The former Manchester United captain Roy Keane fumed at the current incumbent of the role, Harry Maguire, in a furious half-time rant during their visit to Tottenham Hotspur on Friday night.
United fell behind to a 27th minute solo goal scored by Spurs forward Steven Bergwijn, who escaped the attentions of Maguire with ease, and Keane was not impressed with left-back Luke Shaw, goalkeeper David de Gea or centre-back Maguire talking at the break.
“I’m shocked,” said Keane on Sky Sports. ”I’ve seen a lot of football over the years, but to give away that goal, I’m fuming watching this game of football. I can’t believe Man United, I can’t believe [Luke] Shaw heading the ball up in the air and running forwards. I am staggered at Maguire, staggered at how an international player can get done like this.
“Maguire, and De Gea, I wouldn’t let them on the bus after the match. These are established international players and we’re all sitting here, I know we’re here to analyse the game, we can analyse it till the cows come home. You do your job, we’re on about just getting in the top four, god forbid winning trophies. Shocking. I’m disgusted by it. De Gea, Maguire, hang your heads in shame.”
Gary Neville, speaking on co-commentary, was less damning but also identified poor defensive play by his former club.
“The first mistake is the back line not in line, Maguire can’t allow him (Bergwijn) to come back inside, but once he does, he lines one up on the goalkeeper, he’s just got to save it, do whatever you have to do.”