Thursday 20 June 2019

'These players won't learn' - Roy Keane rips into two England defenders as he gives his verdict on their World Cup campaign

England manager Gareth Southgate consoles Danny Rose during the FIFA World Cup third place play-off match at Saint Petersburg Stadium.
England manager Gareth Southgate consoles Danny Rose during the FIFA World Cup third place play-off match at Saint Petersburg Stadium.
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Roy Keane has been pointed in his criticism of England's weak links during this summer's World Cup and now he has served up some harsh words for Tottenham full-back Danny Rose and Manchester United's Phil Jones after their performances in the third-place play-off game against Belgium.

After England slipped to a 2-0 defeat against Robert Martinez's Red Devils in St Petersburg, Republic of Ireland assistant manager Keane didn’t hold back in his critique of Rose, as he made an error that paved the way for Thomas Meunier's opening goal after just four minutes.

“England gave a shocking goal away, sloppy, lazy defending, really lazy defending," Keane told ITV Sport.

“When you look at Rose’s defending on top of the centre halves, he’s never going to learn about the game if he doesn’t know that at 28 years of age. He’s in trouble.

"We keep talking about England going forward and saying they have to do better, but they also need to defend better. The two goals they gave away in this game, we see it every week from Rose and Jones.

"We say we shouldn't be too critical (because England got to the semi-finals), but I can be. If you defend like that, it is very hard to win a game of football against good opposition.

"These players won't learn. They make the same mistakes every week, Jones and Rose. They are not good defenders. They are working with some great coaches and if they won't change it, they are going to cost you big-style. If they are not good enough to play for a top club, what should happen? Out the door."

Keane was outspoken in his belief that his fellow ITV panellists Ian Wright and Gary Neville were getting carried away by England's hopes of lifting the World Cup, but he dismissed the suggestion that the hype inspired Croatia to win last Wednesday semi-final against Gareth Southgate's side.

Croatia skipper Luka Modric was among those who claimed the 'football's coming home' euphoria in England had been used to motivate them ahead of the game in Moscow, but Keane questioned those comments.

"They can get a bit carried away, but in fairness I don't think it was just the English media who thought England would win the other night," stated Keane, reflecting on their 2-1 extra-time defeat against Croatia.

"People in general, myself included, thought England had a good chance of winning the game and as a player I would never be motivated by anything written or said by the opposition. You are doing it for your team, your country, your family….so I would dismiss them remarks (from Modric).

"He was interviewed quite soon after the game and he might regret saying it now, but it is quite easy to come out after a game you have won and talk your mouth off."

Keane concluded by suggested Southgate's side have done well at this World Cup, even though he suggested they are well short of the standards required to win major tournaments.

"England have done well, but there were parts of the England team that were lacking," he added. "They need someone to put their foot on the ball in the midfield and they lacked that the other night.

"Also, when you look at the Belgium team, a lot of those players are playing for top Premier League clubs, but a lot of the England players are playing for lesser clubs. That may be a problem moving forward for them."

Online Editors

The Throw-In: Dublin hurlers come of age, who will stand up for Offaly and Anthony Cunningham's unique record

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport