Jamie Carragher hits out at 'lazy punditry' after Man United protest
"If you're going to speak about something... back it up with the facts."
Jamie Carragher has hit out at some of his fellow pundits in the aftermath of protests from Manchester United fans on Sunday that resulted in their game with Liverpool being called off.
Carragher was criticising pundits who had suggested that the main reason for the protests on Sunday was poor performances on the pitch in recent years. Coincidentally this was the exact argument that fellow Sky pundit and Liverpool legend Graeme Souness had made the day before.
The demonstrations on Sunday were the latest acts from United supporters in voicing their anger and discontent at the Glazer family, who own the club. Fans had previously broken into the club's training ground, and flown a banner over Elland Road during their clash with Leeds.
On Sunday, as the protests were taking place outside Old Trafford, Souness was part of Sky's pre-match coverage. He suggested that United's struggle for Premier League glory since Alex Ferguson left the club was the driving force behind the protests. Souness said:
"I think it’s born out of United not being top dogs as much as what happened last week.
"It’s only since Fergie stopped that the success has stopped and I think that irritates supporters and they have become the focus of their anger. I think it’s slightly misdirected.”
The next day Carragher was part of Sky's Monday Night Football coverage, and appeared to take a dig at his colleague, explaining how United supporters' anger at the Glazers has been present for the past decade, Carragher said that it was "lazy punditry" to suggest that fans were only angry because they weren't having on-field success.
He said on the programme: "This is not the European Super League for me. When we had the six clubs, we spoke about this a couple of weeks ago, the supporters who really felt this more and marched on stadiums are Manchester United and Arsenal - that's because they had a huge problem with their owners before this.
"This was the tipping point. Other supporters are very angry with their owners, but don't necessarily want them out. I think it's different for these two clubs, because of that.
"I've listened to a lot this morning and I watched other things. I've got no problem with people having a different point of view or a different opinion from me, because it's nuanced what happened yesterday. But get the facts. Please, when you are going to talk about this, know what's going on."
Carragher continued: "This talk of Manchester United fans only doing this because they are not challenging for the top honours... Supporters formed another club - FC United. That was at the height of this when it started.
"The green and gold campaign was in 2010, I think, when David Beckham came back to the club. The year before that, they were in the Champions League final. The year after they were in the Champions League final.
"Lazy punditry. That's what I call it. If you're going to speak about something and you're going to speak about something passionately - and you can have your opinion - back it up with the facts.
"This is nothing to do with where Manchester United are in the league. Yes, there's been a decline, obviously, but this campaign has been going on for a long, long time, from when Manchester United were very, very successful.
"So let's not accuse Manchester United fans of just throwing the toys out the pram because they're not competing with [Manchester] City or in the Champions League, whatever it may be. That is absolute nonsense."