Tuesday 17 January 2017

'What is the game coming to': Roy Keane hits out at Leicester's 'hugging' and rubbishes Spurs' title chances

Published 20/10/2016 | 16:10

Roy Keane has served up a brutal verdict on faltering Premier League champions Leicester, as he insisted he is “cutting them no slack” after a poor start to the season.

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While Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes have started their first Champions League campaign in sparkling fashion after a third successive group stage win against FC Copenhagen on Tuesday night, they have slumped to a series of defeats in the Premier League and languish just two points off the relegation places heading into this weekend’s game against Crystal Palace.

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With Ranieri resting key men such as Riyad Mahrez as he focuses on the Champions League push, Leicester are clearly keen to make the most of what may be their only season competing in Europe’s elite competition.

Yet it will come as no surprise that Keane is not impressed by their shoddy efforts on home soil, as he offered up this damning verdict in his role as an ITV pundit.

“No...no slack,” he responded when asked whether Leicester were entitled to devote more attention to their European adventure.

“You talk about Champions League form…this is a really good group for them and they are going well. No-doubt confidence is growing, the whole club is enjoying it and why not.

“But you have to remember what got them into the Champions League and that is their bread and butter, doing well week-in, week-out in the Premier League.

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“To me, they have lost that bit of hunger in the Premier League. The goals they are giving away, the chances they are giving up, not staying with their runners. I have been really disappointed by this group of players. So yeah, cut them no slack.”

Keane was not even willing to hand out praise to Leicester keeper Kasper Schmeichel, who pulled off a fine late save to secure all three points against Danish champions FC Copenhagen.

“I don’t think it was as great as everyone is making out,” added Keane. “He has done well for Leicester, but for me this was a standard save. That is what he is there for.

“That is what he is supposed to be doing. That’s his job. Doesn’t matter whether it is the last minute.

“And all this hugging players after matches. Over the top stuff. My goodness, what is the game coming to.”

Keane’s fellow pundit Lee Dixon then gave his colleague a comforting rub to try and calm his annoyance, on a night when this notoriously fiery Irishman confirmed once again that he is one of the most compelling football pundits on TV.

He also claimed that Spurs have "no chance" of winning the title, despite Mauricio Pochettino's team sitting second in the table.

”It’s in their own hands (qualifying for Champions League knock out stages) but this idea the can they can win the Premier League, I think no chance,” Keane said.

“I don’t care, I can’t see them winning the Premier League, but they are progressing really well as a football club. It’s now about getting their hands on a trophy, what I mean is the FA Cup or League cup.”

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