Friday 9 December 2016

Roy Keane won't be impressed by Jason McAteer's comments on his Manchester United exit

Published 16/04/2015 | 10:33

Manchester United's David Beckham (3rd-L) and referee Uriah Rennie (2nd-L) attempt to calm Roy Keane (L) after his clash with Sunderland's Jason McAteer (R) during their English premier league match at the Stadium of Light in 2002.
Manchester United's David Beckham (3rd-L) and referee Uriah Rennie (2nd-L) attempt to calm Roy Keane (L) after his clash with Sunderland's Jason McAteer (R) during their English premier league match at the Stadium of Light in 2002.

Roy Keane's former international team mate Jason McAteer has claimed that Roy Keane's Old Trafford departure was as a result of a gradual decline in performances and not a sudden fall out with Alex Ferguson.

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Interviewed in ‘Men in White Suits’, a new book about Liverpool in the 1990s, McAteer, a new book about Liverpool in the 1990s called 'Men in White Suits', reveals that he discussed the Keane situation in a long chat with Ferguson’s assistant Mike Phelan.

McAteer says: “He told me that with Fergie, if he watched a game and a player lost the ball and then found it really difficult to get back in position, Fergie would turn around and go: he’s finished, lost his engine. He’d then try to get the player out of the club.

“With Roy, Roy was forever telling him it was a one-off — he’d had a bad night’s sleep and he was tired for that game.

2Fergie gave Roy more chances than other players. But once the seed was planted, Fergie would never change his mind.

“You’ve got to be honest with yourself. Roy was such a brilliant player in such a crucial position, any slip in standard would have been felt like an avalanche.What he offered was of such a high standard that when he was on the way down, it became easier to spot.

"But I don’t think Fergie knew how to handle a Roy Keane in decline. Roy is a difficult person to deal with. You never know what he’s thinking.”

The pair fell out when McAteer criticised the then Irish captain’s infamous exit from the 2002 World Cup.

They clashed again when the ex-Man United captain broke Jason's nose with an elbow during a game with club Sunderland and McAteer made a writing motion with his finger to poke fun at Keane's first autobiography.

McAteer was criticised and portrayed as dim-witted in Keane's first book.

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