Gary Neville, former Manchester United captain, has recently voiced his opinion on player punctuality. He stated that being late to training is 'the most disrespectful thing' a player can do. This comment came in response to Nemanja Matic's claim that Jadon Sancho and Paul Pogba were regularly tardy during his time at Manchester United.
Nemanja Matic, Former Manchester United player midfielder, recently said:
“At Chelsea, players acted professionally, they were punctual and were never late for training but at United it happened almost every day, Among the players who would always be late were Paul Pogba and Jadon Sancho and a couple of other players. The rest of us who were always on time were angry so we decided to form a kind of an internal disciplinary committee with me serving as its president.”
“I put a sheet of paper up on the wall where I documented the names of individuals arriving late. During one particular season we collected around £75,000 in fines. We had planned to use the money to throw a party in London but we didn’t due to the Covid outbreak.”
Neville emphasized the importance of discipline and respect for team schedules in maintaining a cohesive unit. He believes that such behavior from players is totally unacceptable, as it undermines the team's unity and disrupts preparation for Premier League or Champions League matches.
In addition to criticizing lateness, Neville also took issue with Matic's breach of dressing room confidentiality. Despite Matic’s departure from United, he gave an interview last week where he discussed the standards he encountered at United.
Neville slammed Matic for his revelation, calling it a 'biggest betrayal'
Neville blasted Matic for this 'unforgivable' act, stating that what happens within the confines of a dressing room should remain private. This incident underscores how crucial trust and confidentiality are within sports teams - they form part of the bedrock upon which successful teams are built.
Gary Neville, former Manchester United captain, said:
“I have been soft on the [United] players for 12 months because I’ve focused on the rotten environment with the ownership, there’s difficulties at the club for players to succeed just with everything that’s around them, A lot’s not right with the club, and hopefully new ownership will sort it out.
“But what we’ve heard from Nemanja Matic in the last week about lateness is something that just riles me.
“The biggest betrayal you can have in a football dressing room is when players or players’ representatives are going to the media to undermine the manager and other players in your dressing room. Honestly, that is f***ing unforgivable.
“For me, I concentrated when I heard these stories on ‘here we go again the f***ers, they’re going to try and get another manager sacked’, ‘another group of players thrown out’, and you know it's happening and that it’s been fed.
“I thought ‘stop winging, shut your mouths, work as hard as you can, and the day after, come back and do it again’ – that’s it."
These incidents serve as a reminder of the high standards expected in professional sports. They underline the importance of discipline, punctuality, and confidentiality in maintaining team unity and performance.