Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has hit out at Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil to start performing for their clubs while believing that Real Madrid still haunts the under-performing duo. The two expensive recruits come head to head as Arsenal take on Manchester United in the FA Cup and Gary Neville believes that its time for the two players to step up for their new clubs.
In his bid to analyse Angel Di Mariaa s performance since his arrival at Manchester United, Gary Neville explained that the Argentine had all the pre-requisites, unlike Juan Mata and Fellaini, to be a top Manchester United player.
a It was a signing that truly excited me. I had seen Di Maria play for Real Madrid, watched as he was their best player in the Champions League final last May, and saw him as the addition to the United squad who would deliver the pace, impetus and the ability to change the speed of a game – all of which had all been lacking last season.a
a The players brought to the club by David Moyes – Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata – had their attributes, but neither were quick or likely to encourage an expansive game and, although Mata can dribble, it is usually only in small spaces. I had doubts as to whether they were United players, but I had absolutely no doubts about Angel di Maria.a
However Neville admitted that Angel Di Maria has failed to justify his hefty price tag during his time at Old Trafford and believes that he is still haunted by the manner in which he was pushed out of Real Madrid last summer. Labelling Real Madrid as the dream club for Angel Di Maria, Gary Neville insisted that the Argentine, along with Arsenal recruit Mesut Ozil, are still haunted by the manner in which they left the Los Galacticos.
a But in attempting to pinpoint why Di Maria has struggled to deliver at United, I think you must also look at Mesut Ozil at Arsenal. Just like Di Maria, Ozil was pushed out of Madrid and he has since struggled to be the game-changer that I believe a A?42m player should be for Arsenal.a
a Although Arsenal fans often complain when I highlight Ozila s shortcomings, my response is that I generally see him in the bigger games against the top opponents and he has not delivered…He does not influence games as he should, but maybe Arsenal and United fans need to accept that it will take longer for the German and Di Maria to come good.a
a For me, it is as though leaving Real Madrid has been like a bad divorce for the pair of them – a messy end to a relationship that will take maybe eighteen months to two years to overcome.a
Gary Neville however insisted that Manchester United will need the services of Angel Di Maria as they face consecutive tough fixtures in its bid to qualify for Champions League next season.