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Ben Hayward

Gary Neville's brutal assessment of Manchester United after Tottenham draw

Gary Neville working as a pundit for Sky Sports during Nottingham Forest's Premier League game against Tottenham in December 2023.

Manchester United legend Gary Neville criticised his former club's lack of a clear identity following Sunday's 2-2 draw at home to Tottenham – and heaped praise on Ange Postecoglou's Spurs side.

Neville was working on Sky Sports' coverage of the game and questioned United's lack of a playing style in the draw at Old Trafford.

"Is this a possession team?" he asked. "No. A direct team? No. A counter team. Sometimes. You don’t see a style developing."

And he added: "There is a lack of consistency and I worry about the lack of patterns of play."

Speaking to commentator Peter Drury on his podcast after the game, Neville said injuries – Casemiro, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Mason Mount and Victor Lindelof all missed out – should not be an excuse for the absence of those patterns of play and he went on to praise Tottenham.

"We've watched an away team that are better and the away team were without five or six players," he said.

It is actually more than that, with Spurs missing their entire midfield due to injury and international absences, plus Heung-min Son who is away at the Asia Cup with South Korea.

On Tottenham's title chances, Neville said: "They're not [Manchester] City, obviously. But I think they can get close to Arsenal and Liverpool.

"I think if they go out of the FA Cup (against City later in January) and have just the Premier League to focus on and have all their players fit, they could be really dangers.

"Because I don't see any team that plays better football than them, and if they can be clinical and keep that defence together and the goalkeeper continues as he is, they could run close towards the end of the season."

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