performance and not one single thing has gone right as a team.
"They've not done one single thing right and there's not one single player can go in at half-time and say that they’ve done their jobs or done themselves justice."
Neville added that the 16-day break that United had between their last game – against Norwich – and the Newcastle fixture may have left them short of match practice. However, he added that was no excuse.
“I'm not really looking at that [the 16-day gap] to be honest with you because there's still the basics of the game that you can do properly, which is win your battles, go in for tackles properly and show a little bit of urgency.
They are a bunch of whinge-bags. I'm not going to go into the names.
"But, honestly, they are whingeing at each other and their arms are up in the air and they are complaining about everything.
“Honestly that is absolutely shocking out there and, to be honest with you, they got the last manager the sack and they'll get a lot of managers the sack if they carry on like that because that's a really, really poor performance. It's only 45 minutes but they've got to sort themselves out because that is massively below what's expected.”
United won their first two fixtures - against Crystal Palace and Norwich - under interim boss Rangnick but had two games postponed since - against Brentford and Brighton - and were sat in seventh ahead of the fixture.
The German coach had earlier given a ringing endorsement of the traditional festive fixture list in the Premier League, comparing the tradition to the institution of the monarchy in Britain.
"I’ve watched Premier League football for the last 40 years so when it was also the First Division and I know what kind of tradition it is to play football over Christmas and on Boxing Day, the 27th, the 30th and even New Year’s Day or the 2nd January,” he told United’s official website.
“So if somebody came across the idea to abolish then we might as well speak about abolishing the five o’clock tea or the Queen or whatever – this is all part of the tradition of this country and I’m very much looking forward to being part of this for the first time in my career.”
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