Alex Crook has lashed at out the Glazer family in a stinging and lengthy rant about Manchester United.
The Red Devils came into the new season full of optimism following an encouraging pre-season under Erik ten Hag, but things soon unravelled in their Premier League opener.
A 2-1 defeat against Brighton at Old Trafford gave supporters that sinking feeling once again, and with significant work to do in the transfer market, there’s a feeling that the Red Devils are some way off a challenge for a top four finish.
While the distractions of an attempted deal to sign Frenkie de Jong and offloading Cristiano Ronaldo are clear, talkSPORT’s football correspondent Crook believes fans are right to protest against the owners when looking to find the real reason behind the club’s failure.
Launching into a passionate rant, United fan Crook explained: “Do we blame the manager? I think his team selection was a bit odd. I understand that he was trying to make a bit of a statement with Cristiano Ronaldo, somebody who clearly hasn’t been behaving like someone who wants to stay at the football club, and so he’s left him on the bench and brought him on.
“Christian Eriksen as a false number nine, I thought he was brilliant but that’s not his best position. I think that Rashford should have probably played down the middle if he wanted to go down that route.
“Scott McTominay and Fred in midfield, I didn’t understand that as Donny van de Beek has played every pre-season friendly and so I expected him to start, so that worried me.
“There’s a bit of responsibility on Ten Hag. He waited until five minutes into the second-half to bring on Ronaldo; why not do it at half-time?
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“He made a triple alteration at the start of stoppage-time that checkered any momentum that Manchester United had and allowed Brighton to manage the game.
“Is Ronaldo to blame for his histrionics? I don’t think he’s helped the situation, and I don’t think it’s helped the recruitment drive.
“Ultimately, if you look at the managers who have come in since Sir Alex retired, the main reason why no one has really been able to turn around Man United’s fortunes is because of the ownership.
“You look at the race for the top six this season: Tottenham have backed their manager, Arsenal have spent big again, Chelsea are trying to spend big, Man City have Erling Haaland who is off the mark already, Liverpool have Darwin Nunez who came in for big money – the only club who haven’t really backed their manager are Manchester United.
“Until that happens and until there are three or four new signings coming through the door, Ten Hag is basically at a loss. He’s asked to polish rough diamonds.
“You’re not going to get a tune out of Fred and McTominay in central midfield; that is not a partnership that can possibly finish in the top four.
“They don’t really have alternative to Ronaldo up front. Martial was injured today, Rashford is still devoid of confidence and Jadon Sancho didn’t get involved in the game at all, that’s an £80million player.
“They need more bodies in the building. They need De Jong. Go and get him! Stop messing around with Barcelona. If they want another £17million to pay his deferred wages, you might have to bite the bullet because already on weekend one, Manchester United are falling behind.
“The Glazers were there [against Brighton], they’re watching their empire crumble before their eyes and unless they spend significant money, Manchester United have got no chance of finishing in the top four.
“Erik ten Hag, who is a good coach, has no chance of being a success.
“For me, it’s not on Ten Hag, it’s not on Ronaldo, it’s not even on Fred and McTominay – it’s not Fred’s fault he’s rubbish – it’s on the owners.”
Those sentiments were echoed by former Premier League star Darren Ambrose, who described United as ‘irrelevant’.
He said: “It’s harsh to say it’s a losing mentality, but they have a fear now because they’re globally massive and we all say ‘it’s Manchester United’, it’s irrelevant now.
“They haven’t got a pull anymore, in my opinion. I think that Spurs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City have all got a bigger pull than Manchester United now.
“When we were growing up, that wasn’t the case.”
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