Roy Keane comments on Manchester City will inevitably start a worthwhile debate
In Premier League terms, the argument is rock solid. In a wider sense, the debate will rage on.
Manchester City defeated neighbours Manchester United 6-3, this afternoon, and their boss still came out with the following comment - 'Some players were not good today and have to improve'.
Pep Guardiola was up on the sideline, as the game headed to injury time, berating his players for not showing enough intensity after Anthony Martial made it 6-2 with a rebound header. The Spaniard was delighted with many aspects of his side's performance, particularly in attack, but could not hide his disdain after City conceded three second half goals.
Erling Haaland, who scored his third league hat-trick in 36 days, said before the game that Guardiola is like 'a football-aholic' who often surprises him by perfectly predicting how an upcoming fixture will play out.
While many were predicting a City victory over United, few would have imagined the final scoreline or that the hosts would be 4-0 up by half-time.
Watching on, astounded yet appreciative, was Roy Keane. Following the game, at Etihad Stadium, the former Manchester United captain was effusive in his praise of City, and his comments will surely spark a debate worth having.
Roy Keane on "magnificent" Man City
In reflecting on Man City thumping United, Roy Keane was a touch more resigned and deflated than his half-time take-down of several of Erik ten Hag's starting XI.
"It was the way United started," said Keane. "They were slow out of the blocks. City sent a message that they were up for it, and the first goal is huge.
"United went down after eight minutes and they never recovered. There were spaces everywhere, they were sloppy in possession. Marcus Rashford never got hold of it, the wide players giving it away.
"Every time Man City went forward, they looked like they were going to score. Watching Man City is a pleasure. They're one of the best teams I've seen, watching them live, but for United this is a huge setback.
"It's a huge step back. They were 4-0 down at half-time against Brentford. The performance in the second half is no good. There was no aggression in City's play by then as the game was over. They'd made loads of substitutions so it's no consolation."
Those comments, coming from a Manchester United legend and a respected football voice, will spark a debate, in the coming days, as to whether this City side are one of the best ever.
Since the start of the 2017/18 season, Pep Guardiola has led Man City to four league titles - smashing previous points, goals and goal difference records along the way - an FA Cup and runners-up in the 2021 Champions League.
The largest stick to thwack City with is their lack of European success. Erling Haaland's goal-hungry form may soon see City become top dogs in Europe but, until that day, their detractors will say they cannot be considered the best ever until they get some European Cups in their trophy cabinet.