EPL

Man Utd fans have had enough and protests are just the start – Keane

By Sports Desk May 02, 2021

Roy Keane believes Manchester United fans have "had enough" and predicted further protests after Sunday's game with Liverpool was postponed due to scenes at Old Trafford and in the city.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were due to face the reigning Premier League champions at home at 16.30 local time, but kick-off was delayed due to demonstrations against the club's owners, the Glazer family.

After protestors assembled outside the ground, some gained access to Old Trafford and entered the pitch, while others gathered outside the Lowry Hotel where the United squad stay prior to home matches.

Around an hour after the game had been due to kick off, United announced it had been postponed "due to safety and security considerations around the protest". The clubs will agree to a new date with the Premier League.

United fans have long been vehemently opposed to the Glazer ownership due to the significant levels of debt added to the club following their leveraged takeover in 2005, but the failed attempt by the Red Devils and the Premier League's 'big six' to join a breakaway European Super League has fuelled animosity in recent weeks.

While the Super League appears dead in the water for now after the six English clubs withdrew from the plans, anger towards executives such as the Glazers and Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke has abated little among supporters.

Former United captain Keane believes Sunday's protests were just the start, telling Sky Sports: "The United fans have had enough and they're doing it because they love the club.

"It's not just as a result of what's happened the last two weeks with the Super League... it's been building for a number of years. They've come to the end and feel enough is enough. It's a huge statement for the game to be called off. 

"There's been a build-up in tension, whether it be about ticketing, poor communication, things going on in the background.

"The leadership of the club has not been good enough. When they look at the owners, they feel it's just about making money. The United fans have looked at the Glazers and thought 'enough is enough'. 

"They're doing it because they love the club. Some people won't agree with it but sometimes you have to put a marker down for people to take notice.

"This will go out all over the world, and hopefully the owners of Manchester United will sit up and take note. These fans are deadly serious and there's more to come, and this is just the start of it from United fans – I guarantee it."

Fellow former captain Gary Neville, who was scathing over the proposed formation of the Super League, said: "I think it's a warning to the owners of the football club that, ultimately, they're not going to accept what they've done in the last couple of weeks.

"Beyond today, it should be about reform. Protesting is the right of every single person in this country, we must retain that, but beyond today, it's about making sure that fans across the country unite to make sure there's reform in English football, or else [these protests] will be a waste of time.

"There are people protesting in London today against the government trying to stop protests! We have to allow protests, but there is always the potential of there being a flashpoint because there will always be one or two people who may have had a drink, they might just be coming to antagonise, or they might be coming for ulterior motives. That will always happen.

"The reality is that what happened two weeks ago has ignited the United fan base into life again. It's brought them back to life.

"Fifteen years ago, there were a lot of fans who were upset, and every one I speak to are absolutely disgusted by what happened a fortnight ago. United were leading this thing, as were Liverpool, two weeks ago. They are the biggest clubs in this country."

Related items

  • Brazil v Colombia: Selecao out to secure top spot Brazil v Colombia: Selecao out to secure top spot

    Brazil can secure top spot in Copa America Group B with victory over Colombia on Wednesday.

    The two sides go into the glamour clash of the group on the back of hugely contrasting results against Peru.

    Neymar and Co. ensured the Selecao swept aside Los Incas 4-0 in their last game, but Colombia were stunned as they slipped to a 2-1 defeat to the same opposition.

    As a result, Brazil will finish top of Group B should they win against Colombia and Peru fail to beat Ecuador.

    That will secure a quarter-final with the fourth-placed side in Group A, but it may not mean a routine last-eight clash, as Uruguay occupy that spot as it stands.

    A win will secure Colombia's place in the quarters, though a draw could be enough if Ecuador lose to Peru in the earlier game.

    The omens are not good for Colombia heading into the match in Rio de Janeiro. They are winless in their last four meetings with Selecao, Colombia's last victory coming in the 2015 Copa America.

    Brazil are the top scorers in the tournament, having netted seven goals in their opening two games, but they may look to show greater ruthlessness in front of goal against Colombia.

    Their 35 shots have carried an expected goals (xG) value of 8.6 and, with this game likely to be a better barometer of where they stand ahead of the knockout stages, Brazil will be eager to do a better job of taking their chances and send a message to their rivals for the trophy.

    Should Colombia seal progression, it will be the fifth successive Copa America in which they have reached the last eight.

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Brazil - Richarlison

    The Everton striker may have earned a place in the starting XI with his performance in the thumping of Peru.

    Richarlison came on at the start of the second half for Gabriel Barbosa and had four shots, with three on target, scored Brazil's fourth and created two chances.

    Colombia - Edwin Cardona

    Though Colombia slumped to a surprise defeat, it was another impressive performance for Cardona against Peru.

    He created a match-high three chances, taking his tally for the tournament to seven, and produced two good crosses in a game Colombia lost despite having an xG of 1.5 to Peru's 0.94.

    KEY OPTA FACTS

    - Brazil have lost only of their last 19 games against Colombia in all competitions (W11 D7). Their only defeat against them in that run was in Copa America 2015 (1-0).

    - Brazil are unbeaten at home since their defeat to the Netherlands in third-place play-off at the 2014 World Cup. Since then, they have played 25 games (W22 D3) and only failed to score in two games.

    - Colombia boss Reinaldo Rueda is looking for his first win against Brazil: he has managed two games against them, one as Ecuador manager and another in his previous spell with Colombia (D1 L1). His draw was for Colombia on Brazilian soil in qualification for the 2006 World Cup.

    - Brazil have scored more goals (7) and had more shots on target per game (8) than any other team in Copa America 2021, and only Paraguay (16.5) have created more chances per game than the Brazilians (12.5) in the competition. Brazil have score one goal every 26 minutes on average.

    - Colombia have made their shots, on average, closer to the target than any other side (13.7 metres): 82.5 per cent of their shots were from inside the box, the highest percentage in Copa America 2021.

  • Portugal v France: Champions feel 'responsibility' to recover from record-breaking defeat Portugal v France: Champions feel 'responsibility' to recover from record-breaking defeat

    A record-breaking defeat to Germany on matchday two leaves Portugal with work to do against France in a repeat of the previous European Championship final.

    Portugal became the first defending champions to concede four goals at the Euros and now need at least a point to reach the last 16.

    Top spot in Group F could still be theirs if they beat France, although Portugal's Euro 2016 final triumph was their only win against Les Bleus in 13 attempts.

    Reflecting on the Germany match ahead of this tough test, coach Fernando Santos said: "We all felt disappointed on our way back.

    "Everyone feels a sense of responsibility, and the following day the players reacted well.

    "They are experienced players and appreciate that sometimes you don't win. There are times when even the top teams don't deal well with defeat."

    France have never previously played Portugal before the semi-final stage of a major tournament, but their meetings tend to be low scoring. The previous four have provided only three goals.

    Although Didier Deschamps' men are already through as at least one of the four best third-placed sides, the coach insists they do not lack motivation.

    "To be honest, in the situation where we are now, if we had six points I would have the same thoughts because a negative result would have the same impact," he said.

    "We have the insurance of being qualified already, that gives us some kind of tranquillity but it won't change our playing style.

    "Of course we owe it to ourselves and the French people to deliver the best possible result."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Portugal – Cristiano Ronaldo

    When is Ronaldo not Portugal's player to watch? He has history in his sights, too, having tied Miroslav Klose as the leading scorer at Euros and World Cups combined (19 goals) and moved within three of Ali Daei's world-record 109-goal tally last time out. The Juventus superstar has never scored against France, though, his six goalless appearances his worst record in international football.

    France – Antoine Griezmann

    Griezmann was the subject of praise from Santos ahead of this match and is himself only three goals adrift of a benchmark for France. He has 11 goals at major international tournaments, with Michel Platini's 14 leading the way. He has Thierry Henry (12) and Just Fontaine (13) to leapfrog before reaching that record, though.
     

    KEY OPTA FACTS

    – This is the fifth match between Portugal and France at a major tournament, but it is the first time they have met in the group stages; all four previous encounters took place in the semis (Euro 1984, Euro 2000, World Cup 2006) or final (Euro 2016). France won the first three while Portugal came out victors in the Euro 2016 showpiece match.
    – Following their 1-1 draw with Hungary on MD2, France have avoided defeat in more matches when trailing at half-time than any other team in European Championship history (six – W4 D2).
    – France are unbeaten in each of their past 11 group stage games at major international tournaments (World Cup and Euros), winning seven and drawing four. However, each of their past three MD3 group games in these tournaments have ended level (D3).
    – Last time out versus Germany (4-2), Portugal became the first reigning champions in European Championship history to concede four goals in a single match in the competition. Indeed, Portugal had never conceded four goals in a single European Championship match before facing Germany on MD2.
    – Portugal have lost two of their past three matches at major tournaments (World Cup and Euros), one more than they had lost in the previous 17 such games combined (W8 D8 L1). They last lost consecutive such matches within a single tournament at Euro 2008.

  • Grealish, Maguire and Saka all start for England v Czech Republic Grealish, Maguire and Saka all start for England v Czech Republic

    Jack Grealish and Harry Maguire will start England's Euro 2020 Group D match against the Czech Republic at Wembley, with Arsenal's Bukayo Saka a surprise inclusion in Gareth Southgate's XI.

    Grealish was a second-half substitute in England's 0-0 draw against Scotland last Friday and Mason Mount being forced into self-isolation after a coronavirus scare has cleared the way for the Aston Villa favourite to start in the number 10 role.

    Raheem Sterling – the scorer of England's only goal in the tournament so far – and captain Harry Kane retain their places, with Saka completing the forward line.

    The 19-year-old netted his first international goal in a friendly against Austria earlier this month and is preferred to the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, the Borussia Dortmund winger who is yet to feature at Euro 2020 despite 16 goals and 18 assists at club level in 2020-21.

    Manchester United skipper Maguire returns to partner John Stones at centre-back following ankle ligament damage and the duo are charged with keeping Golden Boot contender Patrik Schick, the spearhead of an unchanged Czech line-up, quiet.

    Schick has three goals in two outings so far and a draw will be enough for his country to deny England top spot.

    England's fourth and final change from the Scotland match is Kyle Walker's inclusion at right-back, although his Manchester City team-mate Phil Foden is not in the matchday squad, with Southgate electing to rest the playmaker due to a yellow card he collected against Croatia, which put him at risk of suspension for the round of 16.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.