Former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane knows very well what’s required to take out a Premier League title, after all he has seven winners medals to prove that he has been there and done it many times during his playing career. You therefore have to pay attention when the Irishman is prepared to go out on a limb and tip his former side to retain the title which they have won for three successive seasons. What’s more, he believes that only Arsenal could put up any sort of challenge.
It’s a big call to disregard the chances of Chelsea who has topped the table for a large part of the season but the Ipswich Town manager reckons the spirit in United’s camp is unrivalled and with Carlo Ancelotti’s men now showing definate signs of frailties only Arsenal stands in Sir Alex Ferguson’s way for a 12th Premier League title.
“I’ve no doubt that United can win every game to the end of the season” Keane insists “They are fresh, they’ve got good balance, great experience and top players to go on with it. Looking at Chelsea against Blackburn on the weekend, they talk about the spirit in their camp but I’m not so sure. I really think the biggest danger to United will prove to be Arsenal” The Ipswich manager said despite the Gunners Russian striker Andrey Arshavin claiming today that he is not convinced that his side have sufficient depth to be up to the challenge! Or that may just be the way that Russians play their mind games.
Keane believes United’s attitude is the key to their success, something that is lacking in many of the Red Devil’s rivals “I hear all the players and all the managers talking about spirit and character, just look at United the way they handle victories and defeats – they are the best in the world at it” he said.
“You see other teams, they get a good result and they are taking their tops off and hugging each other. The following week they are fighting one another. United are the prime example of what a good spirit is about, and that is again because of the good character instilled in them”
With Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side only two points behind United with not long left in the season, Keane believes the Gunners have a chance to spoil the party at Old Trafford depending on how they react to the two Champions League games against Barcelona.
“I’m sure that what it will depend on is how Arsenal will react, both physically and mentally, to both games against Barcelona” he said “It’s the Champions League games that might take a little out of them, they face a big test. If it was just about the remaining league games, I’d probably put my money on Arsenal but with their Champions League involvement we have to wait and see how much is taken out of them”
Keano spent 13 wonderful years at Old Trafford where he is still revered by the faithful and which may have understandably influenced his assessment. He has never been known to call a spade anything but a spade however so while his opinions can by no means be taken as gospel, he has enough experience at winning championships to listen carefully to anything he has to say.
Do you agree with Roy Keane that the Premiership has now developed into a two horse race?