Gary Neville says Man United’s new director of football has insufficient power

Gary Neville is clearly not impressed with Manchester United’s new appointments of a director of football and technical director.

United announced the appointment of John Murtough and Darren Fletcher to the two respective posts last week, news that was welcomed by many as it meant there was to be football men in these crucial positions.

But speaking on The Gary Neville Podcast today, Neville did not seem convinced.

‘I think the appointments of John Murtough and Darren Fletcher are internal appointments, really,’ Neville said.

‘Murtough has been at the club for eight seasons, Darren Fletcher has obviously known the club for a long time. It’s quite clear that the direction of the club is to go down a path of people who understand and know the DNA of the club.

‘Nicky Butt is in the club, Michael Carrick, Mike Phelan, Darren Fletcher, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – there’s five or six players who have lived through the Sir Alex Ferguson era who know what it means.

‘There has been a departure at times over the last 10 years since Sir Alex left, in terms of going down different routes, it’s clear now that Ed Woodward and the board have chosen to go down this route.

So far, so good – but then comes the rub.

‘In terms of the appointment of John Murtough as football director, I don’t see that being a critical appointment in the sense of United winning the league or not winning the league in the next few years,’ Neville continued.

‘When you look at the job description, I don’t think he has the veto to sack the manager or appoint a manager or sign a player or get rid of a player. I think that will still come down to the same people as before.

‘Obviously, there is a comfort internally now in regards to the current people who are there, they’re working well.

‘I do think there has been progression since Jose Mourinho left, generally, the performance levels are better, the football is better, the feeling in the club is better and maybe the connection to the fans.”

‘But there are a couple of big steps to get to the level of Manchester City and that’s the big jump that John Murtough, Darren Fletcher, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the rest of the staff have to make in the next 12 to 18 months and they’ll be judged on the field ultimately.

‘But I don’t see the appointments this week as being massively influential in the first team success in terms of winning a Champions League or a league title.’

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