Friday, 26 October 2018

Gary Neville Makes Romelu Lukaku Demand Amid Manchester United Slump

Man United's no.9 has too much credit in the bank to be dropped for United's game against Everton, according to the former defender.

Gary Neville insists Jose Mourinho has to keep playing Romelu Lukaku at Manchester United.

The Belgian forward is without a goal in eight United games after firing another blank in United's defeat against Juventus on Tuesday night.

Mourinho admitted that his £75 million forward was struggling with all aspects of his game after the Champions League defeat, but Neville says Lukaku's plight amounts to little more than a slump in form.

"He's got to keep playing," Neville said at the launch of former teammate Ben Thornley's book.

"The longest period I had was six months after the Vasco da Gama game [at the Club World Cup in 2000] when I made the two mistakes.
Gary Neville Makes Romelu Lukaku Demand Amid Manchester United Slump
"I lost my confidence for the six months going into the European Championships but I kept on playing through that period and in the end I came out of it at the other side.

"You play them through those bits of bad form and continue to give them that belief because you know full well they're still contributing when they're not playing well.

"I think that unless a player like Lukaku is feeling so down that he feels as though a break will do him good, you do try and keep them playing.

"But the top players tend to play through those dips in form."

Neville believes Lukaku is among Mourinho's favourites at Old Trafford, and says too much faith is held in the 25-year-old for the plug to be pulled on a forward who scored 27 goals for the club last season.

"You build up a bank of credit," he added.

"If David De Gea makes a mistake, no one's going to start going crazy about it because we know full well that players make mistakes. It's when those mistakes become regular.

"When you build up a faith, with everyone thinking you're a great player, it takes a lot then to say that something is not quite right.

"Romelu Lukaku is nowhere near that. It's a dip, it's not a slump."

The former United defender believes Lukaku's inefficiency in front of goal is, in part, accountable to a lack of creativity in midfield.

"What I would say is the quality through central midfield at United isn’t good enough," he said. "The speed of play, lack of inventiveness.
"The play through midfield is predictable. When I see midfielders play it out to full-backs, that is the easy pass. Some player would always give to the full-backs. The reality is that should be the last option. The first option should be to play through the lines, to the feet of a striker or a winger.

"To play to Ashley Young or Luke Shaw means effectively starting the attack again. That’s the safe option. That’s when the game stops for me."

United face Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday looking to banish the memory of an underwhelming showing against Juventus, and Neville believes it is high time for a consistent level of performance.

"Jose Mourinho must be pulling his hair out," he said.

"He is a manager whose career is prided on consistency. He has been that for 14 years. Now he hasn’t got a team that is consistent. Every weekend is different, Brighton, Watford away, West Ham, the second half at Chelsea.

"Even within games, their form is different from one half to the next. The first half against Tottenham, incredible. Best 45 minutes of football I’ve seen at Old Trafford for five years. The next 45 minutes, desperate. Then you are back down again." manchestereveningnews.co.uk
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