Saturday 24 February 2018

Roy Keane: Board to blame for United's meltdown

Roy Keane
Roy Keane

Sam Wallace

ROY KEANE has pointed the finger of blame for Manchester United's nightmare season at chief executive Ed Woodward and a host of so-called top players whom he believes have failed this season

In a typical frank assessment of the woes at Old Trafford, Keane didn't hold back in his criticism as he listed Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young, Nani, Michael Carrick, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling as players who had let the club down.

The Ireland assistant manager still feels that David Moyes was harshly treated and thinks that a lack of the quality in the squad is the biggest issue, which is why he says that Woodward should examine his own role.

"He (Moyes) had one transfer window, and it's not always down to the manager when players don't come in," said Keane. "I think Ed Woodward needs to look at himself. He's got to get deals done."

The Corkman has not been impressed with the form of Brazil-bound Jones and Smalling, among several other under-performing United players.

"They have certainly not had great seasons," said Keane.

"I don't think Roy Hodgson had great options in that position.

"Roy's obviously seen enough of them (for them to go to Brazil), but they won't be going into the World Cup in great form.

"Should they count themselves fortunate? They've probably just done about enough. If one of them had been left out, I don't think it would have been a big shock. They better enjoy it while they are over there."

Asked whether the World Cup offered a potential platform for the two United players to prove themselves, Keane was withering in his response.

"They've had a platform for the last couple of years," said Keane.

"We were told two or three years ago Jones was going to be the new Duncan Edwards, Smalling was this (big hope). I've watched United nine, 10 times this year and they have been none of those things. I think they have gone backwards.

"They need to do a lot better if they want to cement their place at Man United and United to win trophies. Jones needs to toughen up. Every time I see him he is getting carried off. He's got to toughen up – he's playing for Man United."

Meanwhile, Keane was not surprised to hear that Rio Ferdinand had left United and didn't show much sympathy that the defender was prevented from saying goodbye at Old Trafford.

"That might have suited him," he said. "Not everybody wants to wander around the pitch waving and crying. It's not about walking on the pitch - I don't know where you're going with this one. He didn't have a chance to say goodbye? You can say goodbye on Twitter, can't you?"

Keane, speaking at the launch of ITV's World Cup coverage, believes United have to rebuild extensively if they are to compete again next season, but the former United captain also insists it is an opportunity to start over under a new man – he backs Louis van Gaal – that should be welcomed by all at United.

"They have to recruit in the summer," said Keane. "It's the spine of the team. United have come up short defensively and in the middle of the park they have not done enough. You watch any of the teams that are winning trophies – and I'm stating the obvious – you've got to have a strong spine, goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and striker and United have been short in two of those areas. It makes it very difficult to win trophies.

"There are fine lines between winning and losing. This year Liverpool have improved 5pc and United have gone back 5pc. There have been so many changes at the back, players have come in that haven't come on.

"You've got Evra leaving, Vidic leaving – they need five or six players in – left-back, right-back, midfielder, winger. You shouldn't be afraid of rebuilding, you should be excited about it." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport