Saturday 21 September 2019

'They are weak human beings' - Roy Keane's full rant as he hits out at modern players and Man United's flops

Roy Keane (Niall Carson/PA).
Roy Keane (Niall Carson/PA).
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Roy Keane has launched a stinging attack on modern footballers and hit out at the Manchester United players he believes let down manager Jose Mourinho.

Speaking to the BBC, former United captain Roy Keane was in feisty mood as he reflected on a week that has saw Mourinho sacked after he oversaw the club's worst start to the season in the Premier League era.

While Keane didn't pick out individual players for criticism, it was clear the former and Republic of Ireland assistant manager was fuming with the attitude of the United players in recent months.

"This idea that these players are upset... it is not just United, but the modern player," said Keane. "These United players have got away with murder. Whatever you say about Mourinho, these players have thrown him under the bus.

"People would fall out with players, that's the name of the game when they turn up overweight and they are not producing, but this is not just at United. It is the modern player.

"They are not just weak players, but are very weak human beings. You cannot say a word to them. I can stand player who are quick to hide behind their agents, their social media, their friends in the media. The modern player, you can't say a word to them.

"I was very lucky with the dressing room I was in, you all put a shift in. There were good men, good leaders and characters, but that is in shortage in the game now.

"It would not have happened in our dressing room. We would not have tolerated lads not putting a shift in.

"I was a bit old school, but I wouldn't call it not old school, I'd call it good school. Whatever has gone on at the club, when you go on the pitch - particularly at a big club like United - you go out and give your all, no excuses. For some to down tools, shame on some of them.

"I am not Jose's biggest fan, but I can't tolerate footballers who hide behind agents, their pals in the media - it is a bit of a joke."

Keane went on to suggest he was surprised by the rapid decline at United following Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013, as he suggested they will take time to close the gap opened up b the Premier League's top sides Manchester City and Liverpool.

"It is amazing how far they have gone back in terms of performances compared to City and Liverpool," he stated.

"Everyone knew it would be difficult when Fergie left, but they never thought for one second they would be 19 points behind City last season and more this year. Everyone must be shocked by how far back they have gone."

Keane also gave his backing to his old team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, after he was confirmed as United's interim manager until the end of this season, as he backed the new boss to get the best out of United's club record signing Paul Pogba.

"The beauty for Ole is it is a case of getting these lads back on side and that includes Pogba and whatever has gone on in the past you have to move on," said Keane.

"Ole will get that feel-good factor back, Mike Phelan back in is a good move, Ole will be popular around the club and I think getting the players back on side will be the easiest part of the job.

"They wanted a change and that is easy for Ole, you'd expect him to win the next few games, try and close the gap on the top teams, go on an FA Cup run and try and beat Paris St-Germain.

"It is a big challenge ahead, but in the short term I expect the players to react and win the next few matches they should be winning.

"The feel good factor will come back, but the problems are still there when they play the bigger games in the next few months. It is hard to cut the gap on Liverpool and City, but Ole will want to get the first game out of the way, a victory under his belt and no doubt a lot will be happy to see him back at the club, as he is such a decent guy."

Keane also backed Mourinho to bounce back, as he insisted he still has a chance to return to the game.

"It is amazing how quick people are to criticise," added Keane. "You listen to people in the last week and everyone says he has lost the plot - that is a load of nonsense. At least he won trophies at United, his CV is amazing. Don't write Mourinho off yet, I hope the guy comes back and does well."

Online Editors

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport