Roy Keane slams ‘bored’ star not good enough for Man City

Date published: Sunday 8th August 2021 8:00 - Rob McCarthy

Roy Keane pundit

Roy Keane slammed Nathan Ake for his mistake that cost Manchester City as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Leicester City in the Community Shield on Saturday.

The centre-back miscontrolled the ball as Foxes striker Kelechi Iheanacho pounced and he was then fouled by the Dutch defender. Iheanacho struck the penalty past goalkeeper Zack Steffen with two minutes of normal time remaining to seal a famous win for Brendan Rodgers’ men.

Former Manchester United skipper Keane felt that City boss Pep Guardiola will now confirm in his own mind that Ake is the club’s fourth-choice centre-back.

Keane: “It’s a definite penalty. Ake is another one of these defenders who gets bored.

“He just switches off for a split second. Credit to Iheanacho, we talk about strikers putting the ball in the net but closing people down, winning the penalty. The keeper got his hand to it but just too much power.

“I look at Ake today, these are important opportunities for these players.

“You know the manager is doubting you and it just confirms to Pep today that this guy is probably a bit short for us.

“When you make mistakes like that it just confirms what the manager is thinking of you.”

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright added: “Nathan Ake has got to be aware that he’s needed there.

“He looks like he’s on his heels. To be fair, Kelechi has come on and been very sharp but it’s a poor foul from him.

“The goalkeeper was there, maybe the power was too much for him.”

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Grealish debut hailed by Pep

Meanwhile, Man City manager Pep Guardiola hailed the 25-minute cameo of Jack Grealish on his Man City debut, and highlighted his aggressiveness as a notable positive.

Man City fielded a slightly weakened team with youngsters Cole Palmer and Sam Edozie given run-outs. Nevertheless, Guardiola would have still been expecting to lift silverware with regular starters the likes of Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez in the eleven.

Jack Grealish during his Man City debut during the Community Shield

Jack Grealish on his Man City debut during the 2021 Community Shield v Leicester at Wembley

Speaking in his post-match press conference (via the Manchester Evening News), Guardiola said: “I would have loved to have won the game. Congratulations to Leicester for the Community Shield victory.

“The performance was really really good, especially for this stage of the season and the way we played in the second half.”

Grealish was handed his debut with 25 minutes remaining after completing his £100 move from Aston Villa on Thursday.

Grealish showed a few neat touches and an incisive passing range. However, he couldn’t break Leicester’s stubborn resistance as Man City ultimately fell late on.

Nevertheless, Guardiola was thrilled with what he saw from his new signing in his brief cameo.

“He was really good,” said the Spaniard when asked specifically about Grealish.

“Aggressive, going against full-backs and every time he had the ball there were three players [around him]. We will know him and step by step he will find the best.”

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