Plenty of fans left early as Man Utd fell to a heavy defeat to Newcastle
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Gary Neville has slammed Manchester United for turning their Old Trafford home from the “Theatre of Dreams into the Theatre of Nothing” and claimed they’re leaving fans “bored” after another wretched display saw them crash out of the Carabao Cup
The 3-0 defeat to Newcastle United at the last-16 stage followed a loss by the same scoreline to fierce rivals Manchester City over the weekend, meaning they havehave lost consecutive home games by at least three goals for the first time since 1962.
It was Newcastle’s biggest win at Old Trafford since 1930 and not since that year had Man Utd lost five of their first 10 home matches of a campaign, which is a fate that has befallen them this season.
Questions are starting to be raised about the future of head coach Erik ten Hag and after the lip and lifeless cup exit, ex-United captain Neville took to Twitter/X to slam the performance.
“Last night we saw the Theatre of Dreams turn into the Theatre of Nothing,” he wrote. “Every single United fan bored and flat. On the pitch the players in shock, the performances woeful and a manager struggling in front of our eyes. We’ve seen it before, we know how it ends and we’ve had enough.”
United now face a crucial run of seemingly winnable games – with the next four matches seeing trips to Fulha, FC Copenhagen and Everton, with a home match against Luton – but further struggles could spell the end of ten Hag’s time at the club.
Neville was commentating on the Newcastle loss for Sky Sports and slated the attitude of the Red Devils players as they slipped to defeat
“Man Utd players were complaining to the ref, whinging, and while they were whinging Newcastle were attacking. It is schoolboy stuff, under-9s,” fumed Neville. “Man Utd fans were probably expecting what they are seeing. Every team that came here this season should have got something.
“I don’t know where he [Ten Hag] starts picking a side next, as none of them can really say they deserve to play.
“We are seeing a repeat of United losing their discipline, not passion – it is petulance. It is like a bunch of kids on the schoolyard.”
Pundits Andy Cole and Shay Given were equally critical during the Sky Sports coverage, with both hinting that Ten Hag could find his job in danger sooner rather than later.
“People now come to Old Trafford thinking they can beat Man Utd,” said ex-Manchester United striker Cole. “There are going to be questions about the manager, Man Utd were really poor. The players need to take a good look at themselves.
“When you see performances like this, you have to ask ‘what is going on here?’ If he doesn’t get results in the next couple of games, fans’ attitudes towards Ten Hag can change very quickly.”
Meanwhile, ex-Newcastle goalkeeper Given said: “It feels there is a divide between the players and the manager. There appears to be a real fallout behind the scenes.
“The players have to take responsibility but it seems at the end of a manager’s tether, there is a disconnect. He has spent £411m and that is his team. Where do they go from here? Do the board and directors have a lot of thinking to do?
“I think they will be. It is not good enough for a club this size and the manager has to take the final flak.”
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