It famously takes a lot to please Roy Keane, especially around Manchester United, and the Sky Sports pundit again showed why he thinks standards at the club have dramatically taken a tumble despite Sunday’s superb 3-0 win at Everton.
The Red Devils travelled to Goodison Park facing an Everton team still reeling from the Premier League’s decision to dock them 10 points. And despite Manchester United claiming a handsome 3-0 win, courtesy of an absolutely spectacular Alejandro Garnarcho opener, a Marcus Rashford penalty and a third from Anthony Martial, Keane was still far from pleased.
Indeed, Erik ten Hag’s side were good value for the win that ensures their perfect Premier League form in November continues – they now have three wins from three, scoring five goals without reply in the process – to fire themselves up to sixth in table and close that gap on the top four to just four points.
Next up for United is a must-win Champions League clash at Galatasaray on Wednesday, where the stakes could not be higher. Lose and United are out of the competition, draw and their chances of progress still remain unlikely, while even a win will take them into another must-win clash at home to Bayern Munich in the final game.
United will go to Istanbul in good spirits given their recent Premier League form.
And while another win will not yet deflate the pressure that had been building around Ten Hag, it will at least knock aside rumours that his players are not behind his regime.
Roy Keane rips into Man Utd for being sixth
They will, of course, need to progress through to the UCL knockout games for that to really ease off, while a continuation of their excellent Premier League form will be the least supporters expect too.
Keane, however, was still far from content, despite their latest success at Goodison – and by their most-convincing winning margin of the season.
Indeed, reflecting on their second goal – a penalty blasted home by Rashford after Ashley Young had fouled Anthony Martial – Keane was less than impressed at Ten Hag’s decision to praise Bruno Fernandes for his ‘role’ in the goal.
The Portuguese is United’s usual penalty taker but he opted to hand the responsibility over to Rashford, given the forward’s lack of goals output so far this season.
However, rather than agree with the Dutchman, Keane was left unhappy with Ten Hag’s praise.
And the Irishman still insists United have “a long way to go” to catch up with the game’s elite.
“He’s giving toffee out there to Bruno for passing on the ball for the penalty. Absolute b***** rubbish. Absolute rubbish coming out with that. Manchester United are sixth now – if you went back a few years, if you were sixth you’d be embarrassed,” Keane vented on Sky Sports.
“But obviously they seem happy with sixth.They have a long way to go. Manchester United have to be competing with the best teams. That’s including Liverpool, [Manchester] City, Arsenal.
“Obviously you’ve got teams like Spurs having a decent spell, Villa and of course Newcastle. They go to Newcastle next week – we’ll see what Manchester United turns up. That’s what they’re supposed to do, turn up for the big games.”
Bruno Fernandes also feels Keane wrath
Keane continued: “It’s not been good enough with the talent they’ve got. Look, they’ve got themselves in a nice position but the reason you’re playing for Manchester United is to compete against the top teams.”
Ten Hag, however, revealed afterwards that Fernandes had illustrated what true leadership he has by passing the ball to Rashford.
“You saw how great a captain Bruno is. He could see, feel, assess that his team-mate needed that goal. Also he had the confidence in Rashy to take the penalty because he knows he is a very good penalty taker,” the Dutchman stated.
“As a team, you need that. You need such leadership and you back each other, you cover each other and you give each other the confidence because you know you need it to get a successful season.
“There was another example of how this team can play, how you can quieten the crowd but also make an impact on an opponent. So be brave, be proactive, be dynamic. And that is what we showed in the first couple of minutes in the game.
“Our three offensive players scored and that is very good. That is what we need, that they go and score because that will help us as a team. And I said we need that to get into the season, to be successful, absolutely. That will give them confidence.”
After Wednesday’s trip to Galatasaray, United next face a Saturday evening game against Newcastle at St James’ Park, before a midweek home date against Chelsea at Old Trafford.