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Ian Wright: You couldn't back Manchester United to win anything

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Arsenal legend Ian Wright has taken a swipe at Manchester United's leaky defence, suggesting that Louis van Gaal's side will not win any trophies unless they tighten up at the back.

The former Gunners striker's comments were taken from his column in The Sun, which deliver a stinging criticism of the Red Devils after Sunday's shock 1-0 defeat against Southampton.

Dusan Tadic's second-half strike ended Manchester United's 11-game unbeaten run in all competitions, prompting the Saints to leapfrog their opponents into third place in the Premier League table.

Wright highlighted the defensive frailties that were on show at Old Trafford again at the weekend and says that Ronald Koeman's men perfectly exploited the main weakness of Van Gaal's team.

"The thing with [Manchester] United at the moment is that it isn't taking something out of the top drawer to find a way through their defence," he explained. "Teams look at United's rearguard and know that if they get at them, there's every chance of securing a positive result.

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"Southampton's winner at Old Trafford over the weekend came after a nice combination between Graziano Pelle and Dusan Tadic up top. But it started with a punt downfield that United did not cope with.

"Let's be honest, Pelle wasn't doing anything particularly special against them but his physical presence caused Louis van Gaal's defenders all sorts of problems."

Comparing the current Manchester United line-up with the famous Arsenal side that built success on the foundation of a solid defence, Wright - who scored an impressive total of 113 Premier League goals - said Van Gaal's crop falls well short, and that's why they have found life difficult in the post Sir Alex Ferguson era.

Looking ahead to the future at the Theatre of Dreams, the 51-year-old did have more positive opinions on the club's long-term prospects under the guidance of the Dutch tactician, suggesting that the arrival of more new signings in 2015 will go some way to re-establishing the Red Devils as a force to be reckoned with, both domestically and in Europe.

"I'm sure that in time Van Gaal will get it right" - Ian Wright

"I'm sure that in time Van Gaal will get it right," he added. "It's equally obvious he hasn't finished spending yet, whether that's in the current window or in the summer.

"But until he sorts out those problems in defence, you couldn't back [Manchester] United with total confidence to win anything."

However, despite the perceived problem at the back, Manchester United have conceded just 21 Premier League goals in as many games in 2014/15, which is one more than reigning champions Manchester City and only two more than this year's leaders Chelsea.

That statistic is thanks largely to the fine form of Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea, but don't be surprised if Van Gaal re-enters the transfer market to try and add a world-class centre-back to his Old Trafford ranks in the mid-season window.

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Topics:
Ian Wright
Premier League
Manchester United
Football

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