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Name Roy Keane
Gender Male
Birthplace Cork, Ireland
Born 1971 08 10
Nationality Ireland
Ethnic Irish
Job Manchester United Captain
  Irish Footballer
  Sunderland Manager
  Football Manager
  ITV football pundit
Desc Roy Keane is the fiery Irishman who became Manchester United’s midfield general during the most successful period of Sir Alex Ferguson’s managerial reign. Known for his hard work, hard tackling and passionate displays, during his 12 years at Old Trafford he made the midfield his own


Org Ireland National Team
Club as Coach Sunderland
Club as Player Manchester United
  Nottingham Forest
  Cobh Ramblers
Media ITV


Father Maurice Keane
Mother Marie Keane
Wife Theresa Doyle
Son Shannon Keane
  Caragh Keane
  Aidan Keane
Daughter Leah Keane
  Alanna Keane
Teammate Ryan Giggs
  Paul Scholes
  Gary Neville
  Nicky Butt
  David Beckham
  Peter Schmeichel
Coach Alex Fergusson
  Bryan Robson
  Brian Clough [Nottingham Forest coach]


Theresa Doyle Roy Keane is married to Theresa Doyle. The couple are believed to have met when she was a dentist’s assistant and he was playing for Nottingham Forest in 1992. Roy and Theresa exchanged vows in 1997 at a ceremony in Mayfield, Cork. They have five children: Shannon, Caragh, Aidan, Leah and Alanna
Mick McCarthy Roy famously missed the World Cup in 2002 and has since admitted it was his biggest regret. He claimed he should’ve put his personal issues with football manager Mick McCarthy to one side for the sake of the team
Alf Inge Haaland Roy Keane famously harboured a violent grudge for 3 years against him after injuring himself trying to foul the Norwegian
1990 12
Roy Keane was named Barclays Young Eagle of the Month for December
1999 05
Roy Keane, Manchester United Captain, holding the Premiership Trophy to the Fans at Old Trafford after winning the League Title 1999 the final score was 2-1 with Arsenal as runner up

2007 03 09 Retrieve

[Roy Keane talks about Nyron Nosworthy] Now that Nos has switched to centreback, he’s got much less time on the ball, which is best for all concerned

2009 02 23 Retrieve

[Former Sunderland manager Roy Keane has admitted that his decision to leave the Black Cats was, in the main, down to a rift with main shareholder Ellis Short] I went down to London to meet him twice. I thought, hmm, the dynamics are changing here. He said he had read my book. I felt he was thinking from the start that I wasn’t for him. He sort of knew this wasn’t going to be a long-term relationship

[When Sunderland slumped into a run of six defeats in seven games in October and November] It started with a demand to know where I had been the previous day, that he wanted me available at all times. Then there were accusations about how often I came in, about moving my family up. And it was the tone. It didn’t upset me, what happened at Sunderland. It was a business decision. Even for me I suppose it was a business decision. I couldn’t give my heart and soul with this fella on my shoulder. That, I’m sure, is how he works.

2012 05 04 Retrieve

[Roy Keane says he told Mick McCarthy where to go and he wasn’t sent home from Saipan in 2002] Mick sent me nowhere. I told him where to go. What? Do you think Mick McCarthy said to me, ‘I’m sending you home’?

[When quizzed that McCarthy had said ‘I decided to send him home’ back in 2002, Keane was emphatic] That’s not true. Was this the press conference that was done within half an hour of the private meeting with, what’s his name, the lad who organised the media? Piss-up in brewery springs to mind, but there you go.

In defence of Mick, what was going on was a joke. I know when I became a manager myself I appreciated what a hard job it is. So for Mick to have had to organise even the training grounds, you’d have to go over and have a look at them and so on. And I’m sure that was part of the build up of pressure with all of us. When you’re a manager, trying to get footballers is hard enough, without having to make sure there’s footballs and training kits there

[Ahead of Ireland’s first appearance at a major tournament in a decade, Keane said he was glad to see a more upbeat mood from the team and added that James McClean should make the squad] Personally I’d throw him in there. I know he’s young, but sometimes it doesn’t matter. He affects the game. He scores goals, he gets assists, he’s got a good attitude

There’ve been good noises coming out of camp, like from [John O’Shea](john-o-shea.html), ‘we want to make an impact, we want to do well’ – that’s great, instead of ‘let’s go over there and enjoy ourselves’

2012 05 26 Retrieve

[Roy Keane on former team-mate Gary Neville following the latter’s appointment to the England coaching staff] Gary can talk, but don’t think for one minute he was as influential in the dressing room as people might think he was. Gary would say his piece, but he wasn’t running the show – far from it. So don’t think for one minute he will be going into England and calling the shots

2013 10 26 Retrieve

[Roy Keane on Sir Alex Ferguson’s criticism of his former Manchester United players] I remember having conversations with the manager when I was at the club about loyalty. I don’t think he knows the meaning of the word. It doesn’t bother me too much what he has to say about me, but to constantly criticise other players at the club who brought him a lot of success, I find very, very strange. I just don’t think the manager needs to do it. I don’t know how many books he’s written now but you have to draw the line eventually, to say, ‘Listen, these players have all been top servants to Man United and a lot of these players helped the manager win lots of trophies’. Can you imagine if we never won a trophy what he would have said? We brought success to the club, we gave it everything we had when we were there

2013 11 05 Retrieve

[Roy Keane on Paul Scholes] Scholesy is just the model professional. I remember that whenever we were playing in Europe, at half-time there were players running to get his shirt. That just goes to show how highly he’s thought of on the continent. He’s a master

2013 12 31 Retrieve

[In a wholly unsurprising development, Keane immediately bites back, querying why the Scot felt the need to slam so many of the players that had served him so well at Old Trafford] I remember having conversations with the manager when I was at the club about loyalty. In my opinion, I don’t think he knows the meaning of the word

2014 03 01 Retrieve

[Roy Keane on English Premier League] I think we’ve been brainwashed by the [idea that] the Premier League is the best league in the world. Nonsense. It’s the best brand, but we’ve seen over the last few weeks with a lot of the English teams struggling that these teams have fallen behind the top teams in Europe; [Manchester] United in particular

2015 03 13 Retrieve

[Roy Keane on Iker Casillas & Real Madrid] We say Schalke did well, but the goalkeeper’s thrown the first three in. If you want to get the big prizes you need to have a top goalkeeper. On tonight’s performances, they’ll be in trouble for the quarters and semis

2015 05 09 Retrieve

[Roy Keane on Real’s defeat by Juventus] It was difficult for Madrid to play with ten men. Gareth Bale gave them nothing. There was a lack of confidence, he kept making the easy decision. His team-mates can’t be happy with him. He took the easy option every time. I’m angry with [Carvajal] and I’m not even involved. It was schoolboy stuff – they should lynch him

2015 10 11 Retrieve

[Roy Keane responds to being asked if Robbie Keane would be available to face Germany with the Republic of Ireland on Thursday – three days after wife Claudine gave birth] He didn’t have the baby, did he? Unless he’s breastfeeding he should be fine

2015 11 28 Retrieve

[on Patrick Vieira] I don’t think we’ll ever be bosom buddies buying each other a drink in the pub but out of everybody I ever faced as a player, he drove me to become better. Obviously Arsenal were the team that really challenged Manchester United and, for a short time, went past us. And as their leader Patrick was immense. Without doubt I’d put him alongside (Zinedine) Zidane, (Paul) Scholes, (Steven) Gerrard and (Frank) Lampard as one of the very best I’ve ever played with or against, he was that good. On his day, when he was driving Arsenal on with the sheer force of his personality, he was unplayable

2015 12 30 Retrieve

[on Sir Alex Ferguson] He stands out with his will to win, he knows football, he knows his players and he knows his own club inside-out

2016 06 04 Retrieve

[Roy Keane after the Republic of Ireland’s friendly defeat to Belarus] I wanted to kill some of them last night. They should count their blessings they’ve managed to get on the flight - a reality check for one or two players who thought they were good players

2016 06 18 Retrieve

[Republic of Ireland assistant coach Roy Keane on Eden Hazard] He’s a really, really top player. He’s maybe had a difficult season, I suppose, but maybe that’s because he set his standards so high the previous season. Don’t get me the wrong way, I think he’s an outstanding player. But if you ask me if I was playing with anybody, be it Nottingham Forest, Rockmount, Cobh Rambers and they were constantly talking about wanting to leave and they had a poor attitude to training, then I would kick them in training. But I have kind of done that with most players, I suppose, even lads who didn’t want to leave

2016 09 17 Retrieve

[Roy Keane on managers Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho] He said he’s a challenging coach - doesn’t look like he messes about. I wouldn’t like to mess with him. Two coaches in Manchester. Mourinho reckons he’s the special one, to me this guy is

2016 10 12 Retrieve

[The dispiriting case of how new Theo Walcott disappeared for England. Roy Keane’s dismissive assessment of that Theo Walcott’s recent flurry of form at club level] Listen, the guy needs to relax. Try playing well for the next seven, eight, nine months when the real crunch games come. I wouldn’t get carried away about Walcott. He’s got to keep doing it over the next year or two

2017 10 03 Retrieve

[Roy Keane says Football players fearing concussion should play chess] I suppose there is research ongoing with regard to concussion. If you’re worried about the physical side of any sport, then play chess. It’s part of the game, whether it’s hurling or American football. You see the rugby lads. When you cross the line, there is an element of risk involved. They all want to play but know the risk. I’m sure there is research. But there is a chance you might get hurt. It is part of the game. I was surprised when I read about [Doyle’s retirement]. He was involved in provisional squads. It’s sad, he feels he made the right decisions.

He’s a decent guy and did well for Ireland. He’s 34, felt he had a decent innings and maybe this is the right time. Health is your wealth as they say. I saw the statement which said he had one or two concussions. We mentioned risk and, when you walk on to a football pitch, there is an element of risk. He feels it is right for him.

It is part of the game, players picking up injuries. He is a centre forward and he gets a few knocks from centre-backs; I’m sure he has given out a few himself. It’s a physical game

2018 07 11 Publish

I like home comforts, but then I want to be this hell-raiser. [Speaking of his wife, he said] She’s had to bite her tongue a few times. I wouldn’t say Theresa likes every part of the package

[Roy Keane famously missed the World Cup 2002] To play in the World Cup. It would have been nice to play. A lot of people were disappointed, particularly my family. Mick McCarthy did say to me that, ‘If you don’t respect me, how can you play for me?’ What I should have said was, ‘I wasn’t playing for him, I was playing for my country’ - but I think it had obviously gone then

2019 01 31 Retrieve

[Roy Keane says his family don’t like spending too much time with him] My plan when I first stopped was, we’re going to go on some family trips, we’re going to be like the Waltons. We’re all going to spend time together, go walk in the park. And after a month or two they didn’t have the same plan as me so I think they were kind of missing me going to work

I got offered the job at Sunderland and I was away on a family holiday and my family were looking at me … not saying it directly but going we kind of enjoy your company but not too much of it. So when the job came back up they were saying you should go for it

[The former Ireland coach recently became [Martin O’Neill](martin-o-neill.html)’s assistant at Nottingham Forest but revealed that his retirement days have him leading a very normal life] I did an interview a few years ago and some guys asked me who puts my bins out and I said ‘I’ve to put my bins out. I’m living a normal life’. I’ve offered my young fella a few bob but he won’t do it. So there’s things you have to do and drive the kids to school and I’m stuck in traffic going like is this my life

2019 04 26 Retrieve

[Roy Keane says Fred is lazy] You need to see Fred for the second goal? You are talking about players giving it their all. That’s cheating. What he has done is cheating, letting a guy run off him

2019 06 16 Retrieve

[Roy Keane’s Labrador retriever Triggs shot to stardom when the Irish midfielder was spotted walking his dog following the 2002 World Cup incident. The stoney-faced Keane was accompanied by the bouncing dog which melted hearts around the world, with the United man telling the press] Unlike humans, dogs don’t talk shit

[In 2010 it was revealed Triggs had contracted cancer, but managed to live a further two years until her death in 2012. Keane said at the time] You will have me crying in a minute, so be careful. She had a good life. She was about 13 and unless you’ve had a dog you will never understand. She had a good innings, as they say

2019 08 01 Retrieve

[This is about 2005 when Roy Keane also complained about the monotony of training to Carlos Queiroz, asking him] Do you shag your wife in the same position every night?

[After Fergie chose Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs to have dinner with the resort’s owner, as opposed to Keane, and Carlos Queiroz threw a training bib at the Irishman and forced him to play up front, the skipper admitted] It was the beginning of the end for me at United. They were already starting to plan life without me

2019 08 23 Retrieve

[Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane was honoured with a testimonial by Manchester United in 2006 - just a few months after his acrimonious departure from the club, no less] A player’s testimonial can be very rewarding financially. But I think it’s the tradition that makes it such a big day. You’re thanking the fans and they’re thanking you. It was a chance for me to say goodbye to the United fans - a huge incentive for me

2019 09 05 Retrieve

[Roy Keane has launched a scathing attack on some of the players he oversaw as assistant coach of the Republic of Ireland] I’ll give you an example. Jon Walters, the last two or three years - Jon does a lot of talking, it’s amazing. Harry Arter, he went to Cardiff on loan, got relegated. Wardy can’t get in the Stoke team, at the moment, bottom of the league. Imagine if Jon won a trophy. He talks a good game. He goes on the TV, on about how he was harshly treated by me. Not kicking a ball for Burnley for two or three years. On TV, crying about his family situation. You know, how about lying low for a while, taking it easy? Have a look at his medals? Wouldn’t take long. Ironically two or three years ago when his career was coming to the end, he went to Ipswich on loan. I was laughing my head off. When we were beaten by Wales, he didn’t have a good game. Wardy didn’t have a good game. They need to go back and see how bad they were

[Keane feels he has nothing to apologise for and singled out one incident he experienced as a player to make his point] Brian Clough - you’re on about motivation - he punched me one time. He was upset. It was heated. He punched me. I remember thinking ‘You’re still a brilliant manager’. I came in the next day and trained. I didn’t text somebody in the media. Or go on ‘Ratsapp’

[Having left his most recent role as an assistant at Nottingham Forest in June, Keane revealed he’s open to a return to management but wants complete control of a club again] I definitely want to have another crack. I don’t think Real Madrid will be calling me. If I go back to a club, it’s got to be as a manager, simple as that

2019 09 05b Retrieve

[Roy Keane has criticised Sir Alex Ferguson’s man-management skills and claims he didn’t have Manchester United’s best interests at heart while in charge of the club] People talk about Ferguson’s man-management - don’t be kidded on by all of it. I was at the club when Bryan Robson left, when Steve Bruce left, two brilliant servants for Manchester United, and I didn’t like the way they were treated

[Referencing the infamous MUTV interview Keane gave berating a number of first-team stars at Old Trafford, Keane does not believe that rant was what caused him to leave the club] We’d had loads of heated discussions over the years, sometimes as a team, but you’ve got to roll with that. We’re grown men fighting for the same thing. There’s going to be a bit of argy-bargy but I’m sure there are people here working in industries where things get heated. I didn’t leave the office that day thinking this was the end of my career at Manchester United, but if you think I’m going to sit there, I don’t care if its Alex Ferguson or the Pope… I’m going to fight my corner.

Ferguson came out afterwards and said he always did what was best by Manchester United. Nonsense. His son Darren played for the club and won a league medal. [He was] very lucky. [Alex Ferguson’s] brother was the chief scout for Manchester United for a long time. I’m surprised his wife wasn’t involved in the staff somewhere. Darren was [the manager] at Preston North End and lost his job. He had a couple of young players on loan from Manchester United, [but] guess what happens the next day? They’re pulled out of Preston. Is that doing the best for Manchester United? Do me a favour. I think when he [Sir Alex Ferguson] apologises I will probably say hello to him but I’ve no interest in speaking to the man

2019 09 08 Retrieve

[Manchester United legend Roy Keane says he still has concerns over Harry Maguire’s defensive ability] I think he’s done OK. We were talking about how good he is on the ball, but defensively I still think he… I still have one or two question marks over him. I always worry about his pace on the turn, I remember the first goal against Crystal Palace where he’s not doing the basics - covering round his other centre-half. Listen he’s 26 years of age now, you’re worried if you’re pointing these things out to him.

2019 09 22 Retrieve

[Roy Keane is not sure the Red Devils’ youthful crop of new signings have the winning mentality to succeed at the club] The only concern I have about the three players that came into the club is the clubs they came from. They’re not used to winning week in, week out like you’d expect from Manchester United, and you also need the senior players that can give them a helping hand - and I’ve had doubts about that for a number of years

It’s another intriguing game today [against West Ham] to see how United cope with it. But United had to go down that road of buying younger players, hungry players. I think what can’t be tolerated over the next few months, like last season when they were defeated at Brighton, the players actually came out and said it ‘we’re not sure our attitude was right’ and all this garbage. I think Manchester United fans will forgive a lot of things once players go out and give their lot, with these new signings and the lads that have gone out the door, Ole had to make these changes and only time will tell if it will work. But the way they’ve started the season, the jury is still out

[Despite his misgivings, Keane believes United had no option but to buy young after years of mis-steps in the transfer window] I think they’ve made a number of mistakes over the last few years in terms of recruitment, there’s no doubt, and I think they had to go down that road. But I still think it’s so early in the season, we’ve got to give these lads a chance to mature at the club. When there is young players coming through, what you have to remind them in their development, finishing in the top four, is that you’re playing for Manchester United to win.

Don’t forget about all that. God help me if in our dressing room someone mentioned finishing fourth is a great achievement, he would have been lynched! A couple of weeks ago I would have said United, I’m not sure about top four, but having looked at Spurs and Arsenal over the last few weeks, they should be expecting to finish fourth. I think it’s there, it’s there for a lot of teams, and United have still got the players to do that. There has to be some sort of pressure on Ole because you can’t be saying ‘we’ve got a two or three-year plan’, that’s nonsense, you’ve got to win football matches

2019 09 22b Retrieve

[Roy Keane says David de Gea is not worth his new four-year bumper contract at Manchester United] I’m not so sure, honestly. Listen, keepers can make mistakes. I’ve always worried about him. Every time I’ve watched him, it’s kind of the character side of him. He never seems to be commanding - not obviously his entire career - but I never get the impression he’s that kind of character who puts demands on the people around him. These are all big mistakes. The big test for any [player], particularly goalkeepers at Man Utd, is how you react after a mistake, and I think he’s making far too many mistakes. I was just never convinced by the character side of him, putting demands on the people around him. Technically he’s a good goalkeeper, of course he is, there’s no getting away from that, but I think it’s more the package. I’ve always had my questions marks over him, but that’s just a personal thing

2019 09 22c Retrieve

[Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat at West Ham has prompted a furious response from Roy Keane, who admitted he was shocked and saddened] I tell you, I don’t know where to start. I have to say, I knew they weren’t in a great place but I’m shocked and saddened by how bad they were today. I know you can lose a game of football but everything about the game, about United [was] lacklustre, no quality, lack of desire, lack of leaders, lack of characters. It’s a long way back for United. It’s scary how far they’ve fallen

2019 09 22d Retrieve

[Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has seen his ability to play a centre-forward role come into question yet again] I agree what’s been said about hanging your hat on Rashford. You couldn’t hang you hat on him every week. He is not that type of striker, he hasn’t got that physical presence

2019 09 23 Retrieve

[Roy Keane has warned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he may not get the time he needs at Manchester United, with the Red Devils’ ambition called into question] There was a feel-good factor for Ole at the start and he needs three or four transfer windows. But if you’re not getting results and lose matches, the pressure builds and builds. You won’t get time. I have known Ole for a long time. I can tell looking at his eyes he is fuming and disgusted

When there are young players coming through, you have to remind them you are playing for Manchester United to win. People talk about development and finishing fourth, but don’t forget about winning. God help me in our dressing room if someone mentioned finishing fourth as a great achievement. He would have been lynched, absolutely. A couple of weeks ago I’d have said I wasn’t sure about the top four for United but having looked at Tottenham and Arsenal over the last few weeks, I think United should be expecting to finish fourth. It’s there for the taking. It’s there for a lot of teams and United, with the players that they have, should be capable of doing it. That’s where the pressure comes onto Ole because there has to be some sort of pressure on him. You can’t be saying: ‘We’ve got a two to three-year plan’. That’s nonsense as well. You’ve got to win football matches consistently at big clubs

2019 09 30 Retrieve

[Roy Keane says Arsenal will continue to struggle defensively as long as they have David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos in the starting XI] No matter how good a coach you are, if you’ve got players who can’t defend, you’re going to give up shots, you’re going to give up goals. And I still think the spine of Arsenal is very weak, so no matter how good a coach you are, those weaknesses are there. I think the way to fix it sometimes is through experienced players, but these things aren’t going to change. Maybe his hands have been tied a little bit with the transfer market, I know he’s spent money on attacking players. But we keep going back to it, you’ve got to have a decent back four, a decent foundation, and I don’t think they have that. No matter how brilliant he is, you look at their two centre halves, I don’t care who’s coaching them, they’re not going to improve defensively because I don’t think they’re good defenders. I don’t think they smell danger, I don’t think they enjoy defending. And that’s up to the manager himself, get better defenders

2019 09 30b Retrieve

If I could win my battle with Patrick Vieira we had a chance of winning the game

I would know a couple of days before these games, any slight injury I may have, I would be feeling it. I would always feel like I was going to war with these boys anyway, so I would be feeling the aches and pains before the game, never mind afterwards. That’s what you play the game for … Patrick would have been [his toughest opponent] at the time. Patrick would challenge you in different ways, he could get around the pitch, he was good on the ball, he had a goal in him. I knew I had to be at my very very best to get on top of Patrick

[Jamie Carragher asked Keane if he felt that him getting the better of Vieira was the key to winning those games, and it was certainly something he agreed with] I think because of the position we were playing in in the middle of the park, if you can win your midfield battles it does give you a good chance of winning football matches

There was also a respect towards Patrick, because when I knew I had to be at my best it was a respect towards Patrick. It was the same for other lads coming through, your Steven Gerrards and Frank Lampards, so huge respect to Patrick.

I knew we were in a team game, but I knew if I could win my battle with Patrick then obviously it gives us a better chance of winning the game

2019 09 30c Retrieve

[Roy Keane says it is hard work watching Manchester United this season] It’s hard work watching them, but I bet it’s hard work for the players too. It’s just not happening, but you have to persevere, you have to stick at it, and hopefully things will change. But they have to get a big result soon, just to give the players a bit of confidence.

We talk about winning games consistently, we talk about getting momentum into your team. The effort was there, but there was a real lack of quality. United could have won it 2-0, 3-0, but Arsenal deserve a little bit of credit, they responded well at half time. But belief, confidence, a combination of those things is needed. United aren’t cutting teams open, they get the goal really from a counter attack, and that’s where the team are at the moment

[The former United captain also suggested that a few more additions to the squad are required in order to challenge for the top four this season] There’s a real lack of quality, and I think that will worry them. The lack of goals, the lack of opportunities, that will be a big worry for Ole and the rest of the staff. They have to go and invest in January, and they probably will do, but are the real top players available in January? From what I’ve seen recently from United, if you’re these other teams out there - the West Hams, the Leicesters - if there was ever a chance to get into the top four, it will be this season

2019 10 01 Retrieve

[Quizzed on whether the Red Devils should stick with Solskjaer] 100 per cent. They’ve given Solskjaer the job and the contract, so support him and let him get on with it. Give him a couple of transfer windows. Are there more tough days ahead? You can bet your life there is. But they have to persevere.

[Keane added on the problems facing United after seeing them held to an uninspiring 1-1 draw by Arsenal] You need belief and quality but this United are lacking in both. The effort was there but they were lacking in quality. I thought United should go on to win comfortably but it’s a mix of belief, confidence and quality - a combination of all those things. They’re not cutting teams open. It’s all on the counterattack but that’s where the team is at. It’s hard work watching them but I bet it’s hard work for the players too. It’s not happening but you’ve got to keep persevering - they have to get a big result soon just to get some confidence

[Pressed on whether the Red Devils look like top-four contenders] On that performance? No. I think they’ll improve and probably invest in January, whether there’s top players available… Teams like West Ham, if there’s ever a chance of getting in the top four this season is it. Top-six for Manchester United should be OK but that won’t satisfy these clubs with the money they’ve spent. It’s got to be top four

2019 10 01b Retrieve

[Roy Keane has been left unimpressed by record Arsenal signing Nicolas Pepe] I’ve been disappointed since Nicolas Pepe’s come to the club. His body language isn’t great, and we make excuses for players a lot, like it takes time to settle into a club, but Pepe for the money they’ve paid needs to do a lot more. His poor work rate, his lack of quality and end product, and again his body language, he doesn’t seem up for the fight

[Daniel James has won an increasing fan club for his performances since arriving at the Red Devils from Swansea City in the summer] Daniel James’s been a big plus for them, considering when they signed him in the summer they thought he might be in the background, learning his trade. He’s their biggest threat, you think something’s going to happen with him. And he’s still new to the game, he’s learning. He’s going at people, he’s exciting, but maybe his end product needs to improve, and it will the more games he gets

2019 10 01c Retrieve

When you are playing, you are in that bubble. I was probably quite critical of the lads I played with in midfield, whether it be Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs or David Beckham. I was always putting more demands on the players around me. I suppose I never wanted to sit back and think ‘we’re a good team with a great midfield’. When I look back now, I think what brilliant players they were. I never gave myself a chance to relax and think we were good because if you start getting carried away with yourself, it kicks you where it hurts.

We were just constantly pushing each other, testing each other but now, when your career is over, you look back at Becks, Butty and Giggsy and think, what brilliant players. When you glance back and look at some of the players, just as important as anything else - and we talk about what Manchester United might lack now - they were brilliant lads, brilliant team-mates to have.

They were just great lads who were well grounded. I always felt at United that we always had a good dressing room and that’s not to say we didn’t have difficult days. I just always felt we had good characters. The manager would remind us every now and again before we’d go into certain big games, you are in the trenches are you happy with the lads around you? I’d always look around the lads in the United dressing room and go, yes

They were all brilliant lads and that was a huge part of it. Could they play? Were they talented? Of course, they could play, or they wouldn’t have been at Manchester United, but they worked their socks off. Ryan Giggs and David Beckham, for example - we talk about how brilliant they were going forward but they were brilliant at getting back as well. They weren’t the type of players who were so good at going forward and lazy at getting back. They would cover the yards, get back and they had the talent going forward to create chances and score goals in big games. They were brilliant team-mates

It was a big challenge for me when Patrick Vieira came onto the scene. He was a good player and I knew I had to be at my best when I was up against him. He was nasty, he could put his foot in and he could score a goal. Patrick would’ve been my toughest opponent at the time. He would challenge you in different ways. He would get around the pitch, he was good with the ball, he was strong, and he had a goal in him. I knew I had to be at my very, very best to get on top of Patrick

There was a respect towards Patrick Vieira. It was the same with the lads coming through. I go back to Steven Gerrard and the Frank Lampard. You had to be at your best. I had huge respect for him, but I knew if I could win my battle it would give us a better chance of winning the game

There was talk about Patrick Vieira [going to Manchester United], but I don’t think he would have got into the United team. He would’ve had to have been a squad player and I don’t think he would’ve been satisfied with that

What we would’ve done, when Juan Sebastian Veron came to the club, you see that as a challenge. The club has to improve, get better and you have to roll with it, roll your sleeves up and enjoy the challenge. If you want to be a big player at a big club, you have to accept these challenges

I was never one for argy bargy or slagging people off in the tunnel, but Patrick Vieira had threatened Gary Neville in the tunnel, and I felt he crossed the line. The key for me after that is don’t be distracted by it. Focus on the match. The most important thing that night was to win the game, which we did. I always think these things look worse than what they really are. Tunnel spat summed up the rivalry

[Deeper role came naturally] I would’ve had to have changed my game, whoever was coming through because I was getting a bit older. With the likes of Paul Scholes, who were more of a goal threat going forward, my role in the team changed. I was sitting a bit deeper, dictating the game a bit more and I started enjoying that challenge.

We go on about having big influences at the club, but I remember when I first got to United from Nottingham Forest, I was a midfielder who got forward and scored goals. A simple chat with Bryan Robson after a year or two at United, who said you might have to get more involved in the set-up of play and dictating the play. I didn’t think I had the confidence to do it. I said that’s not my game, but he said if you want to become a big player for Manchester United you are going to have to get involved in the build-up of play.

So that just happened naturally and the more games I played, the more confidence I built up. And when I played with Scholes, Nicky Butt and Juan Sebastian Veron, they were keener on getting forward so I just automatically started sitting a bit deeper, and I enjoyed that role as well because there are big demands on that role

[On that being the best Roy Keane during that era] My contract was up so I thought I’d play for a new contract or if I leave [Manchester United] on a free transfer, I’ll get a better deal somewhere else. What helped is I was surrounded by brilliant players. If you are surrounded by good players it does help you, but I was having a decent spell. I was a good age. I’d had the setback of a cruciate injury. I was coming back, I was hungry and as I said, my contract was up so I had a lot to play for

2019 10 03 Retrieve

[Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe problem! Europa League key to solving £72m signing’s difficult start] His body language isn’t great. We make excuses for players a lot, like it takes time to settle into a club. But for the money they’ve paid, Pepe needs to do a lot more. His poor work-rate, his lack of quality and end product… And again, his body language, he doesn’t seem up for the fight

2019 10 03b Retrieve

[Swirling negativity has not helped matters, but the former Molde boss Solskjaer has found plenty of allies in the form of erstwhile team-mates] We are all very impatient, we want success yesterday, but you have to give the man time. He is frustrated, under pressure, but dealing with it. He’s a classy guy but no doubt he will be disappointed at not winning enough games. They have given him the job. Support him in a couple of transfer windows. Are there more tough days ahead? You bet your life, but you need to stick with it

2019 10 11 Retrieve

[What did Roy Keane say on modern transfer fees?] It’s mind-boggling, the figures that are out there - especially for the average players. If ever there was a time to be a professional player it’s now. Average players are going for £35 million. My goodness. I don’t really analyse it too much, but that’s the market place at the moment. There aren’t many top players out there. The really big players are going for big money and it’s filtering down now. When average players are going for £30-40m, it does make you scratch your head, but if the clubs are prepared to pay that, then it’s not the players’ fault

2019 10 11b Retrieve

[Keane also played a highly instrumental role in arranging a tribute match for former Manchester United team-mate Liam Miller, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2018] It was great, a really nice day. Great for Liam and his family that they got a great turnout. There was a great atmosphere, there was a real good buzz in the city and people have done great work to make this happen. I’m really proud of the people that made the effort.

2019 10 12 Retrieve

[Roy Keane has laid into England’s defence, and Danny Rose in particular, after a sloppy display allowed the Czech Republic to pull off a startling 2-1 win in Euro 2020 qualification in Prague on Friday] My concern is always for these players like Harry Maguire and Michael Keane, they’re in their mid-20s. Sometimes these players don’t learn, you can’t keep waiting for these lads. Rose gave a performance tonight … my goodness. Someone’s got to get hold of that guy. He was shocking, abysmal. I think he’ll be the same in another three or four years. Some players don’t learn from their mistakes. That’s the biggest problem. At the highest level you will suffer for it

2019 10 14 Retrieve

[Roy Keane hits out at the bigotry on display as Bulgaria vs England suspended twice] You feel sick to your stomach when you witness it. It is horrible. I feel physically sick listening to that

2019 10 20 Retrieve

[Roy Keane joked prior to kick off Manchester United against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday] I’m getting out before the massacre starts. Everything points towards a Liverpool victory

2019 10 20b Retrieve

[Roy Keane accepted the Red Devils may have had a touch of good fortune but felt they deserved it for a spirited first-half performance] It does catch his [Mane’s] hand. Sometimes you need a few breaks in this game and United have got that, but maybe they’ve earned it. They’ve been the best team

2019 10 20c Retrieve

[After Manchester United side’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday] I think both managers will be satisfied with the draw. The pressure was building from Liverpool, and obviously their lads are talking quite critically about themselves, but I feel you have to give United a bit of credit today. They got the first goal and then were allowed to sit in but they got a little bit sloppy. United lacked a little bit of composure. With Liverpool, if you’re talking about winning titles, you’re talking about collecting points when you play badly, and that’s exactly what they did

2019 10 20d Retrieve

[Former United midfielder Roy Keane also praised Rashford’s display but has challenged him to maintain his level of performance in the coming weeks] He looked back to his old self - energy, a goal threat, strong and powerful. The position suited him a bit more. But he’s got to be consistent and kick on now. The goal for England gave him confidence… you speak to any striker - it’s a confidence boost. You could see in his body language; he was taking people on, making things happen

2019 10 20e Retrieve

[Roy Keane says Manchester United should aim to remedy their goalscoring woes by snatching Harry Kane from Tottenham] Just go and get Kane from Spurs. Easy. Just go and get him. What are you all staring at?

2019 10 20f Retrieve

[Manchester United have had their worst league start in 30 years this season] Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs some results. It’s great when you talk about having a plan, they need some results. He’s got to get more out of the players he got. Ole needs to get more out of this group of players. If you’re not winning, the pressure builds. His record has not been good enough, and it needs to improve fast

[Roy Keane blast the club] It’s great when everyone talks about having a plan, but they need some results. There is a lot of talk about players that have left the club and who they might get in in January. Also, Ole has got to get more from the players he has got. I said earlier we haven’t seen the evidence that this group of players can win games on a regular basis. If you’re losing football games, like every manager on the planet, the pressure builds. His record hasn’t been good enough recently, he knows that and they need to improve and fast

2019 10 21 Retrieve

[Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane has slammed the club’s players for their behaviour in the build-up to their clash against Liverpool] I’m disgusted with the players. You’re going to war, they’re hugging and kissing. Don’t even look at the opposition. You’re going into battle against them. The game hasn’t changed that much, the players have changed. You’re going to war against these players and they’re hugging each other. Chat to them after the game, or don’t even chat to them after the game

2019 10 27 Retrieve

[Roy Keane identifies Dele Alli as a key part of Tottenham’s fall from grace this season] He’s lost that hunger, and when you lose that hunger it’s hard to get it back. Today he was non-existent, and he has been now for a year or two. He is a quality player but unless you’ve got the hunger and desire to go in and train properly and try and improve, and all this off-the-field stuff that I see him getting involved in where he thinks he’s a male model of some sort, do me a favour. He needs to start looking in the mirror and wondering why he’s lost that hunger and where it’s all gone wrong. Take control of your own career

2019 10 27b Retrieve

[Roy Keane has argued over whether Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen would improve Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team] [I wouldn’t sign Eriksen] if I were the Manchester United manager. I think he will get a move, he’s on a free. But I don’t think he’d improve those teams and that’s the key for a club like Manchester United who are trying to close the gap. He won’t make Man United better, but having said that, Man United bought Fred

2019 11 14 Retrieve

[Roy Keane says Raheem Sterling’s bust-up with Joe Gomez on England duty earlier this week was blown out of proportion] Speaking from experience, having been a manager seeing players having fisticuffs, and I’ve had it myself as a player, I think they’ve made a bigger deal of it than it really is. It’s all part of the game. We’re quick to criticise players for not caring, obviously, Raheem is upset about whatever happened the previous day. I’m not patting him on the back for going at one of his team-mates but I think Gareth could have played it down easily, saying ‘it’s no big deal, we move on

I personally don’t think so, but I’m not disagreeing with what Gareth has done because he knows more than us. From my own experience - I had a fight with Peter Schmeichel in a hotel lobby, to be fair it was about four o’clock in the morning and there weren’t many people around, we got pulled by the manager who told us we were both a disgrace. To be fair to Peter, he apologised and we moved on. But it never affected us as team-mates or wanting the same thing. When I see the PR side of it where players have to apologise to the group, I don’t get it. If you have a bust-up with somebody, why are you apologising to your team-mates? It’s all part of the game. Sometimes players have to clear the air

2019 11 17 Retrieve

[Roy Keane believes that West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice has a long way to go to become the finished article] Where he needs to improve, there are plenty of aspects if you think about it. Over the last few months he has had a lot of praise, I worked with him while he was with the Ireland squad. Where does he need to improve, where do you want me to start? His positional play I don’t think is consistent enough, he doesn’t stay with runners, he’s sloppy in possession. I can go on

He’s one of those players, a couple of months ago everyone was enjoying him and loved him. He’s one of those players that’s now played his way out of the team because he’s not been consistent for West Ham

2019 11 17b Retrieve

[Roy Keane praises Virgil van Dijk] He’s been fantastic. The sign of a brilliant player is when he makes those around him better. The stats behind it are fantastic

2019 11 18 Retrieve

[Roy Keane says Marcus Rashford is back to his best after a slow start to the season] Brilliant, brilliant goal. What a finish. He is back to his best. It was a lovely play, nice and simple. Does it matter about the opposition? Of course, it does, because they’re getting opportunities, but that was the goal of the night. A lovely finish. Pure quality

[Keane went on to suggest that Rashford, Harry Kane and Sterling should be Gareth Southgate’s first-choice front three] The attacking three players you’d have at the minute are Sterling, Kane and Rashford. The three of them are outstanding players who cause you all sorts of headaches

2019 11 19 Retrieve

[Man Utd legend Keane branded ‘arrogant’ & ‘shameful’ for ‘shocking’ criticism of Declan Rice. He previously worked with the 20-year-old before the versatile Hammers star took the decision to switch allegiance from Ireland to the Three Lions] Where he needs to improve, there are plenty of aspects if you think about it. Over the last few months he has had a lot of praise, I worked with him while he was with the Ireland squad. Where does he need to improve, where do you want me to start? His positional play I don’t think is consistent enough, he doesn’t stay with runners, he’s sloppy in possession. I can go on

2019 11 23 Retrieve

[Roy Keane has backed Jose Mourinho to succeed at Tottenham] The biggest factor today were West Ham. They were rubbish, absolute rubbish, absolute disgrace. So it was an easy day for Tottenham, a bit of hard work in the last 15-20 minutes but that’s typical Tottenham. A lot of good players like to play when they’re 3-0 down but it’s a bit late then. Good to see Jose back, I think it’s a good fit for him. A lot of hard work ahead and he’ll no doubt be thinking top four this year and try to win a cup. Today was easy for him, couldn’t have been easier

His personality, whatever his tactics have been over the past few days, his personality. He has won stuff before. Again we’re talking about players sometimes, rightly or wrongly, just want to hear a different voice. They’ve got quality and I’ve always said when you’ve got a goalscorer like Harry Kane you’ve got a chance to win football matches but obviously Tottenham have had a weakness to them, they’ve had it for I suppose 20 years. We’ve always called Spurs ‘a cup team’ and there’s a bit of insult in that but Jose will certainly want to change that mentality but it will take a bit of work

2019 12 07 Retrieve

[Roy Keane was pleasantly surprised by Manchester United’s outstanding display in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Manchester City] I absolutely did not see this coming. It was fantastic - a proper Manchester United performance. Lots of bravery and personality. They were outstanding. I don’t think beating Tottenham was a big deal at home, but that win today will give the players a lot of confidence as they have been criticised - nobody likes to be criticised. But hats off to Manchester United, whatever happens in January with the speculation, question marks over Ole, they were outstanding. This was a Manchester United performance. It wasn’t all about how they counter-attacked, it was how they managed the game, got blocks in and showed personality. I really enjoyed watching them - it’s what Manchester United is all about. But the key is to be consistent, week-in, week-out. Hopefully these young players will pick up on that

2019 12 20 Retrieve

[Quote on Zlatan] He looks a good character. You’d be happy to play with him. As a player? Really, really good. Talented boy. Looks a bit of a character

2020 01 19 Retrieve

[Roy Keane says Manchester United beating Liverpool would not be an upset] The word upset has been mentioned. Manchester United getting a result against Liverpool is not an upset. It’s Manchester United. They’ll have to play well, particularly the goalkeeper, but they’re more than capable of getting a result. It will be very difficult, it’s always a tough game. But this idea that it’s beyond them to get a result here [at Anfield] is ridiculous

[When asked if United can be excused for fearing a Liverpool side protecting a 38-game unbeaten run] You can use that fear, fear is part of the game. You’re always fearful of losing, but United also need to have a bit of confidence. They had a very important victory against Wolves. I know they’ve been inconsistent, but they have shown sides they can get results, particularly on the counterattack. It’s going to be very difficult because Liverpool are flying, but fingers crossed United can at least turn up and have a go

2020 01 19b Retrieve

[Roy Keane says Anthony Martial proved he is not good enough to play for Manchester United by failing to score against Liverpool on Sunday] Anthony Martial has come to Manchester United and the big strikers score in the big moments, but his miss sums up his career at the club - excellent build-up play, but you have to hit the target. No excuses. The big strikers who are remembered by the supporters hit the target and the back of the net, and that’s why that guy is not quite good enough for Manchester United. That moment summed him up

2020 01 19c Retrieve

[Roy Keane outrages at Firmino’s disallowed goal following VAR intervention] It was a huge turning point. Why he’s disallowed this goal is beyond me. I can’t get my head around it. He’s got his eye on the ball. De Gea’s done this before, I think there’s a softness to him. The game’s gone mad

2020 01 20 Retrieve

[Roy Keane beleives Frank Lampard avoids criticism in his job because he is English] I watched Chelsea last night, decent team, they couldn’t get the job done. They’ve lost eight games but for some reason Frank’s doing alright, maybe ‘cause he’s English, I don’t know

2020 01 31 Retrieve

[Roy Keane vs Patrick Vieira: Highbury tunnel fight & story behind the bitter rivalry] I just felt they were bullying Gary. I don’t think it was intimidation; it was bullying. I was there to do a job. ‘Win the game - get in and get out’. But it was a bit like the build-up to a boxing match - the weigh-in, the press conferences - when people forget that there’ll actually be a fight. I think football might lack that energy now, a bit; that tension. It was great. But years later people bring up the tunnel and they don’t remember the match that came after it

2020 02 17 Retrieve

[Roy Keane agrees that the club should sell Pogba in the summer] There’s been lots of noises coming out of Pogba’s camp for a number of months. The simple thing I would do is move him on in the summer. He is a good player but there is too much baggage with him and his agent so just move him on. Sometimes you have to lose to win. It might backfire on you, but if it’s not right for the club and these agents are laughing at you, then let these lads go. Look at the bigger picture. Don’t be chasing after these players who don’t really want to be at the club. I don’t think Pogba wants to be there. so just shake his hand and off you go

2020 03 01 Retrieve

[Former United captain Roy Keane was scathing in his assessment of David De Gea at the interval and claims he would have been in big trouble in the dressing room if the Irishman was involved] Whether I was a player or a manager, I’d have killed him. What is De Gea waiting for? It’s crazy. There’s almost a bit of arrogance to him. I would have lynched him at half time. There are no excuses

I don’t want to hear that the ball moved. Of course it’s moving, someone’s kicked it! The bottom line with Pickford […] I don’t need to see the stats. I know he’s not a good goalkeeper. He’s not up to it

2020 03 09 Retrieve

[Roy Keane says Ighalo’s arrival at Man Utd has provoked a ‘good reaction’ from Martial] You’ve had a reaction as well from Anthony Martial. Sometimes a new striker comes in, you praise the new striker, but then that pushes the other lads. There’s almost been a reaction from Martial, thinking: ‘Oh, I’ve got another player to fight with for my position’. And there’s been a good reaction

I’ve been critical of some of the players. But people like [Luke] Shaw and [Anthony] Martial, you know, they’ve done well today. I have to give credit for that. And it’s a big boost for Ole for a number of reasons. I think United had to win a big game at home sometime. It’s okay away from home on the counter-attack, but it’s Manchester United, we have to win big games at home. The atmosphere around the place is fantastic and Ole and the players deserve huge credit. But of course now, I keep saying, when you get a big win, you’ve gotta follow it up, Tottenham next week, with another victory

For all City’s possession, they weren’t dangerous really. They were playing a front four, [Raheem] Sterling didn’t do enough, they weren’t making any darting runs, nobody running off the ball. It was easy for United. If people are playing in front of you, it’s very, very easy. But also it was the dogged performance that pleased probably the supporters as well. It wasn’t pretty, they stuck at it, the fans stayed right behind them and I think the goal right at the end was fantastic. I’ve not really seen the atmosphere like this for a long time

I think Ole needed it, the club, I’ve mentioned earlier, for their recovery and if they can get back to the very top. But brilliant, brilliant performance. Not pretty, it was dogged. To me, they showed a lot of pride, a lot of spirit. Brilliant, just great to be here. I really enjoyed it.

2020 03 14 Retrieve

[Roy Keane on Chelsea’s 18-year-old midfielder Billy Gilmour] I was sitting at home with my cup of tea and my chocolate in front of me and I didn’t have the volume on. And as the game started I literally got out of my seat, which I very rarely do and I thought, ‘Who is this kid in midfield?’ There’s certain traits you want from the midfielder. Obviously you want them to be good on the ball. Football intelligence, composure. He had everything. It was one of the best performances I’ve seen in a long, long time

2020 04 04 Retrieve

[On September 27, 1997, Keane’s United travelled to Elland Road for a game with hated rivals Leeds. As the Irishman subsequently admitted himself, he was in no fit state to play, having been involved in a drunken row at Chester Street Hotel just two days previously. He started, though, and unsurprisingly struggled, both with his hangover and Haaland] He was winding me up from the beginning of the game. Five minutes from time… I lunged forward at Haaland. I was trying to trip him rather than kick him. I knew it would probably mean a booking but, fck it, he’d done my head in

[Haaland and Keane would share a pitch on several occasions over the next four years and those games passed without any clashes between the pair, even after the former had joined Manchester City. However, in the closing stages of the 2000-01 season, Keane suddenly – and viciously – decided to settle a score] I’d waited long enough. I f
cking hit him hard. The ball was there (I think). Take that you cnt

[David Elleray promptly issued a straight red card to an almost disinterested Keane, who walked off the field, but not before bending over the prone Haaland to say] Don’t ever stand over me again sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal Wetherall there’s some for him as well

[However, even then, he expressed no remorse for the challenge] [Haaland] was an absolute pr
ck to play against. Niggling, sneaky. I did want to nail him and let him know what was happening. I wanted to hurt him and stand over him and go: ‘Take that, you c*nt.’ I don’t regret that. But I had no wish to injure him.

2020 04 24 Retrieve

[Keane jumps to defence of Premier League stars after Ozil criticisms] I’m not sure how I’d have dealt with it, I have a lot of sympathy for the players out there, a lot of players are getting criticised. Looking at it now, particularly with the way I left United, and I’m talking about players at the really big, big clubs, with a lot of wealthy owners and pressure to take pay cuts, I wouldn’t take a pay cut if I was at one of the bigger clubs. It’s nobody’s business what you do with your wages. You take your wages and if you want to be generous, go ahead and do it, there’s a lot of speculation out there but I don’t think people should believe everything they read about what players are doing, taking 10 per cent or 15 per cent. Players should not feel under pressure, particularly at the big clubs. I know everyone is different, different circumstances, but your contract with the club is a personal matter and this idea that all the players have do to this is nonsense, it’s up to the individual and if they want to stick to their wages, while they have a billionaire in the background, then do that. I am surprised at the amount of people jumping on the bandwagon and criticising the players, it’s nobody’s business. I’m talking about the clubs with wealthy owners, I have sympathy for the lower leagues, you make sacrifices in the lower leagues but the players at the top, where the clubs have the money, stick to your guns. At the bigger clubs the money is available to the players, individual players getting criticised is unfair, you have different personalities in the dressing room. Some players getting their full wages might be the most generous people on the planet and let them do what they want, for the NHS or whatever charity but I’d fight the players’ corner.

2020 04 24b Retrieve

[Roy Keane sees cause for optimism in Manchester United’s progress over recent months] I think there’s certainly a feel-good factor back at United over the past number of games. Also, in the back of your mind, you’re thinking if [Paul] Pogba can get back, people like [Marcus] Rashford can get fit towards the end of the season, that would be a big boost for them. So there’s definitely a feel-good factor, but there’s still a long way back for United yet. I still think they’re a long way behind City and, obviously, Liverpool. The signs are a lot better than six months ago, 12 months ago. The signings have all settled in very, very well and will only get better with time. If they can have a good finish to the season - if we get back to playing games - and if they can get one or two very good players again in the summer, then that’s another big step. I always think in terms of their recovery, there’s still a bit to go yet.

Whenever we talk about the big clubs, everyone always talks about attacking players. I still think they need one or two defenders. I’m still not convinced with the centre-halves, I’m certainly not convinced with [left-back Luke] Shaw. I think [Brandon] Williams has done well as a young kid, even though he’s right-footed playing on that side

2020 04 26 Retrieve

[Rather than fear for his position, Keane relished Veron’s arrival] I always enjoyed that. That was probably my favourite part of being at a brilliant club. When I first went to United you had Incey [Paul Ince], Robbo [Bryan Robson], Butty coming through, Scholesy, and then Veron

I used to get excited when the club would sign a big player because that’s the nature of the game. Even when I first came to United, I remember shaking hands with Robbo, a player I had big respect for, but Robbo knew I was after his position. So when other lads were coming through, and even Veron’s a good example. Veron came to the club, he was an excellent player, okay it didn’t work out for him at United, but he was an excellent player

[It could be suggested that Keane’s role as captain hampered Veron’s chances of securing a regular role in the side, but the Irishman feels that wasn’t the case] I never thought I was any sort of leader, I knew I had to work hard every day to prove myself to get into that starting XI. So when Veron came to the club I enjoyed it. I knew it would be another challenge for me. And a lot of my biggest challenges for me when I was a player, and it might sound arrogant, was our 11 vs 11 at United.

We talk a lot about Scholesy, [who] was a brilliant player, but Nicky Butt was also a fantastic player. Good character, good banter in the dressing room, basically a guy you want to be in the trenches with. I enjoyed those battles, and they were battles I had to try to win.

2020 04 26b Retrieve

[Keane: I didn’t have much in common with Rooney and Ferdinand] Your dressing room’s always changing, as most summers you have one or two new faces that come in. The dynamic changes as young players come in. To be honest, when I was getting towards the end of my career, I was looking around the dressing room and we had players like Wayne and Rio Ferdinand, Darren Fletcher and [John O’Shea](john-o-shea.html) and things were changing. The dynamics were changing, and I always used to roll with it - I didn’t mind because it would give you a new type of energy, especially if they were good players who could help us win trophies. But towards the end, I remember thinking that with some of these lads, I didn’t get them and their banter, their humour. I was barely having a conversation with any of them, but I was constantly looking at the bigger picture of whether they were going to be good players for Man United. That was the most important thing. Even with Wayne and Rio, I didn’t get their banter and what it stood for sometimes. Towards the end at United, with the players that were coming through, I didn’t always get them. I thought personality-wise, they’re not for me. I was professional, and they were all very good players, so I was delighted to play with them, but in terms of having banter, a cup of tea or a coffee with them, forget it

2020 06 05 Retrieve

[Former club captain Roy Keane later revealed he advised Ferguson to drop his Rock of Gibraltar case against Magnier, but to no avail] Somebody I met in Ireland had told me to tell him (Ferguson): ‘You are not going to win this.’ I mentioned it to him. And I told him that I didn’t think it was good for the club, for the manager in a legal dispute with shareholders. I felt I was entitled to say that. He was just a mascot for them. Walking around with this Rock of Gibraltar – ‘Look at me, how big I am,’ – and he didn’t even own the bloody thing!

2020 06 19 Retrieve

[Keane ‘sick to death’ of De Gea after Man Utd goalkeeper concedes against Spurs] I’m shocked at that goal. I’ve watched a lot of football over the years, but to give away that goal, I’m fuming here watching this game of football. I am sick to death of this goalkeeper. I would be fighting him at half time. There’s no getting away from it, I would be swinging punches. It’s a standard save for an established international goalkeeper. I am flabbergasted. I can’t believe Shaw is heading the ball up in the air and running forward. I’m staggered at Maguire, that an international player, you can’t get done like this.

Maguire and De Gea, I wouldn’t even let them on the bus after the match. Let them get a taxi back up to Manchester. These are international players, we can analyse the game until to the cows come home. You do your job, we’re trying to get onto the top four, God forbid about winning trophies. I’m disgusted. Maguire, De Dea, hang your heads in shame. You’re playing for Manchester United and you’re letting players run past you? Get close to people, move your feet. De Gea. The most over-rated goalkeeper I’ve seen in a long, long time.

2020 06 21 Retrieve

[Roy Keane has taken aim at Republic of Ireland assistant manager Keith Andrews, stating that the former WBA and Blackburn midfielder is a bullshtter]</b> If I can make one point about new Irish staff. I’ve heard a lot of bullshtters over the last 10 years and Keith Andrews is up there with the best of them. Sometimes I was too hard. Sometimes I was too soft. If I was critical, looking back on my own career and how I dealt with people, even in management – and people mightn’t believe this – but I reckon that sometimes I was too nice to people. People stabbed me right in my chest, it wasn’t in my back. Because I was too nice to them

[Keane was known as a hard man who took no prisoners during his time with Nottingham Forest, Manchester United and Celtic, and he has no problems with that] That was who I was. Even pre-season, any game I ever took it easy in, I guarantee you I was the worst player on the park. I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do it. It just wasn’t in my make-up … I had to be full pelt. If I lightened up too much in football, I would never have got to England. And if I did, I wouldn’t have lasted two minutes

2020 06 21b Retrieve

[Ex-Manchester United captain Keane says he was ‘too nice’ in his career] Sometimes I was too hard. Sometimes I was too soft. If I was critical, looking back on my own career and how I dealt with people, even in management – and people mightn’t believe this – but I reckon that sometimes I was too nice to people. People stabbed me right in my chest, it wasn’t in my back. Because I was too nice to them

That was who I was. Even pre-season, any game I ever took it easy in, I guarantee you I was the worst player on the park. I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t do it. It just wasn’t in my make-up. I had to be full pelt. If I lightened up too much in football, I would never have got to England. If I did, I wouldn’t have lasted two minutes

2020 06 28 Retrieve

[Man Utd still at least a ‘year or two’ away from competing with Liverpool & Man City] They’re a few players off yet. They have obviously strengthened but the league table doesn’t lie. Look at their points total. I know people say they’ve had one or two decent results - against Man City and Liverpool - but it’s all about the points. So, no, I don’t see United competing in the next year or two for the league. I think there’s going to be improvement and they will close the gap, but there is a bit of work to be done for Ole and the players. They’re missing something. They haven’t been consistent enough

People have analysed it and said United’s strength at the moment is on the counter-attack. But the problem has been when they had a lot of possession; breaking teams down. With one or two players coming back, United will certainly be pushing to get that fourth position but trying to get fourth and winning the league is a big leap. They need one or two players. I think United are short at the back

2020 06 29 Retrieve

[Roy Keane says Paul Pogba ‘can get Manchester United competing for titles’ if he adds consistency to his game] Obviously Pogba has had his critics because he is so talented. If you are not performing week in, week out people are going to get on your back. I always say there is a compliment in that. People know he’s an outstanding talent but for some reason, it hasn’t gelled. He obviously had the injury problem this season. Just because a player is having a difficult time doesn’t mean they aren’t giving their all. Sometimes a player might be carrying a few knocks. Players lose a little bit of confidence

Everyone is quick to criticise Pogba for his off-the-field stuff, but let me tell you if Pogba was winning week in and week out for United people would tolerate his off-the-field activity, his social media activity. The key for Pogba, if he wants to become a really important player for Man United, is consistency. It’s no good turning up every two or three weeks and producing your piece of magic. I think he is more than capable of doing it, he has done it before. But do it week in and week out and get Man United competing for titles. I have a lot of time for him. I think he’s a talented boy

2020 06 30 Retrieve

[Roy Keane being considered for Azerbaijan job] Along with several other candidates, Roy Keane is on the list of the specialists negotiated by AFFA for the appointment for the position of the head coach of the Azerbaijan national team. As we reported earlier, taking into account the current situation and the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic around the world, it has not yet been possible to submit any candidate to the Executive Committee for discussion and finalise the terms of the contract

2020 07 03 Retrieve

[Roy Keane was asked for his reaction to Klopp’s interview - and he felt the Liverpool boss’ frustration stemmed from his team’s performance rather than the questioning] The reason Liverpool are champions and why they’ll be competing for the next few years is because of that interview. I love to see that

He’s fuming. It was nothing to do with the questions he was being asked, he was fuming because his team got beaten. He’s going to defend his team but no top manager likes to get beaten 4-0. The effort was there, their attitude was fine. But it was human nature they were going to slack off

It’s human nature, you’re going to be slacking off. I was fortunate enough to play in some teams that won the league with a few games to go and you do switch off. You end up in the pub for a week or two and you try and get back into the swing of things

2020 07 09 Retrieve

[Bournemouth’s hopes of avoiding relegation remain in the balance after Callum Wilson’s last-gasp strike was ruled out by VAR for handball in their 0-0 draw with Tottenham] Anywhere else on the pitch it’s a foul. If you look, King’s caught wrong side. It’s a typical striker not concentrating properly and if you look at Kane it’s a lovely bit of movement. It’s dropping onto his head. It’s not even as if he has to reach it. I can see why Mourinho’s disappointed. There are certain decisions, when you’ve played the game, you don’t need to look at 20 times. To me, there’s no doubt, it’s a penalty. I’m amazed by the decision

2020 07 10 Retrieve

[Bruno Fernandes won a penalty despite looking like he committed the foul] I don’t think it’s a penalty but I can see why the referee gave it. It’s harsh but sometimes you have to be punished for being clumsy - it was a clumsy challenge. It’s clever play from Fernandes