Roy Keane has urged Manchester United’s youngsters to follow Cristiano Ronaldo’s lead after the side’s 2-2 draw with Aston Villa, while theorising that something was ‘amiss’ with Marcus Rashford.
United had looked to be cruising towards three points at Villa Park as Emiliano Martinez spilled Bruno Fernandes’ strike into the net in only the sixth minute.
The visitors doubled their lead in the second half as Fernandes hammered home his second of the evening, but Philippe Coutinho’s introduction moments later turned the game on its head.
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The Brazilian star, who completed a loan move from Barcelona in the week, played a vital role as Jacob Ramsey pulled a goal back for Villa before getting on the scoresheet himself to equalise in the 81st minute.
Steven Gerrard’s side held firm to end a run of three consecutive defeats, while the United’s players appeared crestfallen at the final whistle as they lost more ground in the race for a Premier League top-four finish.
In his post-match analysis for Sky Sports, legendary ex-United captain Keane referred back to Ronaldo’s interview and said there was something ‘missing’ in the ‘culture’ of the club.
‘I don’t think any player should have a problem if Ronaldo is making points, obviously, you can tell them face-to-face but sometimes you have to do it through the media,’ Keane said.
‘But you’d hope these young players are looking at Ronaldo and some of the senior players. The word I would use at any club, particularly the big clubs is, “What’s the culture?”, “What’s it like at the training ground?”.
‘Are these young players, [Jadon] Sancho, Rashford and [Mason] Greenwood, are they still looking at some of the senior players? You’re hoping the senior players are setting a good example. Maybe all of them aren’t and maybe some of these young players aren’t so quick to do a little bit extra afterwards, and these are all the fine details you have to improve on.
‘If the culture isn’t right at Manchester United, in terms of the pace of training, the tempo, people’s attitudes, the way they speak to the staff, if that’s not right, you’re going to notice it. To me, there’s something missing at Manchester United, there’s too many loose ends.
‘We’re on about Sancho, what’s happened to Rashford? Man United have to get to the bottom of it, that’s part of the responsibility when you’re working with good, young players.’
Keane said Rashford had looked ‘lost’ in some of his recent displays and called for senior squad members at the club to put an arm around his shoulder.
‘He’s done amazing things over the last few years, amazing, on and off the pitch, but clearly there’s something amiss,’ the ex-Republic of Ireland international added.
‘I looked at him Monday night [and thought], “The lights are on but no-one’s home”. The kid looks lost. There’s something amiss.
‘Sometimes with young players it’s confidence, it might be anything to do on the football pitch, it might be stuff off the field.
‘The club have got to help him, the senior players have got to help young players. ‘There’s plenty amiss at Man United at the moment that needs to be fixed.’