Roy Keane believes that Jose Mourinho would not have been surprised with seeing his Manchester United side fall short against Sevilla on Tuesday night.
Man United, despite ceding all attacking momentum in the first leg, were expected to have too much going forward for a side with a negative goal difference in La Liga this season.
But on their biggest night of the season they collectively capitulated going forward and left huge gaps in midfield, paving the way for substitute Wassim Ben Yedder to punish them with two quick goals in the second half.
Speaking on ITV soon after the game, Keane did not hold back in his overall assessment of United as a team.
“I don’t think he’s shocked at what he saw… He knows they’re short. Man United have had trouble for the last three or four years,” he said.
“Some of the players aren’t good enough. It’s not their fault. If you’re selected for Man United you’re going to play.
“I remember last year when the manager talked about winning three trophies. The manager was including the Charity Shield as a trophy. My God, you’re in trouble.”
To have just four shots on target in 180 minutes, afford the opposition all the time in world going forward , and only really show attacking ambition once the game was lost is, unfortunately, classic Mourinho. You cannot help but feel as if this tie would have unfolded differently if United had displayed less respect for the opposition and some form of attacking intent.
But the alternative view put across by Keane here is that, actually, this United side simply is not good enough to grace the quarter-finals. And he may be right: there are not many clearer signs of this club’s complete lack of attacking identity than using Marouane Fellaini as your main attacking outlet.
Above anything, this team lacks any discernible pedigree. That hardwired understanding of how to negotiate Champions League games which was so predominant in the Fergie era is simply no longer there, and that notion was reflected in miserably glowing terms by a faceless performance against – lets face it – average opposition.