Ex Manchester United captain Gary Neville began his week with a savage dig at Everton, accusing them of bottling performances in big games.
Neville was clearly irked by Toffees supporters and gave it back to them with a harsh dig at them, a day after their narrow 3-2 loss away at Arsenal.
Amusing as it might have been, the problem is it might not do Manchester United much good next weekend.
Everton shouldn’t need motivation to put in a good performance against United at Goodison. They always turn up and it has been a tough ground for us to win at, even back under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Last season we suffered our worst performance of the season there in a 4-0 loss which highlighted how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s early success as interim boss had dramatically trailed off.
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti probably doesn’t pay too much attention to Twitter, but one of his assistants may point out Neville’s message.
It should be pinned up on Everton’s dressing room wall and could even be covered in the local media ahead of the game.
United face a tough task going up against Ancelotti’s Everton who have only been beaten in the league twice since the Italian took over.
Everton will also have a week’s rest a head of Sunday’s game while United’s key men will all likely be involved at home to Club Brugge on Thursday night.
At minimum, Neville’s words won’t have any effect and it will be a tough game anyway, but at worst case scenario, Everton will be extra fired up for the game and his taunt could backfire on United.
What we have seen from United lately suggests that Everton will have a tough task breaking us down. Our defensive record has been really strong over the last month with five clean sheets now in the last six games.
We are unlikely to fold in the same way as last season. Even so, the quick turnaround from Thursday night sets it up as a very difficult match. Everton are only five points behind us and will have an eye on a top five place. It’s fair to say Neville probably hasn’t helped make a tough match any easier.
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