Everyone in world football knows that Roy Keane is as honest with his mouth as he once was with his legs but he isn’t always spot on.
The Manchester United legend, a serial trophy winner in his playing days, is notorious for hardly ever shying away from controversial talk and even when he gives a fair bit of analysis, many would be forgiven for feeling offended by the manner in which he delivers it.
Keane is currently making headlines for his criticism towards both Liverpool and his former club, for the great emphasis the Premier League rivals have placed on simply qualifying for the UEFA Champions League – instead of placing a similar emphasis on winning trophies.
“When I see clubs like Liverpool and Man United celebrating getting into the top four, I cringe at it, I really do,” the former Republic of Ireland international said, according to Goal.com.
“Any of these big clubs – do you think that Real Madrid and Barcelona would be celebrating getting fourth? Come on, get a grip. It is about getting your hands on a trophy.
“People talk about getting into the top four because of the financial rewards and it was great for teams like Leicester to qualify but for the big teams, Man United, Chelsea, Arsenal, celebrating fourth? I say shame on you.”
It’s easy to read Keane’s comments and believe he is making sense, however, even so, the former midfield enforcer could‘ve excluded Liverpool from the firing line because the Reds are – and have been for a long time – on a rebuilding mission.
Like it or not, Liverpool shouldn’t be spoken of in the same sentence as Real Madrid, Barcelona or even Chelsea and Arsenal, at least not in present terms because unlike these clubs the Merseysiders haven’t been featuring in the Champions League on a consistent basis over the past few years.
Unlike these clubs, the Reds have not witnessed top managers and world class players walk in and out of their doors over recent seasons, therefore it is not plausible to set a target for them any higher than a top four finish at this moment.
Sure, the above may sound like a ramble of excuses but in truth, these are genuine reasons to have humble expectations.
Liverpool haven’t recruited wisely enough to be considered a top title contender and whose fault is that? Theirs. Which is exactly what the club owners, together with manager Jürgen Klopp, have already been working towards solving – meanwhile world-stars the likes of Alexis Sánchez, Angel Di Maria and Mesut Özil have journeyed to their rivals.
To reiterate, Liverpool are on a rebuilding mission and the success of it begins with qualifying for the Champions League this season.
With that said, let the Reds be Mr Keane. Rather place shame upon the clubs that have world class players, world class managers, world class cheque-books and top league finishes over the past seven years and yet, still, can’t make any consistent progress in both league and continental football.