Gary Neville has described Manchester United’s performance in their shambolic 4-0 defeat at Brentford as like watching “men against U9s”.
Neville also described the club’s delay in strengthening Erik ten Hag’s squad as “difficult to forgive”.
The 13-time Premier League champions were humbled by the Bees as they recorded their seventh successive away defeat – a result that leaves new boss Erik Ten Hag with zero points, one goal scored and six goals conceded from his first two matches in charge.
United found themselves 4-0 down after less than 40 minutes, leaving Neville to tell Sky Sports: “I’m trying to think of one thing Manchester United have done well in the first half and I can’t think of one.
“I’ve been watching United for 42 years and I can’t think of a moment where I’ve felt it was as bad as it was in that first half.”
United were unable to launch any kind of a fightback in the second half in west London, after which Neville told the club’s fans: “If you thought it couldn’t get any lower, it just has.”
Richard Arnold, United’s chief executive, was in attendance at the Gtech Community Stadium, where some away fans displayed banners calling for the Glazer family to sell the club.
Neville accused the Americans of presiding over an “embedded rot” at Old Trafford, while he also took aim at United’s transfer business this summer.
Christian Eriksen was signed on a free transfer after he left Brentford, while Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia arrived from the Eredivisie, but United lost seven players this summer who were part of last season’s first-team squad.
Neville said: “Manchester United have known for eight to ten months they’ve needed to rebuild the squad for the summer. Ralf Rangnick [last season’s interim manager] described it as open heart surgery.
“To not get the players in early – the quality of players, the number of players – that Ten Hag needed is baffling and difficult to forgive.
“It’s not a stalled market – teams have got their business done. Every club seems to have a plan and Manchester United’s seems to be, ‘let’s just look at the Dutch league or players that have worked under Ten Hag’.