PROJECT restart in the English Premiership certainly did not disappoint with plenty of talking points to fill in the time when there isn’t a game on.
And not for the first time and certainly not the last, Roy Keane was the centre of attention.
Keane is turning out to be Sky’s best ever studio signing, he’s box office and he calls it as he sees it.
No beating around the bush, he goes straight for the jugular and nobody escapes despite whatever standing they might have as a player.
His attack on David de Gea and Harry Maguire during half-time in Manchester United’s game with Spurs was as strong as we have ever seen from any studio guest since Sky Sports gained access to the vast majority of Premiership games.
It took us right up to peak theatre, De Gea, in particular, getting a tongue-lashing for the sloppy goal that he had conceded after Maguire had been caught napping in the build-up.
The simple question to ask in all of this, was Keane right with his verbal onslaught?
In a nutshell, of course, he was. It was a shocking goal to concede in its invention and execution.
De Gea was once the best goalkeeper in the world and he seemed destined at one stage for the bright lights of Real Madrid.
He’s still a quality keeper but over the past 12 months he’s been at fault for too many goals, making too many uncharacteristic errors which are costing United.
“I am sick to death of this goalkeeper, I would be fining him at half-time, there’s no getting away from that, Keane said of De Gea, I would be swinging punches at that guy in the dressing room.”
Maybe that terminology was slightly too strong but there’s no getting away from the fact that the Spanish goalkeeper is vulnerable now in a way that he wasn’t before.
Should he be dropped from the starting line-up. Maye, maybe not but, at the same time maybe it’s time to have a re-think about on-loan keeper Dean Henderson at Sheffield United.
He’s one of the best young goalie in the business and bringing him back to Old Trafford with the intention of him vying with De Gea for the top spot might benefit everybody.
Keane can be brutal in his assessment of players but that’s the way he operates, that’s what made him one of the club’s greatest players and captains. Keane is now a part in that stellar line-up and that’s why games on Sky are so much more enjoyable than anywhere else.
Staying with Sky Sports and we had a nice bit of aggro too last Sunday morning on the Sunday Supplement between Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror and Neil Custis of the Sun.
The subject for discussion was Paul Pogba and his contribution to Manchester United.
The French World Cup winner was the topic too in Oliver Holt’s excellent column on the Sunday Mail.
Pogba, without doubt, made a very significant contribution to United’s comeback against Spurs and illustrated during his cameo appearance what a magnificent footballer he is.
His pass to Marcus Rashford was world-class and if the English striker had been on top of his game it would have resulted in a goal.
However, the argument on the Sunday Supplement and Holt’s piece was all about Pogba’s consistency from game to game and within games.
Custis, quite rightly, stated that we need more proof of his undoubted ability and Lewis defending the French man to a greater extent.
Since Pogba returned to Old Trafford he has spent a lot of time on the treatment table and he has also not helped his cause by his indifference at times and giving the impression that he just does not want to be there
In that cameo against Spurs he gave everybody a glimpse of what he can do and what he can become.
In fact, if he was to repeat that kind of form on a consistent level it’s very possible that United in time could challenge Liverpool and Manchester City.
The ball is in his court now, he simply has to become what United signed him for, paid a huge fee for and that is the world class player that he is.
Maybe that half hour against Spurs was the turning point in his career at United. Maybe the lockdown gave him time to reflect.
Accommodating a United midfield of him and new signing Bruno Fernandes could be the basis for better days ahead. Yes, the Premier League is back with a bang and over the weekend we saw some stunning goals from |Arsenal’s Pepe, Ramirez for Wolves, Craig Dawson for Watford and Ben Chilwell for Leicester.
More of the same please in the weeks ahead.