Manchester United are ‘ruining football’ and must share blame for Bury and Bolton struggles – Mark Saggers’ talkSPORT rant

2 Sep

Mark Saggers says Manchester United must share the blame for the financial struggles of neighbouring clubs Bolton and Bury.

In a furious rant, the talkSPORT host took aim at the Glazers and chief executive Ed Woodward and accused the Premier League giants of ‘blowing apart the football pyramid’ and ‘ruining football’ with their outrageous spending.

Ed Woodward has come under heavy fire from Manchester United fans over their recruitment
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The financial disparity between the English top flight and the rest of the Football League can be summed up in just the Greater Manchester area over the last few years.

Manchester United are one of the richest clubs in the world and have spent millions on new signings including Paul Pogba (£89m), Harry Maguire (£80m), Romelu Lukaku (£75m) and Alexis Sanchez (free, but on £500,000-a-week wages).

Meanwhile, just a few miles down the road, Bury have been kicked out of the EFL over their financial woes and Bolton only just escaped the same fate when they were successfully taken over by new owners last week.

Unlike blue rivals Manchester City, United’s big spending has not led to success on the pitch, either.

And Saggers believes United’s recent reckless splashing of the cash has filtered down and had a huge impact on lower league clubs.

Speaking on Sunday Exclusive, Saggers said: “They’ve had the chief executive doing all the business and it’s all gone totally wrong, but the owners don’t care because they just use the club as a bank!

“This shows you where we really are.

“We look at Bury down the road and there are two Man United players saying ‘it’s terrible, our parents were linked to the club but we can’t help bail them out because we have our own side’.

Bury have been booted out of the EFL and now stand on the brink of liquidation
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“And then you look at Salford City, who are at times paying above rates for players.

“They’re all getting skewed by this ridiculous top-end, where Sanchez is on ridiculous amounts of money and United are just throwing money at players they think they want because have they just read the back pages and somebody says they’re brilliant.

“This is all being filtered down and it is blowing up our pyramid. It’s outrageous, it’s absolutely outrageous.

Manchester United paid big money to bring Alexis Sanchez to Old Trafford, but he was a huge flop
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“It’s about time the likes of Phil Neville – who this week talked about how much Bury means to his family – come out and say, ‘the whole of my game is skewed by these financial problems, we are ruining it’.

“That’s what Manchester United are doing.”

Paul Pogba has NOT improved at Manchester United and should simplify his game, claim Sam Allardyce and Dean Saunders on talkSPORT

12 Aug

Paul Pogba has been told to cut out the tricks and flicks and just keep things simple to improve his performances at Manchester United.

Former England manager Sam Allardyce has told talkSPORT the French midfielder has not improved in the three years since re-joining the club from Juventus.

Meanwhile, Dean Saunders believes Pogba tries too hard to ‘make us clap’ and should instead focus on getting the simple things right to start bringing consistency to his game.

Paul Pogba has not improved since he re-joined Man United and must simplify his game, according to two talkSPORT pundits

While few can doubt the World Cup winner’s talent and ability, the consistency of his displays and influence on the pitch have been questioned throughout his second stint at Old Trafford.

Pogba’s showing in Sunday’s 4-0 win opening weekend win over Chelsea was a great example – two moments of class from him led to two of United’s goals, including a sublime long-range through ball into two-goal hero Marcus Rashford.

However, there were also times throughout the match where he was sloppy in possession and frustrated his manager and fans.

And the 26-year-old has been urged to focus on excelling at the simple things during a game and start learning when it’s right to let his creative flair take over.

Allardyce, who was on co-commentary duties for talkSPORT at Old Trafford, said on Sunday Exclusive: “How much has he learned since he’s been at Manchester United?

“Unfortunately for me he hasn’t improved his game.

“We’ve seen the best from him sometimes when he’s playing behind the front two, like at Man City away when he scored two goals. For me that looks like the position best for him, best suited to the tricks and the abilities he wants to pull off.

“Doing in central midfield in a two, it just doesn’t work for Man United and it doesn’t work for him.

Pogba got two assists in Man United’s Premier League opener against Chelsea
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“When Pogba plays the ball simply he looks very effective, but when he tries to do drag backs and step overs he’s lost the ball every time.

“He needs to cut it out in the position he’s playing in.

“If he was playing in behind the frontman, then I could understand it a little bit more, but he was causing Man United more problems than he was causing Chelsea on the ball.”

This verdict is shared by Dean Saunders, who says the Frenchman needs to stop pretending he’s Johan Cruyff.

Speaking on Monday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, the former Liverpool and Wales striker said Pogba cannot be considered one of the world’s best players until he simplifies and brings more balance to his game.

Pogba was applauded off by the home fans at the end of the game
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He said: “For me, the best players in the world do the simple things well most of the time

“The great players in the world, they still do the same thing but occasionally they make you clap.

“Pogba tries to make you clap every time he gets the ball, for me.

“He’s trying Cruyff turns, trying difficult passes, they’re no doubt he can do it, but there’s got to be times where you should just play one touch, two touch and keep moving the ball across the pitch.”