Young defenders were both selected in England’s World Cup squad on Monday.
Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane has launched yet another withering attack on the Red Devils, according to reports in the Guardian.
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The Irishman did not hold back with his views, first taking to task United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward over his failure to sign any world-class players during last summer’s transfer window when David Moyes first took over at Old Trafford.
“He [Moyes] had one transfer window, and it’s not always down to the manager when players don’t come in,” said Keane. “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 Van Gaal is a good choice. Only time will tell. He’s managed big clubs.”
Meanwhile, Keane also had some harsh words for United defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, claiming that the England international duo had actually regressed as players since first joining the club.
“They’ve had a platform for the last couple of years,” he said. “We were told two or three years ago Jones was going to be the new Duncan Edwards, 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. I’ve actually been a big fan of them – yes, give them a chance, 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 Man 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 Man United. They have to recruit in the summer – they might get two.
“It’s the spine of the team. United have come up short defensively and in the middle of the park they have not done enough. You watch any of the teams that are winning trophies, Jesus I’m stating the obvious, you’ve got to have a strong spine, goalkeeper, defender, midfielder and striker and United have been short in two of those areas. It makes it very difficult to win trophies.”
And finally the ex-midfielder said that he was not that shocked that United had decided to let veteran centre-back Rio Ferdinand leave the Theatre of Dreams this summer.
“That might have suited him,” said Keane . “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?”
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