José Mourinho’s first season at Manchester United is laying the foundation for continued success at Old Trafford – but former captain Roy Keane is proving a hard man to please.
The Man United manager delivered the first trophy of his tenure at Old Trafford last weekend by beating Southampton in the EFL Cup final at Wembley – combined with an unbeaten Premier League record that now stands at sixteen matches, Mourinho has won over many of the doubters following his Chelsea horror show last season.
Keane, however, is still not convinced, and points to their league position as to why. Despite that unbeaten run, Man United have not moved from sixth place in the table since early November and, speaking at a fundraiser at the weekend, the Ireland assistant boss warns to reserve praise for Mourinho until that begins to change:
“I’ve very little time for Mourinho. I look at United and the run they’re on now.
“They’re sixth in the league. People are like, ‘I can see progress’ – [but] they’re sixth in the league. They’ve beaten no one in three months.
“I judge United on the big games. Chelsea and one or two others are coming up now. If you want to play for United and be successful they are the games you have to be winning.”
Keane has never been shy in criticising his old side when he feels it is warranted – it’s what cost him his Man United career, after all – and it will take far more than an EFL Cup and sixth place in the league to earn his approval.
Having narrowed the gap on the top four, Mourinho will be confident of securing a Champions League place at the end of the season. In addition, their progress in both the Europa League and FA Cup has meant that the prospect of the two-time Champions League winner delivering multiple trophies in his maiden season at the club is enhanced with every passing week.