Gary Neville believes the true state of Manchester United’s current squad will become apparent after their next three matches.
Tough away fixtures to West Brom and Manchester City as well as a big home match against table topping Chelsea are going to be real tests for Louis van Gaal‘s side.
The visit of Everton in the last game-week was the hardest test to date but Neville feels it would only be fair to pass judgement on United after the upcoming tough games.
“I think it’s an exciting time,” Neville said this week.
“It’s going to be an important few weeks but exciting as well. We’ll find out in the next few weeks as the West Brom, Chelsea and City games are all massive ones that I’m going to be at and my thought is we’ll find out exactly [the level] where the team is at this season.
“It’s going to be tough for United to get into the Champions League and that would be a big achievement. At this moment in time, we’re in the places in fourth spot but we’ll find out where we’re at in the next few weeks.
“We’ve not really played anybody really strong yet. I know Everton at home could be classed as being a tough game but, in terms of really tough matches, Chelsea and City will provide a real measure of where this team is at.”
Neville is right. United are yet to face a title contender so there will be a massive leap in quality when they come up against City and Chelsea, both of which are going to be very tough games.
That being said, Neville is confident United can come out on top against Chelsea: “I’ve watched a lot of City and Chelsea, and Chelsea are the best team by a long way,” added Neville.
“”Make no mistake about that. But I’d like to think United are always the club that can beat a big team. Even in seasons when we weren’t great, like in the mid-2000s, I always felt we could upset Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ and Chelsea – I think Darren Fletcher scored one year when Mourinho was manager.
“I look at the game in two weeks’ time and United will be up for it. Chelsea will have been in Europe that week and, for me, United will cause Chelsea big problems. It’ll be their toughest game and Jose Mourinho would know that.”