Roy Keane: Fred and Scott McTominay ‘not good enough’ to play in midfield for Manchester United
The Brazilian and Scottish duo started in the middle of the park for United. The Manchester-based club ended up losing the game 2-1 as a brace from Pascal Gross was enough to see off the Red Devils.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game (h/t Manchester Evening News), the former United captain was upset by the below-par performance put in by Fred and McTominay. Keane feels the duo aren’t good enough for the Red Devils to be challenging for titles.
“The decision-making and the football intelligence, in particular from Fred – and I’ve said this for a long time – Fred and McTominay are not good enough. They won’t get Manchester United back competing at the top.
“We see it week in, week out. [They are] not up to it.
“They had to a gamble in the second half and Eriksen is probably in his best position when he drops back and he’s picking up people, but [that decision comes] too little too late.”
Fred and McTominay have been regulars in the double pivot position for United for a while now. Last season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then Ralf Rangnick preferred the duo in their XI.
Fred and McTominay in the middle
The Brazilian and Scottish had a disappointing 2021/22 campaign as well, although they had their moments. Fred showed flair at the end of last season when he played a bit further up front.
Against Brighton in the opening game, the 29-year-old was the deepest in the engine room, playing in the pivot position. McTominay was seemingly the one given the task by Erik ten Hag to play more attacking.
Fred had trouble coping with the pressure the Seagulls were putting on us. A few wayward passes and errors from the Brazilian made it difficult for United to keep hold of the ball.
McTominay was unable to provide anything instrumental in the final third of the pitch. The 25-year-old was deployed as a box-to-box midfielder. Fans could notice him being uncomfortable in the position.
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Eriksen ended up playing as a single pivot as both Fred and McTominay were taken off. We naturally had to go all-out attack by the end of the game. But it reflected the need to bring in a quality addition to the midfield while we can.