As usual, Roy Keane was on top form in his punditry role for ITV’s Champions League highlights.
The Ireland assistant manager’s refusal to sugarcoat his opinions on what he perceives to be poor performances have made the Wednesday night programme compelling viewing, often rendering his co-pundits and host Mark Pougatch speechless.
As usual, Keane pulled no punches when analysing Arsenal and Manchester City, who ended their ties on Wednesday with draws against Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Monchengladbach.
Keane was particularly scathing towards Arsene Wenger’s side, who produced their second poor display of the week following their showing at Old Trafford on Saturday, but were able to claim a draw in both games.
The former Manchester United captain decried their lack of on-pitch leadership, saying:
“They need a little bit of leadership, a few characters, but we have said that before down the years,
“We knew it was such an important game for Arsenal, but they played with no real intensity, no real energy. It makes you scratch your head sometimes when you look at them and you ask; what are you waiting for?
“The body language when the ball comes into their box for the equaliser. No one is smelling danger, no one on their toes, no one talking to each other. Guy gets a free header…schoolboy error.”
The equaliser in question was scored with fifteen minutes reaming, as Lucas Moura was allowed to drift to the far post unmarked and guide a header past David Ospina in the Arsenal goal.
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“They were average.“Their form has not been great recently, but I suppose what they have improve on is grinding out results.
“The couple of goals they gave away will really hurt them because we keep going on about needing to top the group, but you would expect PSG to finish them off now. They were the better side on the night.”
Keane went on to take aim at Man City or, more specifically, defender John Stones for the England international’s poor defending.
Stones was moved out of the way by Lars Stindl in the build-up to Raffael’s opener for Gladbach, and despite the 22-year-old’s calls for a free kick, nothing was given and the goal was allowed to stand.
Keane, however, saw it differently and argued that Stones should have been stronger in standing his ground against Stindl:
“It’s just too easy, he’s like a child getting knocked off the ball.
“He’s hoping one of his team-mates can help him out here but they punished and rightly so. Really poor defending, he’s got to be stronger.
“He’s a good player but he’s just got to be tougher and stronger.”
Keane also had a bone to pick with Borussia Dortmund’s somewhat ridiculous 8-4 win against Legia Warsaw on Tuesday night. The game set a record for most goals scored in a Champions League fixture, and the Polish side’s defending seemed to outwardly offend the 45-year-old:
The Ireland number two will, sadly, have just one more chance to let rip at everything around him until the new year, as the final round of Champions League group stage matches takes place in a fortnight.