After last weekend’s disappointing derby defeat, the Manchester United fans’ patience has been wearing very thin with their players.
The 4-1 defeat to Manchester City on Super Sunday has emphasised the complete gulf in class between the two clubs. Once the top dogs in Manchester, United are very much second best in this rivalry.
Speaking to Sky Sports, former United captain Roy Keane ran the rule over the club’s playing squad, insisting that some of them should have played their last game for the Old Trafford club.
“There were five or six players there who should never play for Manchester United again,” he said. “It was shameful.
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“They gave up and shame on them.”
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Roy Keane accused Manchester United’s players of giving up during the second half of their 4-1 defeat to rivals Manchester City
With United facing another crucial clash this weekend at home to top-four rivals Tottenham, live on Sky Sports, United fans have been voting in our poll on who is good enough for the club, and who isn’t.
We received 3.5m votes on 30 different United first-team players, so let’s take a look at the results below…
Bad news for Ronaldo, captain Maguire
United fans were on the ceiling when Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford was confirmed on Transfer Deadline Day, but now the feeling has changed.
After averaging 30 league goals in his last two full seasons at Juventus, the goals have dried up for the Portuguese icon. Ronaldo has just nine Premier League goals in 23 games this term – the 37-year-old is simply not at his brilliant best.
Ronaldo was absent from last weekend’s Manchester Derby defeat was mysterious. Manager Ralf Rangnick revealed he was injured but his sister, Katia Aveiro, appeared to question the 37-year-old’s absence before the match by liking an Instagram post claiming he is not injured and was dropped by the United boss.
And United fans appear to have had enough – nearly three-quarters of voters in our poll want to see the 37-year-old away from the club next season, even though he has one year left on his contract.
It’s also not good news for club captain Harry Maguire, with nearly 84 per cent of fans hoping to see the centre-back leave Old Trafford in the summer.
Calls for Rangnick to keep Maguire away from the pitch came before last Sunday’s loss to City. Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson thought that both the defender and Ronaldo should not have been involved.
“If the reports are accurate [of players wanting Maguire dropped], that’s not nice because Maguire is a top bloke and a good professional who looks after the players,” he said on Soccer Saturday. “He’s not really worried about himself and he’s a team player. But for me, I don’t think he plays in this game [against City].”
Midfielder Paul Pogba is another key player high up on the United fans’ axe list, though the Frenchman’s contract expires at the end of the season and, as Sky Sports News revealed this week, a new offer for a deal has not been put on the table.
Image: Harry Maguire (left) and Cristiano Ronaldo are not the talk of the town in Manchester
Meanwhile, the end looks near for interim boss Rangnick – as 72.6 per cent of fans want to see him replaced at the end of the campaign.
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville claimed after last weekend’s defeat to City that Rangnick will “absolutely not” be United boss in the 2022-23 campaign, with the German currently in line to take on an advisory role at the club.
“I don’t put any blame on him [Rangnick] for what’s happened today,” Neville said. “You asked the question before the game if he would be here next season… he won’t be the manager, absolutely not. The question is, which players will be here at the end of the season?”
Sancho and Bruno still liked, for now
Good question, Gary. Which players still have the vote of confidence from the United faithful?
At the top of our keep list is Jadon Sancho, who netted a superb equaliser for United in the derby – which ended up being the only moment of joy for Rangnick’s squad at the Etihad Stadium.
The first-half solo finish in the derby was preceded by two goals and two assists during eight February matches in all competitions. It appears the £74m England international is finally finding his feet at Old Trafford, with 94.5 per cent of fans wanting to see him in the United red next season.
Jadon Sancho finished off a flowing counter-attack to draw Manchester United level against the club he spent his youth career with
Young forward Anthony Elanga, who has endured a mixed start to 2022, is still liked by his club’s supporters with 92.6 per cent of fans wanting to keep him for next term.
The 19-year-old forward missed the crucial penalty in the FA Cup exit to Middlesbrough in February, but redeemed himself by being the hero in United’s Champions League last-16 first-leg draw at Atletico Madrid.
Bruno Fernandes, who operated in the false nine position in the 4-1 loss at City, is another player who has scored highly in our poll, with nearly 90 per cent of fans hoping to see him at the club next term.
The Portuguese midfielder has nine goals and 14 assists in all competitions this season and United are boosted by the fact he has three years left on his current Old Trafford contract.
Image: Fernandes' output has decreased this season compared with the same point last campaign
The statistics do prove, however, that Fernandes is having a weaker season compared to last term across several attacking factors – but that could be down to United having a poorer campaign across the board.
Defensive duo David de Gea and Raphael Varane come in just underneath Fernandes, while fellow shot stopper Dean Henderson is the sixth most popular United player – according to our poll.
Watch Manchester United vs Tottenham live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event this Saturday from 5pm; kick-off 5.30pm
Saturday 12th March 5:00pm Kick off 5:30pm
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