Roy Keane has despaired of Manchester United’s heavy defeat at Liverpool, while Gary Neville believes his former club are now at the lowest point they have ever seen.
The visitors were outclassed at Anfield, with a brace from Mohamed Salah and goals from Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz securing a 4-0 win which, coupled with United’s destruction by Liverpool at Old Trafford in October, took the aggregate scoreline to the season between the sides at 9-0.
Those two matches illustrated the huge quality gap between the two rivals and former United captain Keane – who won seven Premier League titles and a Champions League during his time there – was hugely disappointed with the disappearance of his former club.
“It’s not anger, it was anger earlier in the season. It’s sadness,” he said.
“You look at the team today, there was no heart, no soul, no managers, they lack real quality. They are so far away and you look at the United fans tonight… there is no There were no surprises with the scoreline, but Liverpool could score every time they went forward.
“There is disarray at the club from the top. The fans don’t have time for the owners. They need a new manager, they need players, they need players…
“It’s so sad to see. It’s not the club I played for. It doesn’t reflect what Man Utd stood for when I played for them. It’s chalk and cheese. I don’t see a Manchester United team there fighting and playing with pride.
“There is no hiding. At this level, you are uncovered. It’s so sad to watch this team.”
Keane heavily criticized the attitude of United players on Tuesday night, questioning their character and pointing out that several were out of contract this summer.
“What Man Utd have always had in my experience at the club are brilliant characters, brilliant men, people you want to work with, people you want to be in the trenches with,” he said. .
“Robson, Bruce, Pallister, Beckham, Giggsy, Butty all these guys. Brilliant guys. We haven’t won every week, but you’d look around before a game and say, ‘We’re going to give it our all. what we have for it’ This is what we expected and hopefully our talent will get us over the line and win a few games.
“But this team isn’t even friendly, there’s no soul with this team. You don’t even warm them up. I know it’s hard for players to do interviews but it’s very robotics, there is no emotion.
“I would like to know what is happening on the training ground. What is the culture of the players, of the young players, which helps these guys?
“I’ve never heard so many players want to leave Man Utd. When I played for them you were worried about being sold or leaving. Now everyone wants out. They can’t get out fast enough.
“There are six or seven of them – look at the Everton game a few weeks ago – they have already left the building. They are gone. You can see it with their performance. They are on vacation, they have passed away. They don’t show up, they lose 4-0, they shake hands going down the tunnel, they do the interviews with sound bites. You should be ashamed of your life. You should hide.
Neville: I’ve never seen it as bad as this.
For former Keane team-mate Neville, United hit a low they had never witnessed before.
“Man Utd were a million miles behind this Liverpool side in every department. On and off the pitch. It was a sobering night,” he said.
“We expected it. No Man Utd fan came here with any hope. This team has nothing.
“There are decent players on this pitch and talent. I can’t explain how it went from what would have been slightly promising at the end of last season to finishing second – I know they lost in the Europa League final which was bad – to the point where we are today, which is an all-time low in 42 years of watching United. I’ve never seen it as bad as this.
“I have never seen a Man Utd team wither and be so flaky in a football game in 40 years.”
Neville used the example of Hannibal Mejbri to illustrate his frustrations with this United side. The 19-year-old Tunisian was only sent off in the 84th minute and as he was caught in possession of the fourth goal he also landed a booking and made solid tackles on the Liverpool players – an approach , said Neville, who at least showed a bit of a fight.
However, his overall assessment of the current squad is that they are “broken”.
“I erred on the unprofessional side of the comments when I said I was proud of him for trying to kick people,” Neville said. “But he showed something, he showed us something: that he didn’t like the idea at Anfield of Liverpool passing around him. The idea of Liverpool taking Mickey and his teammates away from him.
“At least he demonstrated something. I’m not saying it was great that he was kicking Liverpool players and he could have hurt them, but as a Man Utd fan they can at least answer that.
“The others… there are some who are probably good guys, good professionals, have good careers, good talent – but they’re broken. They’re finished and they’ve finished this season.”
Keane: Lingard not good enough, Rashford played as a kid, Maguire’s display not acceptable
Keane believes United need a major rebuild if they are to return to a competitive level.
In the meantime, he said the performance of some of the current players was simply not close to the required standard and argued that the squad lacked the cohesion to make up for their shortcomings.
“There are good individuals when they feel like it and show up, but when the going gets tough or they’re under the hammer, they’re out of place,” he said.
“They don’t have the team spirit you need. This Man Utd side are lacking in talent anyway. We’ve been saying for a few months that they’re not as talented as they think. So for not having the rest to try to support it – combativeness, energy…
“We saw the midfield tonight, [Marcus] Rashford’s performance tonight, [Jesse] Lingard tries to save Man Utd. Lingard should have left Man Utd two years ago! He’s not good enough for Man Utd.
“Rashford played like a kid up front. OK, he wasn’t getting any serve, but the one or two pieces he got in the first half, when you think ‘you’re on goal’, a wrong key.
“Defensively we were trying to help Harry Maguire before the game, give him some PR. The last goal, Maguire’s pass and his defence… It’s not acceptable and not good enough for Man Utd.
“We’re going to have to use that word, we’re talking about a rebuilding job. Man Utd need to bring in players who hopefully are first and foremost decent guys, good quality and talented pros to try to compete.
“Man Utd are now fifth or sixth in the league. Man Utd fifth or sixth in the league? Unbelievable.”