Wednesday 21 February 2018

Garreth Murphy: Roy Keane as Man United No2? Sit back and enjoy the fireworks

Roy Keane pours champagne with Fabien Barthez as Manchester United celebrate victory after they beat Blackburn Rovers in the 2003 League Cup semi-final
Roy Keane pours champagne with Fabien Barthez as Manchester United celebrate victory after they beat Blackburn Rovers in the 2003 League Cup semi-final

NOBODY does passion like Roy Keane.

From his days as arguably the best midfielder to grace the Premiership with his peerless determination to succeed, Keane’s pedigree as a player was unparalleled.

His successes as a manager have not been quite so pronounced, but he’s currently in the midst of a rehabilitation as Republic of Ireland assistant under the guidance of the wise old head of Martin O’Neill.

So reports that Louis van Gaal is considering Keane as his Old Trafford No2 is an intriguing development.

While it won't be welcomed by Ireland fans eager for the so-called management 'dream team' to develop a side which can regularly qualify for international tournaments, it has the hint of box office that has characterised Keane's career.

According to those who know him, van Gaal is a spiky character. Arrogant. Bullish. Prickly. And those are some of the compliments.

Van Gaal is ‘the type of man who sends Valentine’s Day cards to himself’, as he was memorably described by football correspondent Henry Winter.

He is said not to suffer fools gladly and is known as a man who speaks his mind.

Sound like anyone, we know?

If there is any truth in the rumours and van Gaal insists on having Keane, it will be the first battle of his Old Trafford regime. And that’s before he even takes his first training session.

You can’t really imagine any of the players that Keane laid into in his commentary last night rolling out the red carpet for their former skipper.

And that’s before Fergie even has his say. He is involved in a very public feud with Keane after the publication of his autobiography last year.

He laid into Keane in the pages of the book and devoted a full chapter to stick his size 11s very firmly in the Corkman’s behind.

Ferguson will have a hand in finding Moyes successor, although one would suspect that the United hierarchy would be loathe to give him free reign after the failure of the Moyes experiment.

Keane polarizes opinion. You can only imagine what he would be like in the United dressing room – a club he cares passionately for.

The rest of us simply sit back and enjoy the fireworks.

Online Editors

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