Give Keane & Scholes a Break
I love Roy Keane. Yes he’s prone to mindless outbursts that are hard to defend – my personal favourite being the recent one where he said that the tackle on Luke Shaw was a fair one. Quite rightly this immediately earned Roy a one week ban from my United Stand desk. But it’s impossible to stay mad at him for long. Why? Because he gets what Manchester United is. He understands the football we should aspire to and expects every player fortunate enough to wear the red of Manchester United to play with the same passion and desire he did.
He’s also without question the best Manchester United captain of my lifetime, and arguably, any other lifetime. The day he left Old Trafford he left behind a hole so big when you look down it you can see the Sydney opera house. And that hole has never been filled. Regular watchers of The United Stand will know I don’t think the captaincy suits Rooney but comparing Wayne as a captain to Roy is like sending a rusty old tesco trolley to war instead of a Sherman Tank. The truth being there’s no comparison. In fact, when I think about Keane and his leadership qualities one line sums him up “Win. Or die trying”.
So it saddens me that more and more United fans feel the need to take a pop at him and ridicule his opinion. Keane has always been opinionated, it’s nothing new. He’s the same man now he was when he was at United it’s just some fans don’t feel the need to defend him or feel he’s part of our club any more. They’re wrong. Keane is intrinsically etched in to our history and The United Way. He understood it, he was part of it and he continues to preach it. If fans choose not to listen then that’s their loss. Even if LVG gets us playing the United Way – which is possible but many doubt – he’ll never scratch the surface of Keane’s achievements. Roy Keane conducted and led the United way for over a decade.
That’s not to say we should hang on his every word. No one is right 100% of the time and Roy knows a controversial opinion will sell papers. But when it’s United related I listen. Because if anyone knows the way our great club should play and should act it’s Roy Keane.
The same goes with Scholesy. He’s come out in the last few weeks with some negative comments about the current United set up . In short Scholesy wants to see United blast teams away with football that gets you on the edge of your seat and he isn’t seeing that. A view shared by many a fan at the moment but also a view that some fans think isn’t helpful. Van Gaal has certainly allowed Scholesy to get under his skin and he’s publicly criticised Scholes on a two occasions now. But why do fans have to take sides?
Paul Scholes and Roy Keane are United legends. They’ve made their contribution – and what a contribution it was – and they’ve earned the right to pass comment on the club just like any fan has. As a manager Van Gaal should ignore it and do what he’s paid to do, manage Manchester United and make them successful. Arguing with ex players and turning fans against them isn’t and shouldn’t be part of the job description. The bottom line is LVG and some fans are happy with the way things are going and some fans like Scholes are concerned by the football we’re playing. Ultimately surely that’s a good thing? Both sides have one clear aim – Manchester United back on top – and debating the merits of how we’ll get there is the best way forward.
Whatever happens we are Manchester United. The United Way matters and we should never forget that.
By Mark Goldbridge