Roy Keane labels Marcus Rashford ‘a child’ in Man Utd blast after Spurs loss

Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United in pictures

Roy Keane was typically scathing of Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat to Tottenham on Saturday night and picked out Marcus Rashford for particular criticism. The Sky Sports expert and ex-United captain was not impressed with Rashford’s body language as he started as a centre-forward rather than in his favoured left-wing role.

Keane felt Rashford cut a forlorn figure very early on at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Rashford has publicly admitted he prefers starting out on the left but Erik ten Hag used the England international through the middle, as he did six days earlier in United’s Premier League opener against Wolves.

After Pape Matar Sarr and Lisandro Martinez’s own goal condemned United to defeat in north London, the no-nonsense Keane ranted: “I think Man United are the new Spurs. Desperate. Absolutely desperate. Biggest insult I always think about teams are teams who can’t do it away from home or players who aren’t up for it away from home.

“They’re a good team and they fancy it when the home fans are in front of them. They’ve got that support and that energy. United go away today, that second half – weak, no leadership, gave bad goals away. Spurs were lovely, honestly, all credit to Spurs.

“But United, it’s easy to play against them. I said before the game they were poor against Wolves but they got the result and they’d be better today. They weren’t. We made the point they were fine the first half-an-hour but the game is 90 minutes.

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“You’re obviously not going to dominate that long but you’ve got to show some belief, some desire, some fight. You’re bringing on Anthony Martial and these players – you might as well bring on Frank Stapleton and Norman Whiteside.

“Martial’s not going to get you out of trouble again. Rashford played through the middle again – usual stuff. He’s like a child up there. He’s obviously not happy playing through the middle and his body language, his first few touches in the game, suggested ‘I don’t want to play up through the middle.’

“But you have to – you’ve got to do a job for the team tonight. You’re looking at the captain, the senior players, established international players. Easy to play against – that’s the biggest insult I can give to these United players.”

Jamie Redknapp, stood alongside Keane, said: “Rashford didn’t look comfortable upfront. When you play him in his favourite position, wide left, he can cut inside and do his magic. Even that, that’s not enough of an excuse.

“I want more from Marcus Rashford when he plays in that central position. It shouldn’t change that much for him. He should still be working harder than he did.”

Keane’s former Red Devils team-mate Gary Neville was on co-commentary duties for Sky Sports. And he was similarly unimpressed with the performance of his former side and like the Irishman, took shots at Martial.

When the striker came off the bench, Neville reacted: “How long is Martial’s contract for? He’s been here forever – it’s like Groundhog Day!” And he said of Spurs’ late second goal: “It’s embarrassing from United, but excellent from Spurs.

“They [Tottenham] have dominated those red shirts in this second half.” The former defender continued: “[Christian] Eriksen has come on to have the second number six option alongside Casemiro.

“Ten Hag wants a number six who can play alongside Casemiro and at the moment the club can’t get players out to be able to fund that – if they look at the first two weeks of the season, they have to fund it or there will be big problems.”

United now have three points from a possible six after their first two matches of the 2023-24 Premier League season. They return to action at home to Nottingham Forest next Saturday (3pm).

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