From whiners into winners – Gary Neville hails Manchester United transformation
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville praised the transformation of the squad under Erik ten Hag “from whiners into winners” after they lifted the Carabao Cup with victory over Newcastle at Wembley.
United’s former captain Roy Keane also believes ending a six-year trophy drought could prove the start of a new era of success at Old Trafford.
Both sides headed into the game in search of a victory that could provide the catalyst to a brighter future.
United had not won silverware since 2017, but Casemiro’s header and a Sven Botman own goal in the first half were enough to see off Newcastle’s challenge.
Neville, now a media pundit, had been a vocal critic of some of United’s previous teams, but feels this current group can continue to thrive under Ten Hag.
“It’s about one man that has transformed a team from whiners into winners – what a job Erik ten Hag has done,” Neville said on Sky Sports.
“Players are out there that shouldn’t have played for Manchester United again, but they are performing at a high level. They have a spirit and a fight.
“There is a real chance of winning trophies beyond this. He makes good decisions in matches – his subs were critical in making sure they saw this game out. It’s been a brilliant last few months.”
Neville continued: “At the end of last season, some of those players were part of a team labelled a disgrace by me and other Manchester United fans. It was horrible to watch. They were divided.
“The turnaround is transformational. It’s unbelievable what Erik ten Hag has done.
“From 2003 and 2006 we didn’t win a trophy and you feel like you’re never going to win a league again, or you’re not going to be up there again. This trophy was the catalyst for feeling confident and putting belief into the squad.
Where they are and what they are doing is something I never would have imagined six months ago.
“This squad will be dangerous with a medal around their neck because you like to think Erik ten Hag is going to improve them again in the next 12 to 18 months.
“They are not close to Arsenal or Manchester City (in the Premier League), that’s clear, but where they are and what they are doing is something I never would have imagined six months ago.”
Former United captain Keane was also part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s successful side and hopes the current squad will build on Sunday’s victory.
“You look at the players’ reaction and the supporters, they were desperate for success,” Keane said on Sky Sports.
“All the build-up was about Newcastle and their wait – but five or six years for Manchester United seems a long time.
“They deserved their victory. They were efficient and scored two good goals. Hopefully it is the start of the good days coming back to United.”
Ferguson was at Wembley to watch his old club’s victory and applauded Ten Hag along with other United staff as he went down the tunnel.
Ten Hag invited Ferguson into the dressing room to celebrate with the team.
Keane, though, had been left less than impressed by the Dutchman’s dancing with Lisandro Martinez and Antony at the final whistle – something he did when the trio were together at former club Ajax.
The moment of celebration was caught on camera, and Keane joked at the end of a pitchside interview with the United boss: “You should resign after that. You should resign tonight.”
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