Roy Keane has seamlessly transferred his no-nonsense playing style into the television studio and regularly delivers cutting lines with the latest a damning review of Manchester United on Thursday night.
United are currently second in the Premier League, 10 points behind their local rivals who have a game in hand.
Roy Keane delivered another brutal assessment of Manchester United on Thursday evening
After losing to Liverpool, Keane said United are ‘so short of competing with Man City’
Solskjaer will believe his side can topple champions City next season after the most consistent campaign of his time in charge at Old Trafford.
Whether Keane’s assessment of United’s chances next year is right or wrong will not be known for another 12 months, but how have some of his other bold statements played out?
Sportsmail has picked out 10 of Keane’s most damning comments from his punditry work and analysed them to see if he was right or wrong.
WHAT KEANE SAID ON THURSDAY NIGHT AFTER LIVERPOOL DEFEAT
‘United were all over the place, really poor performance from them, poor mentality,’ he said on Sky Sports.
‘Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] looks a bit shell-shocked there. It’s been a tough few days.
‘The performance tonight was nowhere near good enough. All United’s shortcomings have been shown up in the last couple of days.
‘Tonight just not enough quality, giving such bad goals away but the other worry, Liverpool could have scored six or seven.
‘We have praised United the last few months but this squad is so short of competing with Man City to win the title.
‘I think Man City are so far ahead of this United squad it is scary. Ole will think they need three or four big players to come in at least.’
Martial is ‘not good enough for United’
In a time of packed Premier League stadiums before Covid-19 struck at the start of 2020, Keane let rip into United’s French striker Martial after he missed a gilt-edged chance at Anfield.
Liverpool were cruising towards a first Premier League title in 30 years and were leading 1-0 at home to their fiercest rivals when the ball arrived at Martial’s feet.
He cut inside past Trent Alexander-Arnold but then blazed well over the bar from around eight yards out as Liverpool went on to complete a 2-0 win.
Keane said Anthony Martial is ‘not good enough for Man United’ after a loss at Anfield in 2020
Assessing the missed opportunity at 1-0 down, Keane said: ‘That sums up his career in a nutshell… you have to hit the target.
‘That’s why that guy there is not good enough for Man United.’
Verdict: Jury’s out – while many would have expected more from Martial than he has delivered since joining from Monaco he still scored 23 goals in all competitions last season.
This year has been plagued with injuries – a ruptured knee ligament has sidelined him at the moment – and it will be interesting to see what his role in the squad is when he returns.
Liverpool vs United’s 1999 Treble winners
Keane made a rare appearance on Monday Night Football in February 2020 in place of Gary Neville and got involved in an entertaining exchange with Jamie Carragher.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were on course for the Treble with the Premier League title almost wrapped up, a Champions League last-16 clash with Atletico Madrid to come and they were still in the FA Cup.
Carragher asked Keane whether last season’s Liverpool team were better than the 1999 Manchester United vintage that Keane captained.
Keane said only Virgil van Dijk would get into United’s treble-winning side, which is probably fair after Liverpool only won the Premier League last season
The Irishman was not entertaining any debate and insisted only Virgil van Dijk would get into that Sir Alex Ferguson side.
He said: ‘I’d bring Van Dijk in, maybe the right-back (Trent Alexander-Arnold), but leave the rest, 4-4-2.
‘If they go on and win the Treble this year, we’ll have a different conversation.’
Verdict: Correct – Liverpool went on to win the Premier League during Project Restart but crashed out of the Champions League to Atletico when they should have won.
They were also dumped out of the FA Cup in the quarter-finals by Chelsea, finishing the season with just one trophy when they definitely could have won more.
No holds barred on Maguire and De Gea
The Covid-enforced shutdown of last year’s Premier League season did nothing to cool Keane’s fury at some abject defending
When football returned in mid-June – and by half-time of one of the first matches of the restart – Keane was livid at some shambolic United defending that put Tottenham 1-0 up after a Steven Bergwijn goal.
He didn’t disappoint, hammering David de Gea, Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire in a typical Keane outburst.
He said: ‘I’m shocked at that goal, I’ve watched a lot of football over the years but I’m fuming there. I can’t believe Shaw heading the ball up in the air.
Keane savaged David de Gea and Harry Maguire after allowing Tottenham to score last year
‘I’m staggered at Maguire. I’m sick to death of this goalkeeper. I would be fighting him at half time, I would be swinging punches. This is an established international goalkeeper…
‘Maguire and De Gea, I wouldn’t let them on the bus after the match. Shocking. I’m disgusted with it. Maguire, De Gea you should hang your heads in shame.’
Verdict: Jury’s out – De Gea has been replaced as United’s No 1 goalkeeper by Dean Henderson in recent weeks but the English stopper had a night to forget against Liverpool.
Maguire has grown into a pivotal player for United this season and they look so fragile at the back when he doesn’t play – like on Thursday night.
Shaw has been one of the standout players of the Premier League season so perhaps Keane was too quick to stick the boot into the defensive duo when their performances have been so good this campaign.
United stars will get Solskjaer sacked
Early on this season United were thrashed 6-1 at Old Trafford by Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham.
The Red Devils had barely had a pre-season because of their exploits in the latter stages of the Europa League and were still working their way back to full fitness.
But Mourinho’s men were merciless that day with Son Heung-min and Harry Kane both scoring braces after United took the lead thanks to a Bruno Fernandes penalty.
Keane said at the start of this season that United’s players will get Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked
Keane was visceral in his condemnation, saying: ‘A disgrace to the badge with that performance.
‘Too many bluffers and ultimately, these players will cost Ole his job.
‘They threw the previous manager under the bus. They will do the same to Ole.’
Verdict: Wrong – United have produced the most consistent season of Solskjaer’s time in charge and have already secured Champions League football next season.
They have tightened things up at the back and look a threat going forward, even Paul Pogba has shown some form in recent months.
United are also into the Europa League final and can end the season on a high with Solskjaer’s first trophy as United manager.
Singling out Rashford
United succumbed to a surprise 1-0 home defeat by Arsenal back in November with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring the winner from the penalty spot.
Defeat left them in 15th place on just seven points after six games and United struggled to get going or pose any sort of threat in front of goal.
Marcus Rashford was a surprise target on this occasion as Keane took his frustration out on the English forward’s body language.
Keane singled out Marcus Rashford over his body language in a defeat by Arsenal last year
He said: ‘I looked at Rashford closely today, who has had a lot of plaudits over the past few months and he’s still a young man, but his body language was shocking, really shocking.
‘He was shrugging his shoulders when things weren’t going his way. You roll your sleeves up at Manchester United.’
Verdict: Wrong – Rashford has been one the brightest lights for United this season and has produced on a consistent basis.
He has scored 21 goals and provided 15 assists in 55 appearances and has even played through the pain barrier for Solskjaer.
Rashford’s efforts off the pitch in the past 12 months also show Keane was wrong to question his attitude on this occasion.
Walker is ‘a car crash’
If United players thought Keane was singling them out, then the 49-year-old showed that he’s not afraid to criticise players from other clubs just as harshly.
He brutally laid laid into Manchester City defender Kyle Walker back in November after the right-back gave away a clumsy penalty against Liverpool’s Sadio Mane in a 1-1 draw.
Keane’s assessment was extreme even by his standards, saying: ‘Mane is up against an idiot. People think Kyle Walker is playing well. I don’t think so.
Keane said Kyle Walker was a ‘car crash’ after he fouled Sadio Mane in a draw with Liverpool
‘He keeps making mistakes. He’s an international, 30 years old and he’s a car crash.’
As reveal by Sportsmail‘s Sports Agenda in the aftermath, Keane’s words brought a complaint to Sky by City.
Verdict: Wrong – Walker has been one of the standout players in City’s march to the Premier League title since Christmas.
Vying with Joao Cancelo to be Pep Guardiola’s No 1 right-back, the England ace has seemingly won that battle and he looks likely to start in the Champions League final this month.
Walker will also be a starter for England boss Gareth Southgate at this summer’s Euros and, as City’s reaction suggest, Keane crossed the line with this one.
City ‘mess things up’
The attack on Walker was not the first time Keane has delivered a withering assessment of someone in City colours.
Back in November 2017, City had just won 4-2 away to Napoli in the Champions League to book their place in the knockout stages and were still unbeaten after 10 games in the Premier League.
But, with a five-point cushion over United at the top, Keane was not willing to give them any praise and instead mocked their past failures.
Keane said City ‘mess things up’ before they won the Premier League and went on to retain it
‘My only concern for City at the moment is that it is in their DNA, as a club, to mess things up,’ he said.
‘They have previous where people have got carried away with City.’
Verdict: Wrong – Unfortunately for Keane, City didn’t mess things up, going on to win the Premier League title that season and retaining it 12 months later.
The Champions League, however, remains their final unconquered frontier but Guardiola can end that curse in a few weeks’ time when they take on Chelsea in Porto.
Liverpool are ‘drifting’
As a former United captain it is easy to see why Keane would find it difficult to praise Liverpool too much.
The Reds were the target of a classic Keane comment in November 2017 following an uninspiring Champions League win over Maribor.
Still in the early days of Klopp’s transformation, Liverpool had just signed Mohamed Salah and were starting their surge to the summit of domestic and European football.
Keane said Liverpool were ‘drifting’ before they went on to reach the Champions League final
But Keane could not see that progress on the horizon and offered a dim view of their chances of success.
‘There’s not too much to say about Liverpool. I think if Liverpool were playing out in my back garden, I wouldn’t watch them. They’re just drifting. Drifting nowhere.’
Verdict: Wrong – Liverpool went on to play some spell-binding football in the second half of that season as the Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino front three took flight.
Klopp led them to the Champions League final that season, where they lost to Real Madrid, but then lifted the trophy 12 months later. They would then go on to win the Premier League in 2019-20.
The infamous MUTV rant
The Irishman gave an infamous interview on United’s in-house TV channel after a 4-1 defeat by Middlesbrough that ultimately cost him his career at Old Trafford in 2005.
The video was named ‘Roy Keane plays the pundit’ and he criticised the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Kieran Richardson and Alan Smith, as well as Fletcher.
After Ferdinand gave away the ball to Jimmy Floyd-Hasselbaink for Boro’s second goal, Keane said: ‘I have seen that happen to Rio before.
‘It is poor defending. Just because you are paid £120,000 a week and play well for 20 minutes against Tottenham you think you are a superstar.’
Keane gave an infamous interview on MUTV after a 4-1 defeat by Middlesbrough in 2005
Keane said he ‘can’t understand why people in Scotland rave about Darren Fletcher’
On Fletcher, he said: ‘I can’t understand why people in Scotland rave about Darren Fletcher.’
Keane called Richardson ‘a lazy defender who deserved to get punished’ and said Smith was ‘wandering around as if he is lost.’
Writing in his autobiography, Ferguson said of the incident: ‘The meeting in the room was horrendous. I just could not lose my control in that situation. If I had let it pass I think the players would have viewed me differently.
‘Throughout my career I have been strong enough to deal with issues like that.
‘Roy absolutely overstepped the line. There was nothing else we could do.’
Verdict: Wrong – Keane was obviously furious that his team-mates had produced a terrible performance and that showed in the bashing he gave them post-match.
Ferdinand went on to become one of the club’s greatest-ever defenders and Fletcher, recently appointed as United’s technical director, also had a phenomenal career, winning five league titles.
City won’t win the league
Back to City now and one of Keane’s more recent TV appearances. After a 1-1 draw with Liverpool at the Etihad, the Irishman seemingly wrote off City’s title chances.
Guardiola’s side were in mid-table at the time after an average start but did have a game in hand and were six points off top.
One of the main reasons why Keane thought City couldn’t compete was their lack of options at front, with Sergio Aguero out injured.
Keane took aim at their recruitment with their lack of a striker appearing to hinder their ambitions.
‘I think it is going to be very difficult for City to win the league this year,’ he said.
‘There was no way they were going to keep doing what they’ve done for the last two or three years. Same for Liverpool.
‘City, when you look at their squad, going into a season being expected to challenge for every competition they are in, only having two strikers.
Keane did not believe City could win the Premier League this year with a shortage of strikers
‘Aguero being 32 and having one or two problems and then just hanging your hat on one striker.
‘They will have to be critical of themselves – why they didn’t strengthen in the summer on a striker.
‘You have to have strength in depth, especially if you’re expected to challenge for all the major trophies.
‘So I don’t see City winning the league this year.’
Verdict: Wrong – In December, City embarked on a run 19 wins in 22 league games and also lifted a fourth successive Carabao Cup before winning the title this week.
The club’s first Champions League trophy is also on the cards if they beat Chelsea in Porto.
Guardiola has re-worked his team to make up for their lack of options up front with Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez all firing in front of goal to bring more glory to City.