Roy Keane believes that Manchester United have not made any progress under Jose Mourinho this season, pointing toward their failure to perform in big games.
Man United succumbed to galling defeats at the hands of Manchester City and Chelsea earlier this season, whilst also failing to claim three points against Arsenal in November.
However, ever since limping to a 1-1 draw with Everton back in early December, United have won 16 games out of a possible 20 and claimed their first trophy of the Mourinho era last week with a 3-2 win over Southampton in the League Cup final.
But Keane, speaking to the Mirror, refused to acknowledge any signs of improvement under the 54-year-old this season.
“I’ve very little time for Mourinho. I look at United and the run they’re on now,” Keane said.
“They’re sixth in the league. People are like, ‘I can see progress’ – [but] they’re sixth in the league. They’ve beaten no one in three months.
“I judge United on the big games. Chelsea and one or two others are coming up now. If you want to play for United and be successful they are the games you have to be winning.”
Since Keane is clearly struggling to notice any progress made by United this season, let me help the former captain out: at this stage last season, United were seven points worse off compared to where they are now; the gap between themselves and fourth spot was six points after 25 league games, whereas the gap this time around is just two points.
As for the Irishman’s qualm with United’s failure to dominate big games, such a notion would hold some weight if it wasn’t for the fact that, following his side’s 4-0 drubbing at Chelsea, Mourinho engendered some very important – and indeed noticeable – changes. Michael Carrick and Henrikh Mkhitaryan started to feature on a more regular basis, with the 54-year-old changing to a midfield three. Since then, United have beaten Manchester City, dominated – but somehow failed to beat – Arsenal, brushed aside Tottenham Hotspur and won a cup final, despite being notably second best.
More importantly, though, at least from a fan’s point of view, going to Old Trafford is once again an enjoyable experience. And that, above anything, is the most important bit of progress overseen by the Portuguese this season.