Patrice Evra has posted a 20-minute Instagram video where he passionately dissects the state of Manchester United.
We’ve run through the key points he made about the way the club has fallen away from the level it was at with David Gill and Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm.
Evra is careful to make it clear he doesn’t want United to buy ‘five, seven, ten players’ every summer, but laments the club’s consistent failure to land their main targets.
He says what we can all see – that the decisiveness in the transfer market which characterised Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign has gone.
He recorded the video at 2am, saying he could not sleep after United’s defeat at the weekend.
Evra recalls when Ferguson and David Gill came to meet him face-to-face and it blew him away before he decided to sign for United.
He criticises the use of lawyers – ‘not people from the football world’ – in transfers and cites Alexis Sanchez as an example of this failure.
Evra also called out negotiator Matt Judge, who is supposed to play a key role in getting transfers done.
He said: “A sporting director from a top football club called me and asked me to tell Matthew Judge to answer his phone.”
He also lays into Sanchez for taking the money of the club and disrespecting the ‘legacy’ he played a part in building at Old Trafford.
Evra says he gave all of himself to United. He feels this gives him the right to talk as candidly as he does in the video.
Some ex-United players have been criticised by fans for failing to criticise the current regime.
Evra touches on this, saying some ex-pros are worried ‘if I say this, I won’t get a job’, but claims he’s different as he doesn’t care who he upsets saying what he thinks.
He says he loves the club but doesn’t ‘need’ it to work in football in the future.
Damaging this club
Evra says some of the people who work for the club are ‘damaging’ it.
He claims that himself and any other ex-players who criticise the club are not adding to negativity around the club, or spreading it – they’re just telling the truth.
Evra says he will take Ed Woodward face to face or via text if he has a problem with him.
The Frenchman says Woodward’s ‘only problem’ is trusting the wrong people, even people from outside the club.
He namechecks Richard Arnold as doing good work to get sponsorship but criticises United for sending the wrong people to greet transfer targets.
Evra gives the example of Real Madrid sending Zinedine Zidane to help land players, with the likes of Raphael Varane and Mesut Ozil signing on the dotted line after the French legend’s intervention.
Evra sends a message to players that agents don’t always have their players’ best interests at heart, warning them to avoid the ones who move their clients around just for money.
That could easily apply to Paul Pogba – a close friend of Evra – whose agent Mino Raiola has caused United headaches since 2016.
Ole is the Man
Evra lends his backing to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, because he has brought back the club’s philosophy in a way that predecessors Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho – ‘with their big CVs’ could not.
Evra’s problem with van Gaal was his perception that the Dutchman tried to make United play like Barcelona, changing the philosophy of the club.
The Frenchman said Mourinho’s big problem was his disappointment at the state of the club he inherited, with ‘kids’ when he needed ‘men’.
He calls for Solskjaer to be left alone, guiding attention to other people who shouldn’t be at the club.
Evra says he has met Avram Glazer plenty of times and acknowledges that United fans ‘hate’ the Glazers.
He says the Glazers ‘love’ the club. Evra calls for the ‘Glazers Out’ movement to calm down but says he wants to help the club without working for them.
It remains to be seen how well that goes down with some sections of the fanbase.
Overall, it’s a call to arms to restore the values of the club that Evra saw when he was there. But his nuanced perception on Woodward and Avram Glazer may not go down too well with some fans.
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