Ex-Manchester United captain Roy Keane, as is becoming one of his favoured pursuits, has fired a typically acerbic broadside at the current state of affairs at Old Trafford, claiming his former club has abandoned its principles.
Keane highlights the recent trend of significant acquisition in the transfer market as a sign that Manchester United are no longer ‘what they were about’ and believes they are now a club reminiscent of the pre-Ferguson era.
While he as having a pop at this over reliance on new players rather than the previous dedication to developing youth, Keane also dismissed the assertion that Louis van Gaal’s side could challenge for the Premier League title.
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Missing from the current squad, says Keane, is another central defender and, even if United were able to reinforce in this position, they would still have to overcome a Chelsea side who are the Irishman’s clear favourites for 2015/16 glory.
“United have gone away from what they were about,” Keane told The Mirror.
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“They are a bit like the late 80s, buying a lot of players, thinking they will gel.”
He added: “I still think they need a centre-half.
“United will be better and they will need to be stronger out of the blocks, but if I was a betting man – which I’m not – I’d still go with Chelsea.
“They are the team to beat, with the strongest spine.
“If their players show the same hunger and desire they did last year, they will do it again. Only if they fail to show that will they not win the title again.”
Keane certainly has a point when it comes to the way Manchester United are going about building a squad these days, with he and many supporters still misty eyed about those halcyon Class of 92 days.
However, realistically, that era would appear to be once in a generation and perhaps the like of which would never be seen again at Old Trafford, or any other club for that matter.
United to have a spine of academy products moving into the first team but, as yet, they have not demonstrated they are players for the fans to really get excited about. And, with plenty of expensive signings ahead of them in the pecking order, chances will remain at a premium.
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