The United legend feels his old club need more new signings (Pictures: Sky Sports / Reuters)
Former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane says the club suffered from a familiar problem as they opened the new Premier League season with a 2-1 defeat at home to Brighton.
The Red Devils made a bright start to the match in the early exchanges but went into half-time 2-0 down, with Pascal Gross netting a brace for the visitors.
United attempted to rally in the second half and an own goal from Alexis Mac Allister halved the deficit, though Brighton’s rearguard remained strong as the Seagulls claimed a first win at Old Trafford.
New boss Erik ten Hag started with Fred and Scott McTominay in central midfield and Christian Eriksen playing as a false nine up top but had to reshuffle his line-up in the second half.
The Brazilian was replaced by Cristiano Ronaldo, who went up top with Eriksen dropping deeper, and Keane believes the match highlighted a long-running problem with United’s two holding midfielders.
Keane feels neither player is good enough to be starting for United if the club have aspirations of challenging for silverware and must be upgraded, while he feels Ten Hag needs to be given funds to get the players he wants in – such as Frenkie de Jong.
Speaking on Sky Sports after the match, the Irishman said: ‘The [lack of] decision-making and football intelligence from midfield, particularly Fred.
Fred did not have his best game for United on Sunday (Picture: Getty)
‘I’ve been going on about it for a long time – Fred and McTominay are not good enough. They won’t get Man United back competing at the top. We see it week in, week out. They’re not up to it.’
Keane has no intention of writing Ten Hag off, however, and feels the new manager must be supported: ‘It’s a rebuilding job, he needs time.
‘Really bad start for him today, but give the man a chance, give him money, he’s got to recruit. There’s issues obviously upstairs at the club, more protests at the club from supporters today, so big, big problems at United.’
Fellow pundit Micah Richard was also critical of Fred, saying: ‘There’s just no discipline. Watch Fred at the back post, he has a look but he never once sees what’s behind him.
‘If you’re going to cover in that position you don’t just run in that place for the sake of it. You’ve got to know what’s around you and that’s constantly costing Man United.’
On Eriksen’s improved showing in a deeper role in the second half, Keane added: ‘There was an element of gambling in the second half, Eriksen that’s probably his better position when he’s dropping deep and he’s picking out people, but too little too late.’
MORE : Manchester United begin Erik ten Hag era with defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford
MORE : ‘Absolutely ridiculous’ – Paul Scholes blasts Scott McTominay and Fred after Manchester United’s defeat to Brighton
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