Roy Keane watched Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday night, and he was fiercely critical of one player in particular.
In the build-up to Gladbach’s goal, England international John Stones was shrugged off the ball far too easily for Keane’s liking, and the former Manchester United and Ireland midfield general had some words of advice for the City star.
Having gone down looking for a free-kick, the 22-year-old saw play waved on as Raffael fired home the opening goal of the game with City now having to settle for second place in their group behind Barcelona.
“He’s got to be stronger, he’s got to be tougher,” he said on ITV in the Champions League highlights show.
“It’s just too easy, he’s like a child getting knocked off the ball.
“He’s hoping one of his teammates can help him out here, but they punished and rightly so. Really poor defending, he’s got to be stronger.”
Lee Dixon echoed those thoughts but in nicer terms while also making a case to support Stones, but ultimately neither pundit believed that it was enough for him to go down from the challenge and it eventually ended up costing Pep Guardiola’s side.
It isn’t the first time that Stones has been singled out for making a mistake this season, and in all probability it won’t be the last either.
City sit four points behind Group C leaders Barca with just one more game to go, and so they’ll have to contend with a tough draw in the round of 16 while focus switches back to the Premier League this weekend as they look to wipe out the point gap between them and leaders Chelsea.
Nevertheless, Guardiola will need to get answers from his defenders, as it appears as though that could be their biggest vulnerability moving forward this season.