Gary Neville has taken a jibe at the Manchester United squad for their ‘inauthentic’, ‘sanitized’ and ‘vanilla’ social media posts. Neville previously lashed out at The Red Devils roster for hiring PR executives to handle their social media accounts.
Writing in his weekly column for The Times, Neville stated:
“There are characters inside the Manchester United dressing room that I greatly admire not just for their football abilities but their human qualities. Vulnerabilities, resilience, sense of humour and all the things that make them distinct. I don’t recognise them at all when I see some of their social media posts. I see vanilla, sanitised messages. I read apologies that don’t come over sincerely to me or any United fan.”
“I see half the dressing room posting almost identically-worded tweets like they are reading off a script. And not just at United. Some of these tweets and posts are diversion tactics. You feel manipulated reading them and this is meant to be football, not some [Vladimir] Putin-esque plot to control the narrative. It takes character to succeed at United or any top team. I want to see that character, but it is being lost to PR messaging, scripted words and corporate-speak.”
Several Manchester United players have issued public apologies after the team’s harrowing defeats against Liverpool and Manchester City.
Captain Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Bruno Fernandes, and Cristiano Ronaldo have admitted that their performances were not good enough on social media in recent weeks. However, they have stated how Manchester United will fight back in order for things to improve.
Gary Neville feels Manchester United’s media team is creating robots on and off the field
Gary Neville’s annoyance with Manchester United’s players’ social media strategy comes after seeing a podcast clip from Phil Lynch, the CEO of media at Old Trafford.
The clip indicates how each player has a different social media narrative. While an individual has a family focus, another might have a complete on-field focus with attention to the team’s or personal performances. Furthermore, the clip revealed how the media team helps the players build their narratives online.
Neville, however, wasn’t impressed and stated that United are creating robots on and off the field. Here’s what he said:
“Creating robots on and off the pitch! Get the f*** away from them [the players]. It’s a football club. He makes controlling fans sound like he’s trying to win a general election!”
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Roy Keane, too, has slammed players, including Manchester United for their half-hearted apologies on social media.