Roy Keane has become the latest ex-Manchester United player to voice his support for David Moyes but he questioned the calibre of United’s coaches and the attitude of our most senior players.
Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and Sir Bobby Charlton all feel he deserves more time which is a sentiment that Keane shares.
“I don’t know where you start,” Keane said.
“They need a number of players. Defensively, there are players leaving and I don’t think it helps Nemanja Vidic is going, people are talking about Patrice Evra and obviously Rio and Giggsy are coming to an end.
“They are lacking a few leaders at the moment and I don’t think they have that type of player in the group.
“But I think United will be all right and David Moyes will get plenty of time. The man deserves it. He’s got vast experience, but his staff – Steve Round and Phil Neville – and a couple of senior players, Rio and Giggsy, they have to step up to the plate. One or two of the new players are getting criticism, but it’s up to the players who have been there a few years who know what United are about.
“We had tough days. We ground out results, we survived a few times, we got lucky breaks. When we won the league [in 1996], at Newcastle we could have been five nil down at half-time, yet we ended up winning with Eric Cantona nicking a goal. You need defining moments, but this team will not find it because they don’t have it in the group.”
Keane is certainly right on one point – all season long, United have lacked leaders on the pitch.
Nemanja Vidic’s head has gone, Patrice Evra talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk and our other senior players like Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick have been shadows of the players they were last year. We’ve missed the leadership and presence of anybody has been willing to consistently lead by example.
Does Moyes deserve more time? That’s up for debate but it is strange that Keane would criticise Moyes’ coaching staff and not Moyes himself.
Keane also voiced his concern about how United are going to play against Bayern Munich next week and questioned how United have performed in the big games this season.
He continued: “Forget about beating the West Hams, and the Olympiakoses and Crystal Palaces, that’s not what playing for Manchester United is about. It’s about doing it against the big teams.
“If they play against Bayern like they have in the last two weeks, then they will be in massive, massive trouble.
“It’s not a lack of effort. I’ve seen a few of United’s games and they have lost a bit of confidence. They are human beings. It is not going to get any easier in the next couple of months and there is more pain to come with Bayern next Tuesday. In defence of David Moyes, he cannot believe how tough it’s been.”
There has been a distinct lack of effort in a lot of United games this season but Keane is spot on with his point about who United’s results that have given fans false hope on more than one occasion this season.
Beating the lesser teams is what mid table clubs do regularly but when it comes to beating the top teams, that’s where United should be doing the business. Arsenal aside, we’ve done the polar opposite of that.
Finally, Keane was asked about his association with United and whether he watches games any more. He does, and does so from the cheap seats. He might have fallen out with Fergie but it’s good to hear Keane still makes time for United.
“It’s easy sitting in the studio or sitting in the fancy seats eating prawn sandwiches but I am still fond of United,” he said.
“I left on bad terms, particularly with the manager and David Gill, but I want them to do well. I go the games as a fan sometimes. Sir Alex? Yeah, he sits in the nice seats, but I sit in the cheap seats with my young fella.
“A couple of people know me, but they leave me alone. I enjoy going to games and not to analyse.”
Full credit belongs to The Telegraph for the original quotes.