They don't have leadership in the dressing room- Patrice Evra on Manchester United
Written by: Neil Talnikar
The former United hero threw light upon the various problems that the club is facing at the moment and what could be the possible solutions to them.
It is disheartening to watch the downfall of Manchester United, one of the most decorated clubs in not just England, but across Europe. Since the departure of their iconic manager Sir Alex Ferguson back in 2013, the club has failed to appoint a perfect replacement for him, although many believe the current boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, could finally be the man to take them back to glory days.
Under the Norwegian, United had picked up a good pace but late loss of form saw them finish at a lowly sixth position in the Premier League, which also saw them drop points at relegated sides Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town.
Speaking about the state of his former club, former United fan favourite Patrice Evra threw light on the situation along with Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville. The Frenchman spoke about the club for the first time after his departure from Old Trafford back in 2014, saying, “It's always difficult for me to talk about Manchester United. The reason I never talk about United is because it hurts. I left the club for personal reasons.”
“Today I want to talk because a lot of people don't understand why I stay quiet. I am hurt with the situation of the club, I think it's really painful and I don't want the fans and the people to think that I don't care.”
Evra went on to explain what exactly, he thinks, is going wrong at United. “I will say it is the spirit and the passion for the club. They don't have leadership in the dressing room to show them what it means to play for Manchester United. The problem now is on the pitch but also off the pitch.”
The 37-year-old added that the current squad is good but lacked world class players. He insisted that only Paul Pogba and David De Gea were the ones that have the quality to play for big clubs like Juventus, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, although not downplaying the rest of them.
“Some players only come for the money, I am not afraid to say that,” continued Evra, “I have nothing against him, but (Alexis) Sanchez, when I saw the deal, that's when I thought the Manchester United history just went down. He had Manchester City, they were offering less money but he was going to play a better football than United”
“So I want to know what is the real reason for choosing United? Don't tell me he loved Manchester United when he was a kid. It's either the money or he wanted to be the number one, take the No 7 shirt and be the star.”
He also spoke about how the fans have become desperate at the moment, criticising and swearing against their own players. “When I go to the game and I see fans shouting and swearing at players, I am in shock. In my time, you can play the worst game of your life and they will clap you.”
“I remember losing 4-1 at home to Liverpool and they were still singing. That's the United fans I know - they've just had enough.”
Later speaking about the situation back with the club’s board Evra asserted that, “Until you work inside the club, you can't answer this. From outside, the first person everyone is going to blame is Ed (Woodward).”
“It will take time, I think they need more people who understand this club and will bleed for it. They need more ex-players involved,” he added.
The former AS Monaco, Marseille and Juventus player added at the end that, “One of the most important things the club has to resolve is hiring a director of football. It's going to be hard to find the right man.”
Published: Tue May 14, 2019 05:01 PM IST