Keane launches scathing attack on Manchester United flops

A whole host of players as well as Ed Woodward were targeted by the ex-captain’s ire, but he feels David Moyes deserved more time to impress

Roy Keane has launched a scathing attack on Manchester United’s season, highlighting Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Michael Carrick’s performances before defending David Moyes’ 10-month reign.

The two defenders were named in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the World Cup on Monday, with Carrick on the stand-by list, but the former captain feels the pair have “gone backwards” in their development.

“We were told two or three years ago Jones was going to be the new Duncan Edwards,” he told reporters. “Smalling was this … I’ve watched United live nine, 10 times this year and they have been none of those things.

“If anything I think they have gone backwards … You say you have to give players a chance to mature but also you’ve got players who you say we’ve given you a chance and you’re not taking it.

“They need to do a lot better if they want to cement their place at United and United to win trophies. Jones needs to toughen up. Every time I see him he is getting carried off. He’s got to toughen up – he’s playing for United.”

Keane, meanwhile, feels Carrick deserved to miss on the 23-man squad for Brazil after an underwhelming season, adding: “I bet you he wasn’t shocked he was left out.”

“You can’t fall back on what players did two years ago because if you are not performing or if there is competition in the same position then that is the nature of the beast. You are going to be left out.”

Keane also had little sympathy for his former team-mate Rio Ferdinand who called time on his glittering 12-year United career earlier this week amid little fanfare, instead choosing to release a statement on his personal website. 

“That might have suited him,” he said. “Not everybody wants to wander around the pitch waving and crying. It’s not about walking on the pitch – I don’t know where you’re going with this one.

“He didn’t have a chance to say goodbye? You can say goodbye on Twitter, can’t you?”

One person who did not feel Keane’s wrath was ex-manager Moyes, who was sacked following a disastrous debut campaign.

But Keane feels vice-president Ed Woodward should be blamed for United’s worst ever Premier League season after failing to land key targets during the summer transfer window.

He said: “[Moyes] had one transfer window, and it’s not always down to the manager when players don’t come in. I think Ed Woodward needs to look at himself. He’s got to get deals done.

“I think he should have been given more time. I was happy with David Moyes. I think [Louis] van Gaal is a good choice. Only time will tell. He’s managed big clubs.”

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