April 8, 2024

When it comes to optimism for Manchester United’s future, Roy Keane doesn’t see what Erik ten Hag does, and the former captain of the Red Devils has given a straightforward reminder about the Premier League table his old team is playing in.


After being held to a tie by Liverpool on Sunday, United now trails fifth-place Aston Villa by 11 points. Aston Villa is expected to qualify for the Champions League.


Despite Villa only earning a point from their last two games and allowing Tottenham Hotspur to move up to the top four in the process, they haven’t given up any significant ground to United with just two games remaining. United lost to Brentford in London last Saturday night and lost to Chelsea earlier in the week.


Whatever happens from now on, Villa has made significant progress in the right direction under Unai Emery’s leadership. The team is still fighting on two fronts and will host Lille at Villa Park on Thursday for the first leg of their Europa Conference League quarterfinal tie.


Keane has given a stark reminder about the races United is currently competing in, which includes one with Villa and Spurs for fourth and fifth place, while they remain far behind rivals Liverpool, Manchester City, and Arsenal who are still battling it out for the title. Keane joked that Ten Hag must have had a drink before conducting his positive post-match interview.


“I don’t know if he had a couple of glasses of wine after the match but he seemed really upbeat and I admire that from him,” Keane stated to Sky Sports. “Clearly, he’s seeing something that I’m not at this precise moment. I’m not saying that this football team or these young players don’t have promise, but they’re not going to be able to compete with teams like Liverpool, Manchester City, and Arsenal.


They are currently far behind Aston Villa and Spurs, who they are fighting with for the fourth or fifth spot. I don’t get his optimism, but perhaps that’s just me being a bit grouchy and elderly. Although he seems positive, I didn’t witness that positive performance. I give them credit for persevering through two really nice goals, but if you’re looking at the broader picture and thinking United is headed back, I believe that’s far from the case.”

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