Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has denied accusations that he ‘hates’ Manchester United following the club’s 3-1 win over Preston North End on Monday night.
Keown was working as a commentator during the game for the BBC and repeatedly criticised Man United at almost every opportunity as the match went on.
Keown came in for some flak following his television comments but insisted that he is not biased against Louis van Gaal’s side.
When asked whether or not he hates United, he said: “That’s absolute rubbish. If you look at their performance, it’s falling some way short of what we’ve become accustomed to with Manchester United.
“If United have been the bench mark and set the bar high, when we watch them now I see something very different. It seems their manager is floundering and overcomplicating. He doesn’t seem to know his best team and their best formation. That’s frustrating. Whether you’re a Manchester United fan, Arsenal fan, Chelsea fan, you want them to fulfill their potential and United aren’t doing that.
“It’s got nothing to do with whether I’m a Manchester United fan. I pride myself in the media world of trying to be as neutral as I possibly can. I’m as confused as everyone else as to how they’ve arrived at where they have. As soon as it starts to turn around and they are successful again I’ll be the first to congratulate them.”
Keown certainly aimed a few jibes at United during the match. One disappointing Angel di Maria cross in particular prompted the 48-year-old to proclaim that he wasn’t a £60m player. No hyperbole there at all.
He was also noticeably more muted after Herrera’s goal turned the game in Man United’s favour before they took control and although he can insist his commentary was objective, Keown may as well have been wearing an Arsenal shirt during his commentary, much as he insists to the contrary.