Roy Keane rips into England's Champions League no-hopers

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Messi and Barcelona too strong for Arsenal once again
Messi and Barcelona too strong for Arsenal once again

Roy Keane offered up a savage assessment of the Premier League's Champions League contenders, as he ripped into Arsenal and Manchester City in typically brutal fashion.

City made it through to the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in their history on Tuesday after a 3-1 aggregate win against Dynamo Kiev, yet Arsenal crashed out at the last016 stages yet again after a 5-1 aggregate defeat against Barcelona.

Keane offered little sympathy for the Gunners his role as an ITV Sport pundit, as he launched this stinging verbal onslaught on Wenger and his players, as he accused them of lifting their effort levels for big games and coming up short in less glamorous ties.

“It must be hard for their manager and supporter to stomach to see the Arsenal players lifting it for certain games and can’t do it for Watford at home, or Swansea at home. They are cheating the supporters in that sense,” fumed Keane.

“They have a weak group of players that can’t lift it for certain games. The pressure seems to have got to them over the last few months and if you are at Arsenal Football Club and you can’t deal with the pressure, then you shouldn’t be there.

“Where are the leaders and the characters out there? This is not just at Arsenal as other clubs are lacking leaders as well, but they have a problem. 

“When I played against Arsenal, they always had a strong spine to their team, but when I see this team, you will always fancy your chances.

“There is no shame losing 3-1 to Barcelona in the second leg after the damage was done in the first leg, but there seems to be a weakness running through the whole club.”

Keane then suggested City had no chance to win the Champions League, as he was less than impressed by their efforts in recent matches.

"In the last week, you watch their performances against Liverpool, Norwich and Kiev and watching those games has been torture," stated a typically cutting Keane, reflecting on a trio of games in which City have failed to score.

"Against Kiev, you can say the hard work was done in the first leg, but there is still responsibility on the players to go and perform and when Man City are in that mood, I wouldn't go and watch them play in my back garden.

"Poor attitude, you should still have a desire to go and win a game of football against Kiev. 

"The idea that City can go and win the tournament, they are all in cuckoo land."