Football

Giles And Brady Say Sky Panel "Dodged The Real Issue" In United Post-Mortem

Giles And Brady Say Sky Panel "Dodged The Real Issue" In United Post-Mortem

Jamie Carragher, Gary Neville and their Monday Night Football programme have assumed a virtue that once belonged to RTE - their chat about football is so utterly compelling and entertaining that is required watching, regardless of how bad the actual football game they are screening happens to be.

The Panel of Dunphy, Giles, and Brady enlivened many the Champions League dead-rubber on Irish television, but now that only one of the amigos remain, Sky's coverage is the best around.

Sky had an all-star cast yesterday to pick through the fetid carcass that has become of Man United's season, with the excellent David Jones flanked by Graeme Souness, Jamie Carragher, Gary Neville, and, for one afternoon only, Roy Keane.

Given that he wasn't talking about himself, Keane wasn't interesting. Souness glowered with his usual disdainful intensity, and Carragher was reasonably good, but Neville stole the show. When Jones tilted conversation in the direction of Jose Mourinho, Neville paused and changed tack. "The boardroom is so naive it's unbelievable" began Neville, before Jones interjected to bring talk back to Mourinho. "Let me finish", snapped Neville, who then warmed to a familiar theme.

To give him an extended contract knowing the cycle of Mourinho and his three years. The third year is always the difficult year for him.

So 18 months in, with United second in the league having won two trophies in his first season, that was the point where the board had to hold their nerve and keep him hungry in that third season. The minute he came back from pre-season he was at it, and the club lost control.

There isn't that experience or knowledge of the club above him to be able to manage, control and handle him. His agent was out last week, he goes into press conferences and you don't know what he's going to say next and they don't know what to do with him.

They are paying the price now. The problem they will have now is that it will cost an absolute fortune to lose him and, when you lose a manager midway through a season, there's the situation of who is going to come in.

What do they want for the next three or four years at the club? Because it's not as easy as saying get rid of the manager. Manchester United need to reset. It's not just the manager, it's deeper than that.

Neville's plaudits at the time seemed ambient, but he did not fully impress two of RTE's amigos.

Speaking to Eamon Dunphy on The Stand podcast, Liam Brady said he believed that Neville ignored the fact that Mourinho is the biggest issue.

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I heard that discussion, I actually thought they all body-swerved the problem. The problem is Mourinho and it always has been. He has lost the players. They are not giving them 100%, they are much better than their performances. Gary Neville was saying that they didn't have a midfield player who could pass the ball, and get on the half-turn, but Mourinho bought Pogba and he bought Fred. He bought two centre-backs who haven't gelled. I think these guys are much better than what Mourinho is getting out of them.

I think the panel there on Sky, they dodged the issue. Mourinho is the problem and they should have got rid of him in October.

I know Neville is saying that you need to put in place who will look after the club for the next three or four years. I don't necessarily agree with that - I think you need to get him out of the club, get someone in who will get the players back on track. They aren't with him and won't be with him going forward.

John Giles agreed with Brady.

There's a point there but I'd agree with Liam rather than Neville in this instance. You have to go back to what Mourinho has done. I think that the panel did dodge the issue, I agree with Liam entirely there. The money that he has spent and all the things he has done - look at what Klopp has done.

Look at what Pochettino has done, Emery in a few months, Sarri at Chelsea. I made a list this morning - he has spent 385 million and all the players he has fallen out with. Lindelof, Shaw, Jones...Mata, Pogba, Rashford, Smalling, Lingard, Lukaku, Bailly, Jones. All these guys, Eamon, he's fallen out with them. How do you expect them to play for him? He has publicly criticised them. Why would they play for him? What's morale like in the dressing room?

I think he is looking to get out, and I think he should be out. I think the board have made a mistake in giving him a new contract, but I definitely wouldn't blame the board. If Mourinho was doing the stuff that he should be doing for a man on 15 million a year, you wouldn't be talking about the board.

Dunphy, however, agreed with Neville and enjoyed the discussion, articulating so in classical Dunphy style.

I thought it was an interesting conversation and it's always nice to see Roy when he's happy, and smiling...he looks like Saddam Hussein.

You can listen to the full podcast here.

See Also: English Media Irish Player Ratings From The Weekend's Games

Gavin Cooney
Article written by
Changed the spelling of his name upon pressure from Michael Owen.

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