‘Swinging punches’, Paul Pogba criticism, and a Jamie Carragher battle

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Not for the first time, Roy Keane was left aghast at Manchester United following yet another disappointing result at the weekend.

The Red Devils legend ripped into the team’s performance as they limped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Arsenal.

It was a day to forget for Man United

Getty Images – Getty

It was a day to forget for Man United

And Keane was not happy at all

Sky Sports

And Keane was not happy at all

Never one to mince his words, Keane called out United’s man of the moment Marcus Rashford, blasting the striker’s body language, while also reiterating his belief the players will cost manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his job.

A furious Keane said: “Where do you want me to start?

“We spoke before the game about being on the front-foot, being aggressive and showing quality… but where was it? Where was the quality?

“You’re playing for Man United because you’re expected to break these teams down, you’re expected to run back, you’re expected to roll your sleeves up. That’s what playing for Man United is about.

“On top of all that there was a lack of energy, enthusiasm, a real lack of quality and that really concerned me in the second half when they were getting in half decent positions and chasing the match but (there was) no quality. No composure.

“Some of the performances were really poor. Ole must be scratching his head.

“We kept talking after the Spurs game and whether they turned a corner (after that game). It’s the longest corner ever.

“I looked at Rashford closely today, who has had a lot of plaudits over the past few months and he’s still a young man, but his body language was shocking, really shocking.

Not even Rashford could avoid Keane’s wrath

GETTY

Not even Rashford could avoid Keane’s wrath

“He was shrugging his shoulders when things weren’t going his way. You roll your sleeves up at Manchester United. (When) things aren’t going your way, that’s when you look at your leaders and characters.

“We spoke about Nobby Stiles before the game, 5ft 6ins, heart of a lion.

“I don’t see it out there, I don’t see men out there, I don’t see men you want to be in the trenches with, guys you trust.

“I look at Ole in management, you have to trust your players on the pitch. If they trust those lads out there, God help us.

“Ole will lose his job working with these players – that’s what is going to happen.”

It wasn’t the most angry Keane has been when working as a pundit but below talkSPORT.com has picked out a number of classic moments where Keane has called it how he sees it.

It’s a rite of passage to be slaughtered by Keane

Sky Sports

It’s a rite of passage to be slaughtered by Keane

‘I’d be swinging punches’

David de Gea and Harry Maguire became victims of Keane’s furious punditry during Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham in June.

In an astonishing rant, the former Red Devils captain said he’d be ‘swinging punches’ at half-time after the pair slipped up to allow Steven Bergwijn to put Spurs in front.

Keane delivered one of his most angry rants yet

Sky Sports

Keane delivered one of his most angry rants yet

A raging Keane said: “I’m fuming watching this. I can’t believe Manchester United, I can’t believe Luke Shaw heading the ball and running forward.

“I am staggered at Maguire, staggered that an international player can just get done by this.

“I am sick to death of this goalkeeper. I’d be fighting him at half-time… I’d be swinging punches at that guy.

“It’s a standard save for an established international goalkeeper. I am flabbergasted.

“Maguire and De Gea – I wouldn’t even let them on the bus after the match. Get a taxi back to Manchester.

“We’re trying to analyse the game… you do your job. We’re trying to get into the top four, never mind win the league.

“Shocking! Maguire, I am disgusted with him and De Gea. You should hang your heads in shame.”

Fortunately for Maguire and De Gea, United did manage to finish in the top four last season.

It doesn’t take a lot to get Keane angry

Sky Sports

It doesn’t take a lot to get Keane angry

It’s Tottenham

Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous ‘Lads, it’s Tottenham’ remarks in the United dressing room are well-documented and it appears that perceived mentality of the north London side has rubbed off on Keane hugely.

So much so, Keane claimed disappointing fans is in the DNA of the club following a goalless draw at Bournemouth, who were later relegated from the top flight, last season.

He said: “That’s in Tottenham’s DNA, they will constantly disappoint you. The table doesn’t lie, ninth, that’s where they deserve to be.”

However, Spurs clawed things back to finish sixth and qualify for the Europa League before tearing the Red Devils apart in October, winning 6-1 at Old Trafford. Just imagine if Keane was working as a pundit that day.

Maybe Jose Mourinho says to the Spurs players ‘Lads, it’s Man United’

Getty – Pool

Maybe Jose Mourinho says to the Spurs players ‘Lads, it’s Man United’

Fashion victim

It’s hard to dislike Jesse Lingard as a person but his commitment to Man United’s cause has been questioned many times.

Gary Neville believes Lingard’s decision to launch his ‘Be Yourself’ clothing line in the lead-up to a crunch Premier League clash against Liverpool in December 2018 was ill-timed, suggesting it would be better to do it before a lower key match.

The former Red Devil conceded it was good Lingard had other things going on outside the game but Keane took issue with that, suggesting football should be a ‘no.1 priority’ for all players full stop.

In response to Neville, Keane said: “People say ‘you should have other interests outside of football’. I don’t think you should, I think football should be your no.1 priority. It should be!

“Focus on the game. Don’t hide behind your cars or your tattoos or your girlfriends or your agents, play the game! You can do all that stuff when you retire.” You can see Keane’s impassioned speech from 0:34 of the clip below.

Unbelievable

Paul Pogba is another player who divides opinion and of course Keane has had opinions on him.

The most explosive comments Keane made about the Frenchman were made immediately after he did an interview for Sky Sports following Man United’s woeful 4-0 defeat at Everton in April 2019.

Keane was asked what he made of Pogba’s interview and the discussion went on for over four minutes but we’ve picked out the best of his quotes…

He said: “I wouldn’t believe a word he says. There’s no meaning behind it. I don’t even think he believed it himself.

“He said how it got a bit heated after the loss at Everton, I heard they were actually throwing their hair gel at each other, it got that heated… He’s a big problem for United.”

Bayern Villa

At his peak, Keane was a box-to-box midfielder but when he sees a bad bit of defending, he analyses it with the same scrutiny as a former top centre-back would.

Newly promoted Fulham have looked like rabbits in headlights so far this term, with their defending a particular area of concern.

Their third match of the season saw them get taken apart by Aston Villa at Craven Cottage, not helped by their very disorganised defending.

It prompted Keane to say Scott Parker’s side made Villa, who narrowly avoided relegation last season, look like European champions Bayern Munich.

Villa then hit seven against champions Liverpool but they’re surely not at Bayern’s level

AFP

Villa then hit seven against champions Liverpool but they’re surely not at Bayern’s level

Grealish the Messi-iah?

In that same rant, Keane said Fulham made Villans captain Jack Grealish look like Lionel Messi!

Keane agrees Grealish is a good player but later questioned the way England fans have built him up despite only playing 14 minutes of competitive football for the Three Lions.

He said: “I am intrigued. You have said he has played 14 minutes of competitive football for England yet all of a sudden, I know Wrighty loves him and we all know he’s got a chance of being a very good player.

“It’s like he’s the Messiah – the Messiah for England.”

The Grealish chat starts at 3:10 of the clip.

Strong opinion

Liverpool players can also fall foul of Keane’s analysis and former Red Adam Lallana was subject to a humiliation from the Irishman.

Chelsea beat Liverpool in the FA Cup in March with Lallana at the heart of the Reds midfield. The Blues then faced Everton in the league and Keane claimed that the Toffees would pose a sterner test than Liverpool did. His reason? Everton didn’t have Lallana.

Keane said: “I think Everton in a strange way will be a tougher test than the Liverpool game.

“Because I think Lallana was in midfield the other night for Liverpool. I know my daughter’s probably stronger than him.”

A game of yards

He had already laid into Pogba before Man United’s 2-0 defeat at home to Manchester City in 2018/19 and after the Red Devils were well-beaten by their noisy neighbours, Keane was on hand to pick apart his former side’s defending for both of City’s goals.

The former United captain believed left-back Luke Shaw should have done more to close down Bernardo Silva as he opened the scoring, claiming Shaw merely had to move ‘two yards’ to prevent the goal from happening.

Neville leapt to Shaw’s defence by making the point that City’s playing style meant that all the United players had been run into the ground and it made for an amusing exchange.

Graeme Souness also made a few scathing comments about the Man United defenders…

It’s not coming home

The summer of 2018 was a truly wonderful time for all England fans but the Three Lions’ World Cup campaign came to a devastating end when they were beaten by Croatia in the semi-finals.

The former Republic of Ireland international was working as a pundit for ITV and was being gradually wound up by Englishmen Neville and Ian Wright as Gareth Southgate’s side continued to exceed expectations in Russia.

England’s exit was Keane’s perfect opportunity to rub salt in the still very fresh wounds and he suggested Neville, Wright and England fans in general were getting way too excited about being in the semi-finals.

Wright obviously responded to that and it led to an absolutely hilarious exchange which ended with the former Arsenal and England striker mimicking Keane’s accent…

Hug-free zone

Opponents hugging each other pre-match. There’d have been none of that when Keane was a player.

Just before Man United hosted Liverpool last season, Keane was simply deflated at seeing some of the players exchanging pleasantries as they were in the tunnel ready to play one of the biggest fixtures in world football.

Keane said: “You’re going to war. Hugging and kissing, don’t even look at them. You’re going to battle against them.

“The game hasn’t changed that much, the players have… maybe chat to them after the game. Actually, don’t even chat to them after the game.”

Fergie gets fired on

There’s no doubting Keane was a fantastic player and captain of Man United but his time at Old Trafford came to an acrimonious end in 2005 following an argument with Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson pulled no punches in his 2013 autobiography when talking about Keane so obviously everyone wanted to know what the latter made of this.

When working as an ITV pundit, Keane was asked how angry he was and he said: “No, I’m quite relaxed.

“I do remember having conversations with the manager about loyalty and I don’t think he knows the meaning of the word.”

We can’t show you a video of Keane’s response but you can find it on YouTube and the tension inside the studio can be cut with a knife, not helped by Wright giggling away as Keane talks about his former manager…

Ferguson and Keane in much happier times

getty

Ferguson and Keane in much happier times

Too much brotherly love

Keane seems to accept that Pogba will always have his own individuality, conceding the Frenchman is ‘clearly a free spirit’ during his punditry.

But we already know how much Keane dislikes opposition players showing each other too much respect before, during and after games. And it seems his rules don’t have any exceptions, even when you’re on the same pitch as your family.

Man United were against Saint-Etienne in the Europa League in February 2017. Pogba was a starter for the Red Devils and came up against his brother Florentin, who was playing for the Ligue 1 outfit at the time.

The Red Devils won convincingly and it was all smiles between the two siblings afterwards. Keane then suggested that Paul and Florentin spoke to each other more during that game than he’s spoken to any of his brothers ‘in the last five years’.

Keane believes Paul and Florentin should have had their game faces on more

Getty Images – Getty

Keane believes Paul and Florentin should have had their game faces on more

Liverpool lament

Jurgen Klopp has moulded Liverpool into the best team in England but it took time for the Reds to become an elite side.

And Keane was far from convinced by them before, suggesting he wouldn’t bother watching them even if they were playing in his back garden.

He told ITV after Liverpool beat Maribor in the Champions League group stage in November 2017: “It’s hard to get excited about them. To me, they are going nowhere fast.

“They’re neat and tidy, but defensively… come the end of the season when the prizes are being given out, Liverpool will be nowhere near them.

“If Liverpool were playing out in my back garden, I wouldn’t watch them. They’re just drifting, drifting nowhere.”

Liverpool ended up reaching the Champions League final that season.

4. Liverpool 3-0 Maribor

getty

This Liverpool side ended up proving Keane wrong to an extent

Jamie Carragher showdowns

This punditry rivalry is relatively new and we get the sense that there will be more heated debates between Keane and former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher.

It was certainly 1-0 to Keane early last season when he reminded Carragher of his failure to win a league title.

But Carragher certainly had Keane on the back foot when suggesting in January that Solskjaer was running out of time to succeed at Old Trafford.





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