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Roy Keane Slams Rio Ferdinand and Manchester United During Shakhtar Donetsk Win

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 05:  New Ireland Assistant Manager Roy Keane looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Real Sociedad de Futbol and Manchester United at Estadio Anoeta on November 5, 2013 in San Sebastian, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured Columnist IVNovember 28, 2016

Manchester United's win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday night ensured the English giants finished top of their Champions League group, advancing to the next stage of the competition.

However, former Red Devils midfielder Roy Keane wasn't allowing the context of the occasion to mask some deeper-lying issues that were on display during the performance, Phil Jones' 67th-minute goal just proving enough on the night.

Keane was speaking as part of ITV's coverage of the game, pointing out several United individuals for having let their side down, per John Edwards of the Daily Mail:

There has been no reaction from the United players from the disappointment of last week. They don't look like a team, just a collection of individuals running around. You can defend players for making mistakes but you cannot defend players for not tackling and not getting close to people.

They (United) had a couple of good chances through Ashley Young towards the end of the first half. He should certainly hit the target. I think it sums up his time at Man United, just not good enough. Rio Ferdinand's decision making, the chances he has taken, it is ridiculous. It is like his debut tonight.

Some will see the criticism as deserved considering this was United's first home win since Nov. 10. The club recently lost back-to-back games at Old Trafford for the first time since 2002.

Keane recently took a role on Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland coaching staff
Keane recently took a role on Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland coaching staffGetty Images/Getty Images

That's not to say Shakhtar are pushovers, but bigger tests are yet to come in this competition. Moyes will likely see his impressive run in Europe come to a halt unless his side are able to find another gear.

Keane partly defended the manager's influence over matters, hinting it is his players who get the job done at the end of the day, per Edwards' story:

David Moyes took the heat off the players before the game by saying it is his responsibility but we are talking about experienced players. 

As we said before the game, there are big question marks over the manager and the players. That for Manchester United is certainly not good enough.

The Republic of Ireland assistant manager played almost four seasons alongside Ferdinand and was one of those midfield figures who helped ease the burden on the former Leeds United centre-back.

However, now 35 years of age, there are whispers of retirement around the former England international, per the Metro's Jamie Sanderson, with Tuesday's outing not providing a good advertisement for his ongoing longevity.

The Premier League champions qualify from Group A with 14 out of a possible 18 points, four points clear of runners-up Bayer Leverkusen and having netted 12 goals in their six matches, although nine of those came in just two fixtures.

Surprisingly, Europe has been the area in which Moyes has acclimated more easily during his reign at the club thus far, whereas it's in the Premier League that the biggest flaws have been most evident.

Keane has never been known for holding back when it comes to his former club, but these latest comments are somewhat contradictory in that they won't inspire confidence in a side he clearly feels is in need of a shot in the arm.

As ever, the former icon is happy to point out the differences between United sides he featured in and the line-up of today, and it is to that standard Moyes' men must aspire if the current gloom around the club is to be lifted. 

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