Roy Keane's forthright opinion on Nani's red card was met with incredulity from former Manchester United players – and he could face a backlash from the fans who continue to revere him almost eight years after his last game for the club.
Keane was a lone voice in saying the referee Cuneyt Cakir was right to send off the Portuguese winger during United's Champions League loss to Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
His assertion that Cakir "made the right call" was the latest in a line of seemingly deliberately controversial statements concerning his former club and their players.
And Paddy Crerand, who spent eight years at Old Trafford between 1963 and 1971, believes Keane's view may stem from jealousy over the way he left United.
Prior to Keane's departure in November 2005 he had rubbed the United hierarchy up the wrong way by publicly criticising his team-mates and disagreeing with the manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, over the standards of facilities at a pre-season training camp.
Crerand said: "Does Roy want to be noticed? Is he envious, jealous, or has he got the needle with Manchester United? Why are we talking about Roy Keane? He is in a minority of one. Nobody else agrees with him. The referee was wrong."
Bryan Robson, a former United captain, added: "I think the only person in the stadium who thought it was a sending-off was Roy Keane. I'm glad Keane didn't take up refereeing as a profession."
The former United defender Gary Pallister said Nani's sending-off had "robbed" the club of a place in the Champions League quarter-finals. "It spoilt the game," he said. "Until that point, I thought United were very good and, as Jose Mourinho said, they were the better side. That decision robbed them of a place in the next round."Reuse content