Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane has playfully teased ex-Arsenal star Theo Walcott, claiming that the young player was naive when he declared that Arsenal was a bigger club than Manchester United at the time. Keane made the remarks during an appearance on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
Theo Walcott, who recently joined Southampton from Everton, had previously stated in an interview that he believed Arsenal was a bigger club than Manchester United during his time at the Gunners. However, Keane, known for his straightforward and no-nonsense approach, was quick to dismiss this claim.
During the show, Keane said, “He’s got it wrong. Obviously, he’s a young lad and he’s got a lot to learn.” The former United midfielder continued, “I always question players who leave big clubs. We’ve seen it before with young players who have potential, they go to these so-called lesser clubs and they end up disappearing.”
Keane then went on to compare Walcott’s situation with that of Jesse Lingard, who recently left Manchester United to join West Ham United on loan. Keane pointed out that Lingard’s move was different because he had already established himself at United and needed regular game time, whereas Walcott was still developing as a player.
The former Republic of Ireland international also highlighted the difference in success between the two clubs, stating, “If you look at the history of both clubs, Manchester United are a far bigger club than Arsenal.” He further emphasized that United’s trophy cabinet speaks for itself, with numerous league titles and European successes.
Despite his playful teasing, Keane did acknowledge Walcott’s talent and potential. He mentioned that Walcott had shown promise early in his career but had failed to fulfill his potential at Arsenal. Keane suggested that a change of environment at Southampton might help him rediscover his form.
Keane’s comments sparked a lively debate among fans and pundits alike. Some agreed with his assessment, pointing to United’s rich history and success, while others argued that Arsenal’s style of play and reputation as a top club made them equally appealing.
Overall, Keane’s playful teasing of Theo Walcott’s claim that Arsenal was a bigger club than Manchester United showcased the former United captain’s no-nonsense attitude. While acknowledging Walcott’s talent, Keane emphasized the historical success and stature of Manchester United as a club.