Manchester United V West Ham United: Pictures
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Manchester United icon Roy Keane fumed at his former side for their first-half performance in their FA Cup fifth-round tie at home to West Ham on Wednesday. Erik ten Hag made several changes to the Carabao Cup-winning team, who were applauded before the game, and Casemiro was among those to receive accolades pitchside prior to kick-off.
Before the game, the Carabao Cup was presented around Old Trafford by Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire for the home fans to celebrate the first trophy of Ten Hag’s reign. In Sunday’s final, David De Gea kept a club-record 181st clean sheet, surpassing Peter Schmeichel, as he was given a special award by Alex Ferguson.
Meanwhile Casemiro, who has won over the hearts of the United faithful for his performances this season following his big-money move from Real Madrid in the summer, was named in FIFPRO’s World 11 at the Best FIFA Football Awards, alongside women’s team goalkeeper Mary Earps who won the FIFA’s Best Women’s Goalkeeper award and the pair received their accolades on the Old Trafford pitch.
Keane, though, did not approve of so many celebrations taking place before a crucial cup game. “There is no intensity, it is very sloppy, going through the motions,” Keane told ITV at half-time. “Even before the game down pitchside, there was a lot of presentations and players getting awards for anything these days, they just have not turned up.
“The manager of course has taken a gamble making so many changes – he’s got great options of the bench and you still expect United to do the business second half, but nowhere near good, so yeah [I am] a little bit angry.”
West Ham had the better of the chances in the opening 45 minutes, but that did not stop Keane from turning his fury to the visitors and described them as “lazy” for not taking the initiative and punishing United for a disappointing first half. “They have got into some good areas and some good pockets, but what I would say is that it’s lazy sometimes when they get in these good positions,” Keane added.
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“You have got to get players in the box, look! It is just laziness and players watching, you have got to get yourself in there to get yourself a goal – that is what the good players do, they have a hunger and desire to get themselves into the box.”
Former Chelsea and West Ham winger Joe Cole was on the panel alongside Keane and agreed with him that United had not seemed the same team that had been on such a sparkling run of form of late.
“It did feel as though their minds were elsewhere,” Cole said. “West Ham were finding little pockets, and I don’t think they were at the top of their game, they were playing okay but United in the midfield were not closing people down quick enough, not shifting it and they looked half asleep.”
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