Saturday 17 August 2019

John Giles: 'Roy Keane would do a better job at Manchester United than Solskjaer'

Former Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Former Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Harry Clarke

John Giles has suggested Roy Keane would do a better job as Manchester United manager than current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Keane last week quit as assistant manager to Martin O'Neill at Nottingham Forest after just five months, days before O'Neill himself was sacked by the club, and the Corkman is understood to be looking at getting back into management.

Speaking on The Stand podcast with Eamon Dunphy, Giles said Keane would be better suited to turning the tide than Solskjaer, who signed a three-year contract with United last March. 

United CEO Ed Woodward has played a leading role in the club's transfer dealings so far this summer, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James cominh on board but Giles has questioned Solskjaer's position.

"I'd put my money on him (Keane) at Manchester United before Solskjaer," said Giles.

"When you look at the summer, in Solskjaer's case, it's all about the backroom staff, he's not mentioned in it. He should be picking the backroom staff, he should be picking the players.

"He should be dominant at the moment to get this thing right for next season.

"There's still a lot of talk. Is Rio Ferdinand going to come in now as a director of coaching or director of football? There's all that stuff going on at Manchester United at the moment. And Solskjaer hasn't been mentioned.

"I honestly think if Roy Keane went to Manchester United now he would do a better job than Solskjaer with what's needed now. They might need that type of thing."

In an in-depth look at Keane's life in football that covered an array of issues, Dunphy spoke of how Keane found the strength to give up the drink during his playing days at Old Trafford.

"When he [Keane] used to drink he could be aggressive and get into trouble," said Dunphy, who ghosted Keane's autobiography in 2002.

"On one occasion in Manchester, the players were out for drinks and he ended up in a cell. [Alex] Ferguson got up and went into the centre of Manchester and got him out of the cell and took him home.

"To Roy Keane's great credit, as someone who had a problem with drink, he stopped. And the problem stopped. He said one of the shocking things for him was Cantona and Laurent Blanc coming to play with United.

"He said that in the old days with the Bryan Robson gang, they'd get back to Manchester after a match at 9.30pm. They'd be in their cars and straight to the pub.

"All of a sudden, Laurent Blanc comes, Cantona comes, they get back to Manchester and they're all in their cars and going home.

"They wouldn't even have a drink on the coach like a bottle of beer. He said that was a kind of culture shock but he learnt from that and was impressed by it, which was interesting."

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