Neville wrote in the Mail on Sunday: "The easy route out to explain what has happened this season is to pin the title race on one man: Van Persie. It's comfortable for the manager to point towards that as the decisive blow and thereby blame his directors for not managing to persuade the striker to sign for City rather than United.
"It is true Van Persie had a huge impact in the first part of the season and kept United going when their form wasn't great. That built the foundation for the margin of victory we're seeing now. But, to me, there has been more to City's fall this season than the failure to sign Van Persie or the fact that most of their signings - Scott Sinclair, Javi Garcia, Maicon and Jack Rodwell - haven't made an impact. City still spent £54million last summer and United spent £48m, so they should be a lot closer to United at this stage.
"Complaining about the signings is not only too easy an option for Roberto Mancini, I think it has been a misjudgment. His clear frustration as to what was achieved in the summer demoralises a dressing room, especially players who have been signed, but also established players who may feel vulnerable."