Roy Keane delivered an all-time classic Keane broadside on Thursday night when responding to fresh complaints from Manchester United manager José Mourinho.
The Ireland assistant boss was on punditry duty once again for highlights of Man United’s 1-0 win against Rostov in the Europa League, a result that sends Mourinho’s side through to the quarter-finals.
Despite the win, Mourinho still felt the need to complain about the number of fixtures that Man United have had to, and will have to, face this season as they progressed to the latter stages in all three cup competitions as well as a 38-game Premier League schedule.
Keane, however, was having absolutely none of that and dismissed out of hand Mourinho’s right to complain about fixtures, given how easy some of the draws have been. In face, the former Man United captain even suggests that the job might be too big for him if this is how he responds to a packed fixture schedule:
“‘I’ve never heard so much rubbish in my life. Why do we have to listen to that garbage?
“It’s just utter nonsense what he’s talking about. He’s manager of Manchester United, one of the biggest clubs on the planet. The squad he’s got, the players, and he keeps moaning about fixtures and fatigue.
“We were just looking at some of the cup draws they’ve had. They’ve had an easy ride in the cups, some good draws, a lot of home draws. The guy’s talking absolute nonsense. I’ve never heard so much rubbish in my life.
“Maybe the club’s too big for him. He can’t deal with all these demands at the match, what matches? Man United reserves could have won that game tonight. I’m sick to death of him.”
Keane also rubbished the idea that the players would be tired on the pitch on Thursday night, arguing that the Rostov threat was so minimal that it was practically a training session and alleges that the “fatigue” was all merely a show for the cameras:
“He’s talking about the player collapsing.
“That was easier than a training session – 11 v 11 on the training pitch, that was easier than that.
“And he’s talking about players collapsing. What rubbish. I’ve seen players maybe get Jaffa Cakes passed onto the pitch, so I wasn’t surprised a player was looking for some sort of food but I think they made a bigger drama than what it was.
“He’s got other staff. One of the fitness coaches could have come on with that, the medical staff. He’s passing it on to Ashley Young, he’s passing it on. I think that was all staged, without a shadow of a doubt.”
Man United’s next match is away at managerless Middlesbrough on Sunday, a game which Mourinho has claimed that his side will “probably lose.” Luckily for José, Keane probably didn’t hear that.