Manchester United’s Edinson Cavani blasted by Roy Keane for ‘warm-up’ vs Arsenal

  • Rob Swan

Manchester United’s players may have thought they’d turned a corner following last week’s 5-0 win over RB Leipzig, but they were brought back down to earth with a bump by Arsenal on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side suffered a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring the only goal of the game from the penalty spot in the second half.

This result ended Arsenal’s 29-game winless run away to a ‘big six’ opponent. It was also the Gunners’ first victory at United’s home ground since 2006.

“We weren’t at the races,” Solskjaer was quoted saying by The Guardian after the match. “We were too sloppy, too many passes went astray and the rotation was not there. Sometimes you are playing against good teams and today it was a soft penalty – it had 0-0 written all over the game [before this].”

United now find themselves 15th in the Premier League table, having picked up just seven points from their first six matches, making this the club’s worst start to a league campaign since the ill-fated David Moyes era.


Various questions are now being asked of Solskjaer, including his use of summer signings Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani.

Both players came on the final 15 minutes against Arsenal but neither was able to make an impact.

Cavani, who wears United’s famous No. 7 shirt and is earning a reported £200,000 a week, has played just 56 minutes during his first three substitute appearances for the Red Devils.


Despite his lack of minutes against the Gunners, United legend Roy Keane was critical of the Uruguayan striker during his post-match rant for Sky Sports.

“I’m intrigued when I look at warm-ups. Cavani never threw a leg,” an irked Keane said, “he actually didn’t do a warm-up, did he?”

“Then he comes on as a sub and is being asked to get them back in the game. Ole’s talking about having to get him (Cavani) up to speed, well, sometimes it’s up to the player to do something. Ole will pay the ultimate price, obviously.

“Ole will lose his job, working with this group of players, that’s what’s going to happen. I’ve been saying it for the last month or two, but you still think, ‘you never know in this game. Things might change’, and you think it’s up to Ole to motivate these players for Arsenal at home.

“People keep saying there’s no support, the stadiums are empty, this is still a great setting if you’re a professional footballer, to play at Old Trafford.”

Skip to 2:20 to hear Keane’s rant about Cavani…

Cavani’s lack of effort during his warm-up was also noted by Manchester Evening News journalist Samuel Luckhurst, who tweeted: “When Van de Beek and Matic were warming up at half-time there was someone else on the pitch with their hood up and ambling about languidly. Thought it was a coach but it turned out to be Cavani. Not a great look, especially when he didn’t look at it when he came on.”

You can watch a short clip of Cavani’s warm-up here…

Considering Cavani has a reputation for working tirelessly on the pitch, it’s surprising to hear that the South American looked so relaxed as he warmed up before entering the fray against Arsenal.

Perhaps this is another sign that United’s players are getting away with too much under Solskjaer.

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