Roy Keane singles out four Man Utd stars as Ten Hag faces Fernandes pressure

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Roy Keane was left baffled by the attitude of four Manchester United players after their 3-0 derby defeat to local rivals Manchester City on Sunday. A brace from Erling Haaland and Phil Foden’s finish piled on the misery for the Red Devils as they slumped to their fifth defeat of the Premier League season.

Keane felt that the senior United players needed to take responsibility for the performance, having been torn apart by Pep Guardiola’s outfit in the second half. The former United captain called on Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans to use their vast experience to help the other players in the team.

“We used to get stick and we were winning stuff,” Keane told Sky Sports as he reflected on the criticisms that current players receive. “So that’s part of the package of playing for Man United. That courage, bravery, wanting the ball when you don’t want it. I didn’t see that and I am not saying this is a bad group of players, but the second half we’re talking about them being pulled apart.

“I was just looking for one or two senior players to just pull them back in. Maguire at the back, Jonny Evans, the two centre-halves for example. Two experienced players who have played hundreds and hundreds of games and internationals.

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“When United do get run ragged just sit in. I don’t understand that bit where you don’t get the lads in and say: ‘For the next 10 minutes we need to sit in’. United did pretty well in the first half, pretty solid, but where’s the experience from these so-called characters?”

Keane was also perplexed by Marcus Rashford’s body language during the defeat, as he felt that the England forward cut a forlorn figure at Old Trafford. Rashford struggled to get a lot of joy out of Kyle Walker, and Keane doubled down on his questions of the team’s leadership group.

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He added: “I know we’ve had many conversations of when you’re up against Man City and they tire you out, pull you left and right, but that’s where you have your experienced players to say ‘Let’s sit in, let’s be solid for the next few minutes and then we can have a go’.

“We talk about the great players of Man United, show that courage when you’re in possession. Don’t give it away cheaply. We talked about the captaincy again today. Even Rashford, body language from a Man United player at home in a derby…”

While Keane also was of the opinion that Bruno Fernandes should be stripped of the captaincy. The Portuguese playmaker was only officially named the skipper this season, but Keane has already seen enough that the role belongs to someone else.

“After today having watched the game, I would definitely take the captaincy off him, 100 per cent,” Keane continued. “I know it’s a big decision and he has already changed the captaincy with Maguire, but Fernandes is not captain material.

“I think he’s a talented player no doubt about it, but what I saw with him again, I know we have discussed this many times before with Liverpool last year. His whinging, he’s moaning, he’s throwing his arms up in the air constantly. From what I saw today, I would take that off him.

“You talk about making changes at board level, I would start with that because the manager is capable of doing that and holding his hand up and saying, yes, I got it wrong. Fernandes is a brilliant footballer, but in terms of captain material, he is the opposite from what I want in a captain.”

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