Paul Merson defends Man United star after Roy Keane’s ‘cheap shot’

Paul Merson defends Wayne Rooney after Roy Keane's wrestling jibe

Paul Merson has slammed Roy Keane after the Manchester United legend’s criticism of Wayne Rooney.

The former Red Devils captain questioned why Rooney attended a wrestling event in Manchester earlier this month after United struggled to a goalless draw with PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

He has a little boy who is likely a massive fan so why can’t he do that? He still has to have a family life

Paul Merson

Keane urged Rooney to focus on his club after a disappointing return of one goal in his last seven games in all competitions for the Red Devils.

However, former Arsenal striker Merson risked the wrath of his fellow pundit after insisting that Rooney had every right to go along to the WWE event with his son.

Merson told Sky Sports: “I thought it was a cheap shot, to be honest.

“Wayne was outstanding for England the other week but he had runners either side of him, playing off him, people making third-man runs. He had movement and he was very comfortable.

“But then he goes into a Man United team and it is the hardest thing in the world to keep clean sheets and score goals at the same time, I don’t care where you are, that’s the hardest thing to do. He doesn’t have that there where they are working off scraps.

“And the WWE thing? He has a little boy who is likely a massive fan so why can’t he do that? He still has to have a family life. He has to think of the kids, so for me that was just a cheap shot.”

The Red Devils played out a disappointing goalless draw with PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford on Wednesday night as Louis van Gaal’s side wasted the chance to book their place in the Champions League knockout stage.

Former United skipper Keane, who won six Premier League titles during his Old Trafford career, felt Rooney lacked match sharpness against the Dutch side.

Keane told ITV Sport: “Wayne Rooney was talking about a lack of composure and quality, but he was as guilty as anybody,” Keane said.

“He needs to step up to the plate.”

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