Football News

“I give up” – Roy Keane blasts lack of characters at Man Utd after Man City defeat

By Harry Edwards

Published: 14:51, 6 November 2021

Former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane unleashed yet another scathing review of the club’s current situation, insisting he has given up on the Red Devils.

Despite beating Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 last weekend to sit fifth, just three points outside the top four, the pressure is still on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with fans unhappy at the way the team have been playing. Things almost took a turn for the worse in midweek as Man Utd were on the brink of losing to Atalanta in the Champions League but they were partially saved by an injury-time Cristiano Ronaldo equaliser.

There would be no rest for the Red Devils, however, as Manchester City travelled to Old Trafford for a Premier League derby on Saturday afternoon looking to pile the misery on their local rivals.

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The misery was well and truly piled on, with Man Utd losing back-to-back home matches against rivals having rolled over against Liverpool in a 5-0 thrashing at Old Trafford, before Man City’s 2-0 victory on Saturday. Although the score lines will not portray it, Man Utd were severely outplayed and dominated by Man City, more than they were against Liverpool.

The damage was done in the first half as Eric Bailly gave Man City an early lead through an own goal before Bernardo Silva capitalised on poor defending and goalkeeping to tap in at the fast post, putting his side in cruise control.

And it was the first-half performance that had Keane fuming, chastising his former side for their showing in the Manchester Derby.

“This defending: (Luke) Shaw. (David) De Gea… Not enough pressure, it’s ok sitting back but when you get to this area (around the goal) you’ve got to have intensity, you’ve got to realise it’s almost half-time, you’re on the ropes – stay in the game,” he said on Sky Sports at half-time.

“You’re like a boxer, stay in the game. Look at Shaw and De Gea, what chance have you got in this game?

“Look at Shaw here, the goalkeeper. I’ve been cursing these guys for years. I give up. I give up on these players.

“De Gea, right on half-time. Look at Shaw, these are international footballers, I can’t understand the defending. I give up.

“I’m driving up here today thinking, ‘Manchester City okay, but Man United will have that chance, they’re at home’.

“They’ve been like this all season, giving up chances. City got a little bit arrogant and gave them one or two chances, but it’s two at the moment and unless United do something drastic it’ll be another four or five.”

Although Man City didn’t score more than their two first-half goals, the second-half performance wasn’t much better for Man Utd and they ended the match with just five shots in total, only one of which hit the target. For context, De Gea had to make as many saves from Man Utd players as Ederson did, not including the Bailly own goal that went past him.

Speaking after the game, Keane added: “It felt worse (than the Liverpool defeat). City are a different type of team to Liverpool, they were quite happy just to keep the ball and they just toyed with United.

“So poor, the difference in class, quality, decision-making, everything. It was, I know the old saying ‘men v boys’ but United are so awful it’s unbelievable.

“Foden mentions it’s a tough place to come, it’s not. Ask Everton, ask Aston Villa, ask Liverpool. Teams have come here, they’re getting a bit of joy now. I know United’s away record over the last couple of seasons has been fantastic but ultimately it’s what you do at home that gives you that foundation to try and compete and go on and win trophies because United always have the quality away from home.

“I don’t know what I’m going to say, it’s just so poor. We go back to look for characters, (Scott) McTominay, Fred – McTominay, I know he’s learning his trade – Fred is a midfielder. These players aren’t good enough for Manchester United.

“Defensively, even the first goal, I wasn’t shocked when Bailly just sliced that, he’s got that in him. He’s erratic, he slices at things.

“It’s hope more than any belief. Ole has to take responsibility, of course he has, they have to get more out of these players.

“I’d like to go in hard on the United players but today I’m just feeling sorry for them, they’re just not up to playing for Man United.”