Roy Keane - Van Gaal needs time to get it right

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Criticism mounting for Van Gaal and his assistant Ryan Giggs
Criticism mounting for Van Gaal and his assistant Ryan Giggs

Manchester United legend Roy Keane has insisted Old Trafford boss Louis van Gaal needs to be given time to get the club back into trophy contention following their FA Cup exit at the hands of Arsenal.

Van Gaal has been coming under increasing pressure in recent weeks as his side have struggled to impress in his first season at the helm of the club, but Keane suggested any calls for him to be removed as manager are misplaced.

"Louis van Gaal's going to be criticised after the game, but you've got to give him a chance," said Keane, as he made his debut as a BBC TV pundit.

"It takes time, he's only been in the door five minutes. A lot of fans don't understand the game and how much of a challenge it is to run a club the size of Man United. They should've given David Moyes more time, but they didn't."

Keane also offered words of praise for United keeper David de Gea, but he suggested his sparkling performances were not a positive sign for United.

"I think David De Gea's the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment," added Keane. "But for United, it's not a good sign at the moment when he's getting man of the match most weeks."

The former United skipper was unforgiving as he assessed United's defensive shambles inspired by Antonio Valencia, which handed Arsenal their winning goal at Old Trafford

"It was shocking defending. I was critical of the first goal but that was even worse," said Keane.

"United needed to do more, they never got going in the second half. I don't begrudge Arsenal the win.

"There is a time to play and a time not to - Phil Jones should have cleared it. Valencia compounded his first half error.

"I think the keeper can take Welbeck out of the game. He would get sent off but he could have made the sacrifice."

Meanwhile, Van Gaal claimed his side had beaten themselves in their FA Cup quarter-final defeat against United, as he insisted urged his players to bounce back from their home defeat.

"We don't lose from the opponent, we lost from ourselves and it was very disappointing," said the United manager. 

"You play this match to win; to beat the opponent, we wanted to be in the semi-final.

"I've said in the dressing room we gave (the game) away by ourselves and that is the biggest disappointment. In the second half, we had the first chance also then we gave it away again.

"I said in advance that (the top four) is a priority but as a manager, and as a player and club you want to win titles and now we cannot win a title."

Van Gaal also defended his decision to sell Danny Welbeck to Arsenal, after the striker scored the winning goal against his former club at Old Trafford.

"That is always also in football happens," he added. "A player (scores) against the club who he was playing for because he shall be very motivated in these matches."