irishtimes.com – Last Updated: Friday, October 21, 2011, 20:39
Soccer : Manchester United legend Roy Keane believes Carlos Tevez is symptomatic of the modern game and feels the Argentinian can anticipate “a hot reception” from fans of both sides if he makes at an appearance in Sunday’s Manchester derby.
Tevez’s disciplinary hearing at Manchester City was due to take place on Friday afternoon with the player set to answer charges after manager Roberto Mancini alleged he refused to play as a substitute during the Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich.
While Keane does not believe the 27-year-old’s various antics will have united both sets of fans, the former Republic of Ireland captain does think they will both have a low opinion of him.
He told BBC Sport : “You’ll have to go a bit further to unite the supporters of both clubs. I think Tevez has probably disappointed both sets of supporters. That is the way the modern game is going now – he has had his bit of punishment.
“I cannot imagine he is going to be involved on Sunday now but if he is I am sure he is going to get a hot reception from both sets of supporters. He will have to deal with that.”
Keane, whose managerial stint at Ipswich was curtailed in January, believes it is all part of a shift in dynamics in the game with the players wielding the power.
He added: “There are certainly not as many characters around in the game, the type of players (who) properly roll their sleeves up and get stuck in. Every player seems to have a bit of a fit when he is taken off or not brought on.
“A lot of them are going soft so it is very difficult for the managers – everyone seems to be commenting on what a manager should do with a player. But it’s very difficult, the player is in a very strong position with contracts, the PFA.
“A lot of them seem to be hard work. I do not mind players getting a tiny bit upset but you can show it in the right way. The ideal way to do that is to go out and perform and show the manager he was wrong in the right way.
“That is by scoring and when you do, celebrate with your team-mates – you do not make signals to the bench or begin doing all that on the back of their jerseys as if they need to remind us of who they are. That does frustrate me.”
Keane believes United are still the team to beat but admits neighbours City have come a long way and also feels Chelsea will always be a threat in this season’s race for the Barclays Premier League title.
He said: “My mindset was always try and keep City in their place: listen – you are doing well and making progress but we are still the huge boys. That’s what United have to do on Sunday and hopefully they will do.”
“I like Mancini. I like the way he talks, the way he deals with his players. It’s certainly not easy, huge egos involved there. But speak is cheap. If City want to make real progress they have to turn up on Sunday and turn United over: if not I would state keep quiet.”
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