Roy Keane likened Paul Pogba to ‘a schoolboy’ and feels that certain Manchester United players aren’t enjoying the pressure after their midweek Champions League exit.
Jose Mourinho’s side suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at home to Sevilla on Tuesday, a result which leaves them fighting for the FA Cup as their only hope of a trophy in what has turned into a frustrating season.
Analysing the match for ITV Sport on Wednesday night, Keane felt that Sevilla grew in confidence after the opening stages, and that his old side are still some way short of having the quality to compete with Europe’s greatest:
“I’m not surprised Man United lost because you just don’t know what you are going to get with this team. You can talk about tactics and systems, but players have got to do their job and when you are playing for United, you expect more.
“I always felt when you put on the jersey that you enjoyed the pressure, the history, the badge, the expectations. I get the impression with this team, they don’t look like they are enjoying that pressure.
“Sevilla grew in confidence and after 10 minutes they probably felt there is nothing to fear here. They kept the ball well and deserved their victory. Two two goals United gave away were shocking, whatever level you are playing that. It makes it very difficult.
“[Mourinho] knows they are short, we have seen that for the last three of four years. I know people say that isn’t always the answer, but they are short three or four players and some of the players playing for Manchester United are not good enough. If they are selected they will play, but they are not good enough.
“Mourinho will obviously try to defend the team, but I won’t take much notice of what he said. Last season, the manager was saying he had won three trophies and he was including the Charity Shield. My God, now you’re in trouble.”
— Manchester United (@MUFCScoop) March 14, 2018
On the subject of Pogba, Keane criticised the French international for failing to have an impact on the game when he was introduced as a second half substitute. The Ireland assistant manager accepted that Pogba wasn’t the only problem Man United had, but his example feeds into the theory that this is a collection of individuals, not a team:
“Pogba, we’ve spoken about Pogba a number of time. He’s not the only problem – But if he can’t get in the starting XI, you’re in trouble.
“He comes on, you expect good players to affect the game, he came on last night and done nothing.
“We saw with the goal, his reaction to it was like a school boy. He doesn’t smell danger. The reason you’re in a team is if one of your mates makes a mistake, you cover for him.
“You make up for him, nobody is helping each other. They’re playing as individuals.”
“You expect good players to affect the game. He came on last night and did nothing”
Roy Keane on Pogba pic.twitter.com/uaA6Sh32my
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) March 14, 2018
Man United welcome Brighton to Old Trafford on Saturday in an FA Cup quarter final clash that has taken on a much greater level of significance after Tuesday night’s result.