English Premiership

Keane: Frightened Man Utd lack belief to compete for title

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Manchester United squad (Getty Images)
Manchester United squad (Getty Images)

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane has accused his old club of being frightened by the challenge of winning the Premier League.

United were cast three points adrift of table-toppers Manchester City following their stalemate with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

It capped a disappointing week for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side after they were beaten 2-1 by Sheffield United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Arsenal were without three key men – Bukayo Saka, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kieran Tierney – for the fixture, and Keane, who won seven Premier League titles with United, believes it was an opportunity missed by the Old Trafford side.

"I'm scratching my head with United," the 49-year-old told Sky Sports.

"The worry for me is that they almost lacked the belief that they could go and win the game.

"You are looking at Arsenal, who are missing a few players, and the game was there for the taking.

"United were getting the plaudits and they were sneaking up the table. They got in the habit of winning football matches, even if they weren't playing great.

"But all of a sudden, the last three or four weeks, when they've got to the top, and people are saying 'can you win the league? Can you compete with Man City?'.

"It looks as if the players have got almost frightened of the challenge, 'I don't think we're ready for that yet'."

United created more chances than Arsenal at the Emirates but could not find a way through. They have scored just once in six games against their top-six rivals this season.

Keane added: "Overall their performance lacked intensity. There was a real lack of quality, a real lack of conviction and desire to go and take the game to Arsenal.

"Ole keeps talking about these players, and saying 'they’re winners, they're winners'. Well come on, then. Show us. You're signed to win football matches, to win big prizes.

"At the end of the season, when you look back, the four or five points we lost in three or four days [will be] huge."

- TEAMtalk media

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