‘He is the biggest disappointment to ever come to Man United him’: Gary Neville slams Angel Di Maria’s performance in Argentina’s ‘Championship’ quality match against Mexico while Roy Keane claims the winger is ‘GUARANTEED’ to give the ball away
Gary Neville and Roy Keane were left far from impressed by Argentina veteran Angel di Maria’s performance against Mexico on Saturday, in which the two-time World Cup winners laboured to a 2-0 win.
The result flattered to deceive Argentina, but it was Di Maria that came in for particularly poor reviews, with both pundits also commenting on his disastrous spell with their former club, Manchester United.
Although the Juventus forward got an assist in the second half, his involvement was a more or less straight forward 15-yard pass to his left before Lionel Messi’s stunning strike to take the lead.
Angel di Maria struggled against Mexico on Saturday despite picking up a second half assist
The 34-year-old winger spent a single season at United in 2014-15 before leaving for PSG after a £64.6million (€75m) switch from Real Madrid.
During that time though the Argentina international managed only four goals and 12 assists in 32 games, in what was a disappointing return for a player that was among the top forwards in Europe at the time.
Argentina went into the clash on Saturday knowing that defeat would make them only the second side to be officially out of the tournament, after hosts Qatar had been eliminated the day before.
But despite the extra motivation, the opening 45 minutes saw a turgid and toothless performance from the side that many had earmarked to go on and win the tournament for a third time in their history.
And on the night that he won his 126th cap for his country, both Neville and Keane thought Di Maria’s display was particularly poor.
‘He is the biggest disappointment to ever come to Manchester United him… He’s got no heart,’ Neville began, talking to ITV as part of their World Cup coverage.
Gary Neville called the 34-year-old ‘the biggest disappointment’ to ever play for Manchester United
‘He’d break your heart, I’m not sure he’s got one. Go on and do something. He’s guaranteed to give it (the ball) away,’ continued Keane.
‘He’s running into bodies, he’s not getting his head up. Look at his career… he’s had some great moves, gone for a lot of money, but watching him out there…
‘Take him off. His end product and decision making for an experienced player is so poor.’
The 34-year-old has now played in four World Cups for Argentina, scoring twice and getting his first assist on Saturday evening.
Former United captain Roy Keane added that his decision-making against Mexico was poor
And although he has played for some of the biggest sides in European football – Real Madrid, PSG, Manchester United, Juventus – he struggled to help Lionel Messi inspire his side.
Di Maria failed to have a single shot against Mexico
He managed only one successful cross from five attempts, failed to have a single shot, and had the third fewest passes in the game on his side with 24 – just one more than Emiliano Martinez in goal.
Neville continued in his criticism, this time slamming the team as a whole, adding: ‘You start to think, “Is this what Argentina are?” – there’s no rhythm, no pattern of play.
‘They’ve got a job to do here. It’s a really poor Argentina performance. England played really badly last night, but how many of those England players would you swap for Argentina players?
‘I think the talent we’ve got… Argentina hasn’t got that.’
Keane concluded: ‘Some of the play from Argentina has been so poor, it’s like watching a Championship match.
‘The manager’s made five changes but there has been no reaction.’
He joined United in 2014 but only spent a single season at Old Trafford scoring four goals