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01st Feb 2024

Roy Keane sticks up for Marcus Rashford as he calls a spade a spade on Belfast session

Lee Costello

“Let’s relax a second.”

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane’s response to Marcus Rashford’s 12-hour bender in Belfast last week is the most ‘Irish lad’ thing ever.

Rashford called in sick to Man United training, only for it to be revealed that he was actually out drinking in Belfast the night before with photos and stories being sold to various newspapers.

This was dealt internally by Erik ten Hag and the club, but naturally there has been a lot of speculation around the player and his future at Old Trafford.

Speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet, Keane said: “We talk about him [Marcus Rashford], he’s a young lad, lots of pressure and he’s local, but it doesn’t look like he’s enjoying his football anymore.

“It goes hand in hand, what is happening off the pitch and on it. Football looks like it’s a chore to him, and it shouldn’t be. There’s pressure on everybody there, but he’s a big player for Manchester United.

“He’s shown before that he can produce. The cars, the watches, all that is great, but don’t forget what comes first – your football.  Good luck with all that other stuff, but if that is becoming more important than your football, then you’re in trouble.”

Rashford had a very pure image in the public eye because of his work with the government and his role in helping convince them to keep free meals for underprivileged children at schools.

Roy Keane never thought Marcus Rashford had a “halo above his head”.

However, people are seeing this image being tarnished now, although Keane never really bought into it in the first place.

“I don’t think he [Marcus Rashford] was ever that perfect,’ Keane said on the podcast. “The stuff he was doing off the field, which he gets a lot of credit for.

“I never thought he had some halo above his head, but I also don’t think for one minute that he’s some sort of nasty lad.

“I think he’s certainly made a few mistakes very close to each other. The profile of Manchester United, the fact United are struggling, he’s an easy target – his decision-making currently is obviously not very good.

“He’s 26 – we’ve all been there and made daft mistakes. I don’t think his attitude is one of not caring about the game, but his behaviour is that of an idiot.

“He’s making a few mistakes on the back of each other. He’s high-profile now, we see people out there on their phones, wanting to ring in and get players in trouble.

“He’s giving people that opportunity to go after him.”

Roy Keane’s response to Marcus Rashford’s 12-hour bender is the most ‘Irish lad’ thing ever.

Ian Wright thought that the Irishman was being too lenient on the United striker, and felt that 26 years old was more than old enough to make good decisions and not end up in these situations.

“I think that 26 is the kind of age, especially what he’s been through, where he is, and what he is capable of, in terms of getting Man United back to where they want to be, winning things again, and being at the top of the game – 26 is an age where you know now.

“You know now, where he wants to be, where he should be.”

Keane’s response to this however was the most ‘Irish lad’ thing ever, as he scoffed at the idea of drinking for that long.

“The last few weeks we have been talking about stuff we did in our careers, and we were all older than 26 when we were doing daft stuff, so what he has done in the last week in terms of going on a bender for 12 hours – let’s relax a second, listen, 12 hours was like a warm up session.

“I’m being serious, I’m not playing it down.”

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