Roy Keane has been pleased with the progress Manchester United have made under Erik ten Hag and he has named the players they have been better off without.
Following their triumph over Nottingham Forest, United now find themselves in the final of the EFL Cup.
Man United have been trophyless since winning the Europa League back in 2017 and so this will represent the chance for Ten Hag to win his first trophy with the club.
Ten Hag has expertly guided Man United up the league table after a difficult start to the season. Keane feels that United have benefited from a summer clear-out.
“When the manager came in, United were rock bottom and we had to talk about the recruitment, but what I think was key as well was the five or six players that left,” Keane told Sky Sports.
“I’m not knocking all these players, Pogba, Mata, Matic, Jesse Lingard, lads who’d been around and knew they were leaving. They knew they’d be leaving and their contracts were up for most of them and I think that wasn’t helping.
“There definitely feels around the club a new energy, the new manager has put a few markers down after a bad to start to the season, and that momentum and that feel good factor is back at the club. The energy levels are different.”
When asked about the impact of Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the club, Keane also admitted that it was best for all parties that he moved on.
“I think that’s helped (Ronaldo’s departure) the manager and the club,” he added. “No one wanted that to be hanging over the second half of the season and it should have been dealt with in the summer. That whole Ronaldo situation, he obviously wasn’t going to sit on the bench and be happy with it.
“They’ve now dealt with it and now it’s now hanging over the club anymore. But also the other five or six lads that left, Cavani another one.
“Those who were fringe players, coming off the bench, and when they were coming on they weren’t bringing anything because they felt they should have been starting.
“Those subs and fringe players have to come on and be ready, where as the fringe players last year, you just felt they were energy-sappers.”
There’s no doubt that Ten Hag has transformed the culture at the club. Man United are now in a better position both on and off the pitch because of his impact.
Next up for his side is a Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace. Ten Hag will be keen on getting back to winning ways in the league after his side narrowly lost to Arsenal last time out.
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