| 4.6°C Dublin

Five areas where Keane failed

1: Living by fictional code

Roy Keane appears to have operated by an old-fashioned code that is impractical in the modern game, especially when your track record as a manager is unproven. The feeling in English football circles is that, in certain instances, he stuck too closely to the rules by going through the proper procedures -- like asking managers first -- when recruiting players and generally shunning the natural temptation to indulge agents. He was frequently gazumped in the transfer market, and was naïve to think that tales from his strictly disciplined dressing-room would stay within the four walls. The club wasn't a tight or strong enough ship for one man to rule the roost like a Clough or a Ferguson.

2 Managing dressing room by fear

Once more, his reign has been peppered with stories of bizarre tales that players simply had to share with their peers elsewhere. Erratic behaviour in the wake of defeats left his squad either perplexed or terrified, with certain young players feeling they were scapegoated for failing to live up to his standards. Keane was a top player, and doesn't seem to have grasped that second-tier performers will have idiosyncrasies. Sometimes, the arm around the shoulder approach is the only way to get the best from them, even if it means massaging the ego of a player he ultimately doesn't respect. He has failed to grasp that.

3 Failing to learn from Sunderland mistakes

When Keane made his departure from the Stadium of Light, it was pointed out that he had progressed quickly to Premier League level with just his young assistant and long-time friend Tony Loughlan (pictured) by his side. It was something he sought to address in his second job but he never quite managed to do so. Gary Ablett was brought in, but regrettably had to leave because of illness. Attempts to lure Peter Taylor and other experienced heads fell by the wayside. In the end, Ian McParland, formerly manager of Notts County, was brought in, yet he merely joined the back-room team, lacking the profile to become an important voice.

4 Narrow-minded transfer policy

The 39-year-old was frustrated in his attempts to bring in players this January, with Andy O'Brien and Kevin Kilbane securing more attractive deals elsewhere for financial and other reasons. Nevertheless, it was surprising to hear that Keane was going after two old Ireland team-mates again, following on from his pursuit of veteran midfielder Lee Carsley in August. Again, it harks back to Sunderland where he tapped up a lot of old acquaintances. Keane did bring in other players too and may have been restricted by the funds available, but other managers have wheeled and dealed to greater effect.

5 Setting unrealistic targets

Keane landed into the job targeting promotion within two years. No harm, of course: it was typically bold. Yet he has changed his tack over the past couple of months, speaking about a top-half table position as being a target for this year, perhaps realising that the situation at a club who made a £12m loss in the season before he was appointed wasn't all that rosy. Other managers would shy away from making such definitive public statements to buy a little bit of time. Keane failed as Ipswich manager, but the expectations he set for himself were unrealistic. Will that change? Probably not.

Irish Independent