Roy Keane hails Erik ten Hag for making bold calls and restoring ‘confidence’ to the Man United team after the coach axed Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire following a shocking start to the season and was rewarded with three straight wins
- Manchester United started with back-to-back losses to Brighton and Brentford
- Erik ten Hag dropped captain Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo afterwards
- They have since beaten Liverpool, Southampton and Leicester to recover
- Ex-United captain Keane praised Ten Hag for restoring the team’s confidence
- They face a stiff test when they entertain Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday
Roy Keane has praised Erik ten Hag for having the courage to stick with the same Manchester United team as the Reds recovered strongly from a nightmare start to the season.
Having lost 2-1 to Brighton and 4-0 at Brentford in their opening two Premier League games, United responded with a 2-1 win over Liverpool and back-to-back 1-0 successes over Southampton and Leicester.
Ten Hag’s side face a stiff test on Sunday afternoon when they entertain Arsenal, who have started with a perfect record of five wins from five.
Manchester United have recovered from a terrible start to the season to win three games
It came after Cristiano Ronaldo (second left) and Harry Maguire (right) were dropped
The former United skipper was critical of the team earlier in the campaign but gave his seal of approval to what Ten Hag is doing.
‘The win against Liverpool has given them a big boost, he’s got a settled team – the same starting 11 for the last three games,’ he said on Sky Sports.
‘There’s been a couple of clean sheets; the last couple of performances haven’t been great, more efficient, but I like the look of the team now.
‘United definitely look stronger, they have momentum and there will be confidence in the team.’
It came after Erik ten Hag made bold decisions and then stuck with his winning team
Confidence and stability has returned to United’s back line following three narrow wins
Ten Hag dropped captain Harry Maguire and talisman Cristiano Ronaldo following the Brentford debacle, preferring to partner Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane in defence and play Marcus Rashford in attack.
And he has reaped the rewards from these big calls as United achieved a morale-boosting win over arch-rivals Liverpool and then backed it up.
Keane was also impressed by the start Mikel Arteta’s team have made this season.
Former United captain turned pundit Roy Keane has been impressed by Ten Hag
He added: ‘They have been brilliant in the games. You can only beat the opposition that is front of them. They have had a little bit of luck but surely that will give them confidence.
‘The recruitment has been excellent, they have brought a lot of quality, players who have won big trophies who are used to coming to Man United and winning. That will only help the younger players.
‘I think this is Arsenal’s biggest test so far this season coming here because United definitely look stronger and have momentum and confidence in their team.’
His fellow Sky pundit Paul Merson warned, however, that Arsenal could quickly revert to type if they lose at Old Trafford.
‘You’ve got to get excited, they’ve played so well. This is their first big test,’ he said.
‘If they lose today, it’s same old, same old. Flat track bullies.’