Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane has never been one to bite his tongue.
Known for his no-nonsense approach and brashness, Keane was a pundit for Sky Sports during the game between Tottenham and Manchester United on Friday night. The game finished 1-1, with Steven Bergwijn and Bruno Fernandes on the scoresheet in either half, but Keane was absolutely furious at half-time.
For Tottenham’s opener, Bergwijn collected the ball on the half-way line and dribbled straight through the heart of the Manchester United defence – including captain Harry Maguire – before firing a strike at David De Gea. The Spaniard should have saved the shot but instead just parried it into the roof of the net. Keane was visibly angry at what he’d watched, and let loose in the studio.
“I’m shocked. I’ve seen a lot of football over the years, but to give away that goal, I’m fuming watching this game of football. I can’t believe Man United, I can’t believe [Luke] Shaw heading the ball up in the air and running forwards.
“I am staggered at Maguire, staggered at how an international player can get done like this. And the goalkeeper, I’m sick to death of this goalkeeper, I’d be fighting him at half-time, there’s no getting away from that, I would be swinging punches at that guy. This is a standard save for an established international goalkeeper. I am flabbergasted. There’s got to be some stuff going on at half-time.
“Maguire, and De Gea, I wouldn’t let them on the bus after the match. These are established international players and we’re all sitting here, I know we’re here to analyse the game, we can analyse it till the cows come home. You do your job, we’re on about just getting in the top four, God forbid winning trophies. Shocking. I’m disgusted by it. De Gea, Maguire, hang your heads in shame.”
Keane was famously sacked by Manchester United after an interview on in-house club channel MUTV, where he publicly slated some of the young players in the squad for their performances and not being good enough.
While the former Republic of Ireland captain clearly went a bit over-the-top with his rant, a lot of the points he made are completely true and valid. The fans have said for a while now that David De Gea hasn’t been up to the standard and many were confused when the club renewed his contract to make him the highest-paid goalkeeper of all-time. With that said though, De Gea may be due some slack. The Spaniard literally carried United for a number of years post-Fergie and even won the Player of the Year award an unprecedented four times. He’s due some serious competition in the summer with Dean Henderson set to return to the club on loan and many fans are ready for the torch to be passed on to the English academy graduate.
As for Maguire, it’s a similar story any time he comes up against some genuine pace. He has the turning circle of a fire-truck but with his ball-playing attributes he tends to find himself caught out high up the pitch regularly. A possible remedy for it would be to play a quicker defender alongside him, which could see Eric Bailly or Axel Tuanzebe replace Victor Lindelof to help ease that issue. That said, Manchester United would need to see a crazy improvement from Maguire to ever feel that the £80 million they paid Leicester last summer was justified.