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Gary Neville slams Erik ten Hag over ‘really poor’ Manchester United mistake

Old Trafford legend Gary Neville and Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag
Old Trafford legend Gary Neville and Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag (Pictures: Getty)

Gary Neville has criticised Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag’s handling of Luke Shaw and says it was ‘really poor’ that he played in the game that ultimately forced him out for the next five months.

Shaw is currently in Germany with England’s Euro 2024 squad but did not feature in the Three Lions’ first four games as he recovers from a hamstring problem.

His absence has been a real problem for Gareth Southgate, who has played right-back Kieran Trippier on the left to little success.

Southgate is even considering a shock formation change ahead of Saturday’s quarter-final against Switzerland which would allow England to play without a regular left-back.

Shaw has not featured for club or country since aggravating a hamstring injury in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Luton Town in mid-February.

He had to go off with a hamstring issue the week before against Aston Villa but was asked by Ten Hag to feature against Luton, something he has admitted he regrets agreeing to.

Neville believes it was ‘really poor’ that Ten Hag risked Shaw against Luton and says his absence is being felt by England, just as it was at Manchester United in the second-half of the season.

Luke Shaw is yet to get any minutes at the Euros
Luke Shaw is yet to get any minutes at the Euros (Picture: Getty)

‘That left side has been blocked,’ he said on ITV. ‘When Phil Foden comes inside, the biggest problem is we don’t have a natural left-footed left-back going outside him.

‘It was the same for Manchester United all season with Marcus Rashford. Luke Shaw is such an important player for United and Rashford. We’ve miss that badly [at the Euros]. 

‘I couldn’t believe he played in that game. He should never have played in that game. 

‘I was travelling to Luton that day thinking he was out. He had to go off and you’re thinking, “what’s going on there?” It was really poor.’ 

Given Shaw is yet to get any minutes at the Euros, it would be a surprise if he featured in Saturday’s crucial quarter-final against Switzerland.

Speaking last month Shaw, who scored in the Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy, admitted he regretted agreeing to play against Luton back in February.

‘I felt something against Aston Villa and came off at half-time at Villa Park,’ Shaw said. ‘It’s kind of ­everyone’s fault. Partly my fault, partly medical staff, I think everyone would admit that.

‘I didn’t train the whole week. The scan came back and there wasn’t too much there. But I didn’t train all week, then trained the day before the game. If the manager asks me to play, I’m never going to say no. I shouldn’t have played.’

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