Keane believes Moyes will be given time – and money

But manager needs senior players at Manchester United to show leadership

Former Manchester United skipper Roy Keane believes David Moyes will be given time to turn around the club’s fortunes, but for this to happen  the club’s senior players have to show leadership. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Former Manchester United skipper Roy Keane believes David Moyes will be given time to turn around the club’s fortunes, but for this to happen the club’s senior players have to show leadership. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.


Beleaguered Manchester United manager David Moyes will be given time to turn the club’s fortunes around but needs the experienced players at Old Trafford to show leadership and character, former Manchester United skipper Roy Keane predicted yesterday.

Keane, who won seven Premier League title, four FA Cups and a Champions League with United, admitted Tuesday night’s 3-0 defeat to Manchester City at Old Trafford was hard to watch but he said he believed Moyes deserved time to make Manchester United a force again.

Assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland Keane said while the reigning champions showed guts to overturn a 2-0 deficit to Olympiakos in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie to go through 3-2 on aggregate they have not been helped by the fact some players are leaving at the end of the season.

“They need a bit of luck and they haven’t had that of late, with van Persie getting injured, obviously Rio and Giggsy are coming towards the end and Vidic is leaving – that rarely happened in my time at United and that can lead to indecision and that doesn’t help.

“They’re also lacking leadership on the pitch at the moment as well – they need need players to show leadership but there’s no point in expecting certain players to lead when when they’re not that type of character and it’s a combination of all those things,” he said.

Keane said that he was still “obviously very fond of United, even though I left on bad terms with the manager and David Gill (then chief executive)”, but he still wanted them do well and he hoped and believed Moyes would be given time to buy players in the summer and turn the situation around.

However, he warned they may face tough times before that, and none tougher than Bayern Munich next week in the Champions League quarter-finals.

“Bayern Munich are one of the best teams I’ve ever seen and they’ve done what Manchester United and going back along, Liverpool used to do – buy in top players to strengthen their side even when they’re in a strong position and Manchester United have not done that for probably 18 months or so.

“If United play against Bayern like they did last night against City, they’re in massive, massive trouble.

“Bayern have a top manager, they keep the ball well, they’re good at set-pieces, they’ve good pace in the team, they’re experienced,” said Keane, adding there was a way to lose and United hadn’t shown that in recent games.

Speaking at UCC where he launched a patrons scheme for Cork City FC, Keane said he believed the Spanish League was at a higher level than the Premier League and he reckoned that the Champions League winners would come from Bayern, Barcelona or Real Madrid.

Tough spine
However he said he wouldn’t write off the chances of Atletico Madrid or Chelsea, who have an experienced manager in José Mourinho and know how to win tough games and forceful characters such as John Terry who give them a tough spine.

“Mourinho is obviously a top, top coach – there are some managers I would have loved to have played for but he’s probably not one of them at the top of my list – I’m not sure why – a lot of good players have great respect for him and his record is fantastic and speaks for itself.”

Asked about a suggestion by Stan Collymore that Nottingham Forest should approach the FAI to buy out the contracts of Martin O’Neill and Keane to bring them back to the City Ground, Keane said it wasn’t something that he was taking seriously.

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