Thursday 22 February 2018

Keane lashes out at 'rubbish' United and Arsenal encounter

Oliver Kay

A SECOND heavyweight tussle in seven days looms in the Premier League on Sunday, with Chelsea and Manchester United going toe to toe at Stamford Bridge, but, if Roy Keane used to live for such encounters in his playing days, he is finding himself considerably less enthused as spectator.

Keane was synonymous with United's fierce rivalry with Arsenal in the 1990s and early 2000s, but, watching his former club beat Arsene Wenger's team 1-0 on Monday night, the Ipswich Town manager was far from impressed.

"I saw (the United-Arsenal match) on television and I don't think I've ever been so annoyed watching a game," Keane said. "There was no intensity; players weren't getting stuck in and everyone seemed to be pals with each other. I thought it was rubbish for a game between two top teams, although to be fair to United they showed a great will to win.

"(English football) is changing - and not for the good, far from it. If you ask me, it is going downhill. It's not the game we knew 15 or 20 years ago. I don't think we love it the way we did years ago because of what we see every day of the week.

"If I lost my job, there would be nobody complaining too much, but top managers getting good results are being sacked. Owners are coming in from other countries and I don't know if they understand the game of football. It's an ego thing, like a toy they can play with. They buy clubs, sack managers. It's crazy. We see players wanting to leave a club after being there two minutes because they are not happy with what's going on.

"We have praised a lot of foreigners for what they have done over the years. But a lot of them have to look at what they have done in recent months and weeks, be it players or owners."

Keane, though, can ill afford to dwell on nostalgia; defeat at home to Leicester City tomorrow evening could spell the end of his tenure at Ipswich, which may leave television punditry as his best option in the short term.

Now that would be entertaining.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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