During the enforced break from John’s regular column, English Premier League Predictions For Saturday, it is with great pleasure that we publish his 10 favourite Roy Keane moments throughout his illustrious and sometimes controversial career! There will be plenty more to come from John, as the hiatus continues, so check back regularly.
Probably most won’t consider Roy as an import but coming over to Nottingham Forest from Cork in the Republic of Ireland, is no different to the likes of Eric Cantona or Thierry Henry coming over to Manchester United or Arsenal from France.
Roy was in the inaugural Premier League’s PFA Team of the Year.
A lot may think ‘yeah, Roy was in a few teams of the year’
What sets Roy’s achievement apart from the rest in that initial 1992/93 campaign is, Roy wasn’t playing at Old Trafford along with the other Manchester United title winners, Roy was still at Nottingham Forest, playing in a Brian Clough team that were relegated from the Top Flight.
His performances in the 1992/93 first season were outstanding, yet couldn’t prevent his side from being relegated which hurt the Irishman immensely.
Having a relegation clause in place, it initially looked like Roy would be heading to Blackburn Rovers, who despite the club’s current plight, were big hitters in the early years of the Premier League having the money of a local businessman called Jack Walker.
A year later than when the then Blackburn manager, Kenny Dalglish signed Alan Shearer from under the nose of Alex Ferguson, Fergie got his own back by high-jacking Blackburn’s proposed move for Keano and signed Roy from under the nose of Kenny Dalglish.
Manchester United has just become Premier League champions and Roy was going to rival Paul Ince and Bryan Robson for a midfield birth.
Probably Sir Alex just had to see Roy’s first training session at United to say,
‘Roy’s playing on Saturday!’
Bryan Robson was coming to the end of his career so to have Roy as an immediate replacement was ideal for everyone connected with Manchester United.
Having been unable to prevent the relegation at Forest, where to be fair to Roy, there were a lot of mitigating circumstances to that scenario, such as selling Teddy Sheringham after just 3-games of the campaign and the obvious way that age had taken its toll on Brian Clough.
Brian wasn’t averse to giving Keano the occasional punch on the nose if Roy misbehaved.
Roy Keane ingratiated the United faithful early in his career by scoring the winning goal in the Manchester Derby against City, when Big Keano got on the end of a Denis Irwin cross to score the 3rd goal in a great comeback by United who were 2-0 down against their Noisy Neighbours and following Eric Cantona’s double, Keano became an instant legend for the Red Devil’s.
Roy won the League and Cup Double in his first season at Old Trafford starring in the Final against Chelsea where Eric Cantona and the Red Devil’s got a great 4-0 victory.
This EveryTip contributor was at Wembley that day.
2. Nottingham Forest
As mentioned earlier, Roy started his Premier League career at the City Ground, having been brought into the club by the legendary manager Brian Clough.
The young Irishman came across the Irish sea in 1990, as a 19-year old.
As with a lot of youngsters, the height of the said player seemed to be more of a deciding factor than the actual footballing skills the individual had.
Over the years, a lot of youngsters careers were curtailed due to height and not the fact the boy could play.
Thankfully, it appears nowadays that this as been taken out of the equation.
Roy was no different and his lack of height stopped him from progressing initially.
Nottingham Forest took a chance on Keano and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
In the Forest team for Roy’s debut against Liverpool in 1991 were Mark Crossley, Stuart Pearce and Scott Gemmil, along with Mr Clough’s son Nigel.
Mark Crossley is a Barnsley lad but never actually played for the Reds.
An exceptional Barnsley FC player of the late 1980s was a kid by the name of David Currie.
Currie was a great player and scored countless goals for the Oakwell club.
His talent and goal-scoring feats brought him to the attention of Nottingham Forest, who at the time were a Top Flight outfit in the old First Division.
It’s debatable whether Brian Clough actually watched David playing for Barnsley or just had him recommended due to the fine displays put in by Currie.
Either way, it took a while for David to find his way into the Forest starting eleven.
Stuart Pearce tells a great story about young David’s time at the City Ground.
After one particular game in a rare Forest Shirt, Brian went and sat at the side of David and enquires,
‘Hi son, have you bought a house yet in Nottingham?’
‘No gaffer, not yet’
To which Cloughie simply replied,
‘Don’t bother son, you won’t be staying long’
On another occasion, after Mark Crossley had let a goal or two in, Mr Clough picked the ‘keeper up and hung him on the dressing room peg.
After initially punching Roy Keane on the nose after a back pass to Crossley from the half-way line, remember, at the time a player could do that prior to 1992, Roy became a huge favourite of Brian’s with the Forest gaffer often telling Keano that he ‘loved him’.
After one game where the Forest players hadn’t performed well, Brian went around every one of them and slated the individual performance.
Noticeably saying to Mark Crossley,
‘Go back to Barnsley and play for them, you’d easily get in that rubbish team’
When it came to Roy, Clough simply said,
‘I love you Irishman’.
Scot Gemmill, who is the son of the legendary Scottish International, Archie Gemmill, recounts that in the changing rooms after games, Brian Clough would often be on his hands and knees, undoing Roy’s laces and kissing his feet.
A quick side note is that Scott’s dad Archie also played under Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest and previously at Derby County again under Mr Clough.
Archie won the European Cup with Forest in 1979, as an unused substitute.
A year earlier, Archie scored one of the best individual goals at a World Cup Finals, when his Scotland team beat Holland 3-2 in the Group game at Argentina’78.
The goal is often shown on football programmes over 40-years later and is referenced in the great 1996 film, Trainspotting.
A truly Born Slippy moment.
To play under Brian Clough must be the pinnacle of many footballers careers and Roy Keane hails the great man as the best manager Roy played under throughout his career, which is an outstanding statement to make considering, Roy’s next gaffer was Sir Alex Ferguson.
At the time, Manchester United paid Nottingham Forest a British Transfer Record fed of £3.75 Million.
Not bad for a little fella.
3. Mick McCarthy
In life, scenarios are thrown up that no one really has control over.
Roy Keane, following his brilliant playing career, was appointed manager of Sunderland in 2006, who were languishing at the bottom end of the Championship.
The Black Cats had just returned to the Championship following relegation and were under the guidance of Roy’s former international team-mate Niall Quinn.
Niall had decided to give management ago as well as being co-owner of Sunderland following the sacking of Mick McCarthy the previous season.
However, the new campaign in the Championship had not got off to a great start so Quinnie brought Roy in early doors.
Back in 2002, just short of Roy’s 30th-Birthday, the Republic of Ireland, under Mick McCarthy, reached the World Cup finals in Japan and South Korea.
Following a qualifying campaign that included games against Portugal, Holland and Cyprus, Mick’s Men surprisingly finished runners-up in the Group, eliminating the Netherlands and faced a 2-legged Play-Off against Iran to get the chance to go to Japan and South Korea.
In Tehran, The Greens suffered a 1-0 defeat but fortunately, 4-days earlier, the Republic of Ireland beat Iran by a 2-0 scoreline thus qualified for the World Cup.
Significantly, Roy Keane, who was the Irish Captain, didn’t play in the game in Iran but was pivotal in the victory at Lansdowne Rd.
Roy played 10-out of the 12, qualifiers and was the joint leading scorer with 4-goals.
Keano was at the peak of his career and a true World Class footballer on the scale of France’s Zinedine Zidane and Portugal’s Figo, as well as rivalling any of the players in the England, German, Italy or Brazil squads and literally the World Cup in Japan and South Korea should have been Roy Keane’s stage.
Mick McCarthy played international football for the Republic of Ireland and then followed the great Jack Charlton as the manager of the international team.
Although Mick played in the Green shirt, unlike Jack, who was a World Cup winner in 1966, with England.
Similar to Jack previously, Mick wasn’t born in Ireland and was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
Whilst Jack had given Roy Keane his debut for the National team and wasn’t in any way Irish, this didn’t seem to affect Roy too much.
However, Mick McCarthy’s non-nationalism seemed to be the catalyst to the now legendary incident in Saipan prior to the start of the World Cup in 2002.
Without being on the inside, it’s difficult to know exactly what happened but one of the main reasons, is, Roy is a winner.
Roy believed that his Republic of Ireland team should go to Japan and South Korea with the intention of not just taking part but to win the World Cup and as of his tremendous self-belief, thought that they could.
In Roy’s opinion, he thought that the FAI, the Irish Football Association, were just going on a jolly-boys outing to the Land of the Rising Sun and the preparation wasn’t professional enough.
Roy Keane played at Manchester United under the greatest manager ever, to go to a World Cup is a dream for any player, however, Roy Keane is not just any player, Keano had reservations about the Irish set-up and vented his views to a newspaper prior to the start of the tournament.
Mick McCarthy decided to question Roy on the interview, which resulted in a verbal attack by Keane on Macca.
The words Keano used were very Anglo Saxon, which is ironic really.
Without detailing the transcript, it’s fair to say that Roy didn’t rate Mick, either as a player or manager and used a few industrial narratives in his verbal abuse against the Yorkshire man.
There weren’t any fisticuffs, just words and although Roy was a fierce competitor, if punches had been thrown, it would have been a fair fight that Eddie Hearn could have got involved in and put on Sky Box Office.
Mick is a tough old Barnsley lad who would not have backed down against the Cork boy.
It was decided that in the best interest of the Irish squad and team harmony that Roy should leave the group and return to Manchester.
The following week was basically just spent watching Roy walk his beautiful dog.
Well, it got him out of the house.
The Republic of Ireland, without Roy, drew 2 and won the final group game in Japan and South Korea, meaning qualifying for the Last-16.
One of the drawn-games was 1-1 against Germany, who reached the final of the tournament.
In the Last-16, Mick’s Boys took on Spain and after another 1-1 draw, lost the penalty-shootout resulting in
the Greens returning home.
No defeats in the 4-games only the shootout loss, imagine those 4-games with a certain Roy Keane in the midfield.
Maybe Roy was right and the Republic of Ireland could have gone far in the tournament.
The camp was split on the incident between Mick and Roy, with a number of players sticking up for Roy but more importantly a number of higher-profile players backing Mick.
The FAI did conduct an independent study after the team returned and a number of issues raised by Roy in the initial newspaper interview were backed up by the inquiry.
The real losers in the Saipan scandal were the football fans, not only the Irish but the footballing faithful that were denied a chance to see a World Class player, compete on the World Stage.
The eventual winners, Brazil, with the 4-Rs, the original Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos, defeating Germany by a 2-0 scoreline in the final.
Imagine if Roy Keane had been in the team that played Germany earlier on in the tournament, the Republic of Ireland could quite easily have beaten the Germans, progressed through to the Last-16 as Group winners and taken on Paraguay instead of Spain.
After Paraguay, Roy Keane, now up to full pace and his Ireland team, take on the USA in the Quarter-Finals, then, after easily beating the Yanks, take on South Korea in the Semi-Final of the World Cup.
The 4-Rs would still have reached the final in their side of the draw, with Ronaldinho still scoring that goal against England.
David Seaman !!
Maybe Roy Keane wasn’t wrong to think big, maybe if the Irish FA had backed the team more and not thought they were Del Boy, Rodney and the rest off to Margate, maybe if Mick and the rest had just believed in Roy more and maybe, if Roy himself, had just backed down from his verbal attack on Macca, stayed in Asia and not gone Dog walking, the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea could have had a different outcome.
If buts and Keano!
Whilst they would never be the best of friends, Roy did praise Mick for the tremendous work Mick had done at Sunderland, prior to Roy taking over. Later Roy and Mick shook hands prior to a game between Wolves and Sunderland which probably is a mark on the professionalism of both men.
4. Patrick v Roy
There’s a famous clip from Sky Sports that sees Roy Keane going head to head with Patrick Vieira at Highbury.
The great thing about the clip is the incident didn’t take place on the hallowed turf but in the tunnel before the two had gone out to start kicking lumps out of each other.
In any sporting confrontation, it’s imperative to try and get an upper hand on the opponent.
In the tunnel at Highbury in February 2005, Patrick Vieira, the then Captain of the Gunners, firstly starts on Gary Neville trying to intimidate the United Right-Back.
Dennis Bergkamp then whispers something in Big Pat’s ear to stoke the fire of the midfielder.
Roy obviously hears this and sees it as bullying little Gary so tries to get at Patrick shouting ‘wait until we get out there’ pointing to the pitch,
‘We’ll see out there’
The referee, Graham Poll, tries to calm Roy down but whilst there is restrain in the tunnel, Roy gets the advantage on the pitch.
What’s probably forgotten about that game after Keane v Vieira-gate was that Manchester United actually beat Arsenal by a 4-2 scoreline.
Patrick initially thought he’d got the better of Roy by scoring the opener for the Gunners.
Ashley Cole then turned past his own ‘keeper to gift United an equaliser.
Bergkamp scored just before the break to give Arsenal a half-time lead.
Obviously, Fergie and Keano got into the boys in the dressing room as the Red Devil’s came out and scored 3-2nd-half goals with Cristiano Ronaldo getting a couple and John O’Shea to give United the famous victory and a vital 3-points.
That victory for Manchester United meant that Sir Alex and Roy had got the double over Arsene and Patrick with United also beating Arsenal at Old Trafford earlier in the season.
What was significant in the victory at Old Trafford was that the win ended the unbeaten 49-games that Arsenal were on following the previous season’s invincible run.
A question to ask also was,
‘Which one of the great midfield Captains and legends got their hands on the Premier League title at the end of the campaign?
Well actually, the answer to that is,
‘neither of them’
Both Arsenal and Manchester United finished behind Chelsea who had brought in the Special One to take the title away from Sir Alex and Arsene.
Arsenal were runners-up with United finishing 3rd, so Patrick Vieira will feel he got the better of Roy Keane that year, however, in the head-to-head between the 2-greats, Roy’s a victory in front of the Frenchman.
Having played against each other 12-times, Roy is 4-3 up in wins, with 5-draws in the matches, Roy scoring 3-goals and Patrick just the one in the 12-Premier League games.
In total, Roy has 7-Premier League titles and 4-FA Cups under his belt, also in his cabinet (probably at the back) is an FA Cup losing medal from the 1991 final for Nottingham Forest against Tottenham and a couple of loser’s medals with United, 1-against Everton in 1995 and 1-against Patrick’s Arsenal 10-years later in 2005, it’s probably not advisable to ask Keano for a look at those particular pieces.
The 2005 final saw the game finish 0-0 after extra-time, with United being the better team.
Both Patrick and Roy scored the 5th of the 5-penalties taken, however, Roy’s mate Paul Scholes has missed his, so Patrick’s conversion turned out to be the winner and gave the Gunners the Cup.
Roy wasn’t happy.
Both players, despite the altercations between them, had tremendous respect for each other.
After Forest were relegated and Roy signed for the new Premier League champions, it gave the Irishman the chance to play in Europe’s top competition.
Back in 1993, the Champions League wasn’t in the same format of today and was still as a knockout competition.
Having beaten Hungarian side, Honved in United’s first European Cup tie in 25-years, by a 3-2 scoreline, with Keano getting 2 of the 3-goals, United completed the victory at Old Trafford a fortnight later, beating Honved 2-1, ultimately going through in the tie with a 5-3 aggregate.
In the next round, Manchester United were drawn against the Turkish side, Galatasaray, with the 1st-leg taking place at Old Trafford.
The United faithful were confident that their beloved Red Devil’s could easily beat a team from Turkey, however, maybe that complacency had filtered down into the United dressing room.
Sir Alex’s men were sitting comfortably at the top of the Premier League table but conceded 3-vital away goals against the Turkish Champions at Old Trafford.
United did score 3, resulting in a 1st-leg scoreline of 3-3.
A fortnight later, in Istanbul, United had to at win or at least match the 3-3 scoreline from the 1st-leg.
Galatasaray’s stadium in Istanbul is one of the most feared grounds in the world, with the Turkish fans arriving usually 6-hours before kick-off, stoking up the atmosphere to fever pitch before the players come out.
It’s fair to say that the fans, did their job that night, with the intimidation seemingly affecting, not only the United players but the officials as well.
Roy Keane and the rest, couldn’t break down a resilient Galatasaray defence and failed to score, meaning United were eliminated from the European Cup by way of the 3-away goals conceded at Old Trafford.
That doesn’t really tell all of the story.
With the Turkish team knowing that if they didn’t let a goal in, there was a lot of time-wasting and play-acting, more so as the game went into the final phase.
With time running out, Eric Cantona ran towards the Turkish bench who wouldn’t give the ball back, on returning the ball to the opposition players, there was a lot of pushing and shoving and somehow the referee, inexplicably showed Eric a Red Card, the volatile Frenchman was not happy.
When the final whistle blew, chaos erupted, with police, players, staff and fans all trying to start or avoid a riot.
In the melee, Eric was hit by a policeman’s truncheon and knocked to the floor.
Bryan Robson was caught too and threw a punch or two.
Roy recalls that in the dressing room afterwards, Eric Cantona wanted to go and find the policeman and exact revenge, implying that the copper was a ‘weak man’.
Luckily for the Turkish Policeman, Eric and the Manchester United players were not allowed out of the dressing room as a safety measure.
Although Manchester United were dominant in the Premier League and competed in Europe many times, Sir Alex could only manage 2- Champions League titles, this is the magnitude of the competition, with Roy’s appearances in the European Cup and Champions League peaking in 1999.
6. Alf-Inge Haarland
Before this current situation stopped all football, there was a youngster on a goal-scoring spree in the German Bundesliga as well as breaking records in the Champions League.
Erling Braut Haarland, who turns 20 this July, is currently the hot property of football, with a host of clubs in pursuit.
Starting his career at Molde, under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, it was assumed that the young Norwegian, born in the Norwegian region of Leeds, West Yorkshire, would join Ole at Old Trafford.
Not so, after leaving Molde, the youth joined Red Bull Salzburg in January 2019 but only stayed in Austria for 12-months before leaving for Germany this January 2020 and took up residence at Borussia Dortmund.
It’s still not a certainty that Erling will last the term of his 4 and a bit year contract at Dortmund as the Premier League beckons, however, although a favourite of Ole’s, Manchester United might not be the place for young EB as history may decide that the Red side of Manchester is off-limits.
The reason Erling was born in Leeds, England and was eligible to play for the Three Lions but chose Norway, is because Erling’s father is Alf-Inge Haarland.
Alf-Inge was a Leeds United player, living in the West Yorkshire city, at the time of young Erling’s birth.
Back in September 1997, Manchester United took on Leeds at Elland Rd.
Haarland v Keane is up there with the legendary Ali v Frazier fights or Riddick Bowe v Evander Holyfield.
Late in the game, Roy Keane went running into the Leeds penalty area to try and get control of the ball.
In an innocuous coming together with Harland, Roy fell awkwardly and subsequently damaged his cruciate knee ligament which ruled Roy out of the entire 1997/98 campaign, resulting in United relinquishing the Premier League crown to Arsenal.
At the time, Fergie had made all 3-substitutes, so Roy attempted to finish the game.
It’s rumoured that Roy was a bit hungover that day from a bender he’d been on and possibly shouldn’t have played, yet to say to Sir Alex that he couldn’t play because of alcohol, probably wasn’t the best choice.
When the challenge occurred, Alf-Inge, who ironically, was signed by Nottingham Forest in 1993, as a direct replacement for Roy, when Keane left to go to Old Trafford, taunted Keano, who was lying prone in the box, wrongly assuming Roy was feigning injury to gain a penalty.
Another Leeds United defender, playing at the time, David Wetherall joined Alf in condemning Keane whilst lying on the floor.
It’s fair to say that Roy Keane was not happy with the Norwegian.
Alf-Inge Haaland wasn’t the best midfielder in the Premier League, more of a spoiler than a sportsman.
In a recent interview, Roy’s Sky Sports fellow pundit, Graham Souness, stated that Erling’s mother must have been a good footballer because EB didn’t get his talent from his plodder father.
Maybe a bit harsh on Alf but Roy was plotting against the plodder.
Between September 1997 and April 2001, Roy Keane and Alf-Inge had come up against each other a couple of times, yet it took until the 86th-minute of the Manchester Derby at Old Trafford in April 2001, for Roy to exact revenge.
Alf-Inge had left Leeds United and was now at the Noisy Neighbours.
With the ball there to be won near the far touchline, Roy went for Alf, completely missing the ball and taking out Alf’s knee.
At the moment of impact, luckily, Haarland’s leg was off the ground as the injury could have been a lot worse.
The referee had no option to produce a Red Card, which Roy accepted without any real protest.
On leaving the pitch, Roy Keane stood over Alf-Inge Haarland and without using the expletives, said
‘Don’t ever stand over me again sneering about fake injuries and tell your pal Wetherall, there’s some for him as well’
Roy was initially fined £5,000 for the foul and got a 3-game ban, however, in a subsequent autobiography by Keane, Roy admitted that the foul was intentional, as retribution for Alf-Inge’s exploits 4-years earlier at Elland Rd.
For this, Keano received a further £150,000 fine and an extra 5-game ban.
The FA found that as well as the foul being intentional, the subsequent inclusion in the autobiography was to gain financial reward, which was a no-no in the eyes of the Football Association.
What’s maybe a myth in the game is that it’s widely perceived that Roy ended Alf’s career with the challenge, which may or may not be the case but Alf-Inge did carry on for the remainder of the game at Old Trafford, albeit 4-minutes, then played for Norway in the following midweek.
The weekend after the infamous incident, Alf-Inge Haarland played almost 70-minutes against his former club Leeds United.
At the end of that campaign, Alf had knee surgery, however, not on the right-knee that Roy had hit but the left one.
Alf-Inge retired in 2003 due to injury and has stated that he never played a full game again after the Keano challenge, yet did publicly state that he didn’t blame Roy for the fact that his career ended aged 31 but does say that it was his last full game in England which the challenge may have something to do with.
If Graham Souness is anywhere near the mark, the reason Alf-Inge never played a full game again was simply that is performances weren’t good enough.
The feud between Alfe and Roy is now legendary and maybe a reason Manchester United may never be able to persuade Erling Braut to join them, an allegation disputed by Alf.
Whatever the situation between Roy and Alf, the United faithful would love to see the young Yorkshire-wegian’s exciting talent on the hallowed Old Trafford turf.
7. Real Madrid v Celtic
Whilst an appealing fixture between the 2-greats of European football, Real winning the top trophy 13-times and Celtic being the 1st-British club to win the coveted trophy, Roy Keane, at the end of his Manchester United career, had the opportunity to join the Madrid giants but chose Celtic instead.
After just over 12-years at Old Trafford, Keano’s time in Manchester was coming to an end and the then Real Madrid Director of Football, Emilio Butragueno wanted Roy and felt that Keane’s experience and tenacity would fit straight into the Los Blancos outfit.
In the Madrid side at the time were Zinedine Zidane, Raul, the original Ronaldo and Roy’s mate David Beckham.
The Galacticos and Roy Keane!
Emilio wanted Roy and was prepared to offer the Irishman a year and a half’s contract.
Roy’s contract was up at the end of the 2005/06 season but at the start of the campaign, Keano seemed to be falling out with everyone in his vicinity.
After poor displays, the Red Devil’s captain would publicly criticise his fellow teammates and had differences with the United Assistant Manager, Carlos Queiroz.
Earlier in his time at Old Trafford, Roy had criticised the faithful saying that the Away supporters of United were the true fans but a section of the crowd at home couldn’t even spell ‘football’ and coined the phrase ‘Prawn sandwich brigade’
Which basically meant that people would attend football matches just to have a good drink in the hospitality and the odd prawn sandwich.
The final straw came in November 2005, when Roy went on Manchester United’s own television channel and criticised players such as Darren Fletcher, Alan Smith and even Edwin Van Der Sar.
Sir Alex confronted Roy and both engaged in an argument that resulted in Roy’s contract at Old Trafford being terminated.
After Eric Cantona retired one 1997, Roy Keane became the Manchester United Captain and lead the team to numerous honours over the following 8-years.
It’s fair to say that Sir Alex and Roy now don’t see eye-to-eye and Roy often criticises the legendary manager.
Sir Alex Ferguson had likened Roy Keane to Peter Pan in the fact that Keano didn’t want to grow older.
Where Roy responds saying that Sir Alex isn’t necessary the inspirational manager that he’s thought.
Unfortunately, these 2-statements are just statements without foundation as everyone knows Sir Alex Ferguson has inspired so many throughout his life in football, whereas growing older, whilst is sometimes hard to deal with, is a fact of life and Roy handled it in the way he felt.
In the 1980s and 90s, not only football but society behaved differently.
Two of Roy’s managers, Brian Clough and Sir Alex were the most fierce-some individuals in football in their prime, that Roy Keane had experienced.
Experienced and learnt from, so whether Roy has lost a little respect for Sir Alex, it’s clear to see that he has picked up some of Cloughie’s and Fergie’s traits.
Unfortunately, society evolves and the mid-noughties were different times from the late 80s, so Roy’s ways of criticism weren’t acceptable to most people.
Old Trafford saw the departure of a legend in November 2005, where Roy decided that Real Madrid wasn’t for him and Celtic was the best place to be.
Rod Stewart was happy.
He’s Celtic, United!
8. David Elleray
Roy has the unfortunate distinction of being sent off not once, not twice, not 3-times but an amazing 4-times by Mr Elleray.
The 1st-occurrence took place against Crystal Palace back in April-1995 following a stamping on the current England manager Gareth Southgate.
Whilst stamping on anyone isn’t condoned, if the incident is seen again, Gareth’s initial challenge on Roy was a bit naughty and human nature took over for Roy, who dished out his own style of justice.
David showed the Red to Roy, who didn’t argue too much and went for his bath.
Probably the 2nd-Red David produced to Roy was the strangest as, although Keano was a fierce competitor, who didn’t shirk a 50-50 challenge or even a 20-80 against him, Roy was actually sent off for diving.
In August-1995, against Blackburn, Roy, already having a Yellow Card against his name, ran into the box and dived following a challenge made by Colin Hendry.
Mr Elleray had no choice to book Keane and ultimately show the Red Card.
Another early bath for Roy, who’s rumoured to have used the 10-metre board to enter.
Roy got back down to business in April-1999, in the FA Cup Semi-Final at Villa Park, when he scathed down Arsenal’s Mark Overmars.
Again, whilst on a Yellow, Mr Elleray had no choice to issue a 2nd and another Red Card for Roy.
The final sending off administered by David Elleray on Keano was in the game against Man City when Roy got retribution on Alf-Inge Haarland and received a straight Red in April-2004.
The 1st-thing to take from all of those Red Cards is Roy shouldn’t have played in April or in a month beginning with the letter-A.
In total Roy was sent off 12-times for club and country and most were naughty challenges.
A couple of the dismissals were given for elbowing his fellow Republic of Ireland teammate, Jason McAteer.
After an incident where Roy had caught McAteer, Jason cheekily started pretending to write a book, which was an attempt to ridicule Keane for his autobiography where the Alf-Inge Haarland incident was referenced.
Eleven of the Red Cards were for naughty challenges, stampings or the use of an elbow, which Roy has become synonymous with.
The 12th-received was due to inspiring Tom Daley.
Roy has had his moments with not only the opposition players but his own teammates and it can be assumed that he doesn’t regularly go for a pint with many of them nowadays.
As a pundit on Sky Sports, it’s obvious to see that, whilst Roy and Gary Neville may not be the best of buddies, the pair have tremendous respect for each other and both know that they gave their all in the Manchester United shirt.
Over the trophy-laden years, Roy has played with some great players, to name them all would be too time-consuming.
However, a few can be given print time.
At Nottingham Forest, Roy played with Mark Crossley, Stuart Pearce, Carl Tiler, Steve Chettle, Des Walker, Nigel Clough and Teddy Sheringham.
Remember that Roy was in the inaugural Premier League Team of the Season along with Peter Schmeichel, Gary Pallister, Paul Ince and Ryan Giggs though are the time, these were not his teammates at Manchester United.
Roy was playing for Nottingham Forest and despite being relegated, Roy’s performances warranted him a place in the team of the year.
On his arrival at Old Trafford, Roy joined his fellow Premier League team of the season colleagues, as well as Steve Bruce, Paul Parker, Denis Irwin, Andre Kanchelskis, Bryan Robson and Mark Hughes, becoming League and Cup Double Winners in his 1st-season.
Oh, Roy Keane also joined forces with a certain Eric Cantona.
Lee Sharpe was in the squad along with the current United Assistant Manager Mike Phelan.
After the infamous Galatasaray game in the European Cup the first season Roy started at United, the Red Devil’s were again drawn against the Turkish side the following year, however, in a rebranding of the top European competition, this was now the UEFA Champions League that is in existence today, so although United had to play again in Istanbul, it wasn’t a 2-legged affair but 2-games in a league set-up.
United again drew 0-0 in Turkey but beat Galatasaray by a 4-0 scoreline in the home-tie, a couple of months later.
As well as the Great Dane, Mark Bosnich, Raimond Van De Gouw, Fabian Barthez, Roy Carroll, and Edwin Van Der Sar are amongst the goalkeepers who have felt Roy’s wrath at the conceding of a goal.
Luckily for Massimo Taibi, Roy wasn’t playing when the Italian let in a soft Matt Le Tissier shot in September 1999.
The Class of ‘92, Gary Neville, David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt were being introduced into the Manchester United 1st-team.
A year later, Andy Cole joined Roy at Old Trafford.
Cole the goal simply enhanced Manchester United taking over from Mark Hughes.
Roy remembers William Prunier fondly.
At the beginning of the 1997 Premier League season, Andy Cole’s best mate, Teddy Sheringham was in a United shirt replacing, if it was possible, Eric Cantona who had retired.
Jaap Stam, Ronnie Johnsen and Laurent Blanc all sat with Roy in the United dressing room.
Even the Barcelona legend, Gerard Pique crossed paths with Roy on the training ground, although never played in the same team.
In the latter years of Roy’s career at Old Trafford, Rio Ferdinand came along, as did Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, although Kleberson and Eric Djemba Djemba (so good they named him twice) may not get a Christmas card from Roy each year.
With Roy often dismissing players, whether teammates or modern-day talent, it’s a surprise when Roy Keane dishes out compliments.
Most assume that Keano would think that Cristiano Ronaldo was a bit flash but actually Roy has nothing but praise for CR7.
Roy instantly liked the youngster on his arrival at Old Trafford as not only, Cristiano had the skills to pay the bills, he matched that with hard work and desire, which is what Roy demands.
The fact that CR7 was a bit of a ladies man with the looks and physique didn’t put Roy off either.
Keane would just think,
‘Good on ya kid’
Whereas when some of the others were in front of the mirror, Roy would simply think,
Roy was similar with Ryan Giggs who it would again be assumed that the Welshman would infuriate the Irishman, not so, when the two are together, it’s evident that they are mates and have tremendous respect for each other.
At the 2016 Euro Championships in France, where both were pundits, prior to the final, a swarm of moths entered the stadium, Roy quipped that he thought Ryan had opened his wallet, the two then shared a story of when Roy borrowed Ryan’s Golf GTi for a couple of days and kept it for 6-months.
Roy said he did return it with a full tank of juice.
Keano’s Republic of Ireland teammates included Packy Bonner, Steve Staunton, Kevin Sheedy, Ray Houghton, Andy Townsend, John Aldridge, Tony Cascarino, Niall Quinn and Jason McAteer, as well as in his latter days, Shay Given, Matt Holland, Damian Duff, Kevin Kilbane, Robbie Keane and Clinton Morrison.
Roy is Irish through and through, however, that cannot be said about a lot of his colleagues.
When Roy had his famous rant at Mick McCarthy, the vitriolic nationalist abuse against Mick left a few of his teammates cringing as they weren’t that Irish either.
Clinton Morrison had never set foot on the Emerald Isle and Matt Holland once sang God Save the Queen at Wembley wearing an Ipswich shirt in the 2000 Play-Off Final against Barnsley FC.
Roy wasn’t happy with Matty.
Roy actually had respect for Clinton and the two got on.
Clinton recalls the Saipan incident when Roy and Mick nearly came to blows with Clinton admitting that Mick could have handled the situation differently.
Probably the funniest of the teammate’s stories is whilst playing in the 1994 World Cup in America, in a game against Norway, the Republic of Ireland lined up before the game.
Jason McAteer recounts the story that he always liked to stand in between his heroes.
So as the team are lining up for the National Anthems, Jason, in between John Aldridge and Roy Keane was suddenly given a message to pass on to Roy.
The Ireland captain, Andy Townsend started the message and passed it onto Packy Bonner, to pass down the line, each player turned to their left and gave the instruction to the next, Jason standing there, was waiting for the message to pass onto Roy, Jason thinking it would be something inspirational passed on from Captain Andy and not being the brightest button in the box, thought,
‘Just listen and pass the instruction onto Roy’
John Aldridge turns to McAteer and says,
‘Row F, Bird with the Viking hat, look at the size of those-pass it on!’
Jason looks over and thinks,
Then realises he has to pass the message onto Roy.
He turns back to Aldo and says,
‘It’s Roy, I can’t pass it on’
Aldridge informs McAteer that he as to pass the message on.
Jason takes a deep breath and turns to Roy and says,
‘Keep it tight Roy! Don’t give the ball away’
No wonder Jason got a couple of elbows from Roy later on, maybe Roy was miffed that he didn’t get the chance to see the girl in the Viking hat.
Roy Keane’s all-time one-to-eleven-teammates.
In 1999, Manchester United did what no other team has done in the history of the Premier League and completed a historic Treble by winning the Premier League, FA Cup and European Champions League in the same season.
Roy Keane enjoyed mixed fortunes in that season, having peaks and troughs throughout the term and in some cases, throughout 90-minutes.
Now aged 27, at the start of the 1998/99 season, Keano was entering the prime of his career and was considered as a truly World Class player.
The 2002 Saipan incident was along way off and the World Cup in France’98 took part without the inclusion of the Republic of Ireland who had failed to qualify.
Mick McCarthy was in charge of his first World Cup qualifying campaign for France’98 but could only call on the services of Roy for 7 out of the 12-games, most significantly, Keano didn’t play in the 2-legged Play-off against Belgium which the Republic were beaten 3-2 on aggregate.
At the World Cup in USA’94, the then Republic of Ireland manager, Jack Charlton, picked Roy Keane for every one of the 3-Group games, which Ireland Won-1, Drew-1 and Lost-1, however, the 4-points gained, were enough to send them through to the knockout stage and were drawn against Holland.
The victory surprisingly was against Italy in the Republic’s opener.
For the younger readers, none of England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland qualified for the 1994 World Cup in America.
Thanks, Ronald Koeman!
In the Last-16, Ronald’s Holland knocked out the Republic of Ireland, defeating the Greens 2-0.
As with the previous tournament in Italy’90, the 1994 World Cup in the USA, had 6-Groups of 4-Teams, 24-in total, with the Top-2 from each Group qualifying for the knockout stages.
The best-4, 3rd-placed teams were also added to the Last-16.
The surprise in this was that Italy, beaten by the Republic of Ireland in the opening Group game, finished 3rd, in the Group, yet qualified as a best-4, 3rd-place team and subsequently went onto the final, eventually losing on penalties against Brazil at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
In 1998, FIFA changed the format of the finals, allowing 8-more teams to head to France, giving 8-Groups of 4, with the Top-2 qualifying for the Last-16.
Roy Keane played every second of the 1994-World Cup, yet sadly, due to circumstances both beyond and in his control never played at another World Cup, which for a player of Roy’s ability is simply a travesty.
In the 1998/99 Premier League campaign, Roy played 35-games including the vital final fixture against Tottenham.
Prior to the final Game Day, Manchester United had 76-Points, 1-more than Arsenal, who were trying to retain their title, won the previous season.
Arsenal were at home against Aston Villa, whilst Manchester United were at Old Trafford against Tottenham.
In the penultimate game of the campaign, Arsenal lost against Leeds United by a 1-0 scoreline.
Given that loss, it was now back in Manchester United’s hands, as if Arsenal had beaten Leeds, the subsequent final day results would have meant Arsenal were the Premier League champions.
The Red Devil’s now had to beat Tottenham on the final day, to win the title.
With Arsenal beating Aston Villa, that gave the Gunners 78-points, hoping that their North London rivals could help them out.
United were actually losing at one point against Spurs but goals from David Beckham and Andy Cole, secured a 2-1 victory to clinch the title.
Trophy Number-1 in the bag for Manchester United and Roy Keane.
This EveryTip contributor was sat on a Jamaican beach at the time Andy Cole was scoring the winner.
In April 1999, at Villa Park, Manchester United took on Arsenal in the Semi-Final of the FA Cup, in what’s probably one of the best Semi-Finals ever.
After taking the lead through David Beckham in the 1st-half, Dennis Bergkamp equalised after the break.
Roy took exception to this and within 5-minutes of the goal, picked up his 2nd-Yellow Card, after hacking down Marc Overmars and ultimately an early bath, leaving United to play the remaining period with just 10-players. Keane-less.
In the final minute of the game, Phil Neville, in a precursor to the game against Portugal at Euro’2000, brought down Ray Parlour in the area to gift Arsenal a penalty and the chance to go to the FA Cup final.
Fortunately for Phil, Roy and whoever else was a Manchester United fan, Dennis Bergkamp had his spot-kick saved by Peter Schmeichel.
In the extra-time that ensued, Ryan Giggs scored that goal, where he picked up the ball on the half-way line from a Patrick Vieira misplaced pass and took on the entire Arsenal team, plus substitutes and coaching staff and scored past David Seaman to send Manchester United into the FA Cup final against Newcastle.
A week after the victory against Tottenham to secure the Premier League title, Manchester United comfortably beat Newcastle by a 2-0 scoreline to lift the 1999 FA Cup.
Trophy Number-2 in the bag for Manchester United and Roy Keane. Seven days after United beat Arsenal in that brilliant game at Villa Park, Roy Keane and the Red Devil’s took on Juventus in the 2nd-leg of the European Champions League Semi-Final.
After the 1st-leg tie at Old Trafford had finished 1-1, with Juve getting a vital away goal, United had the uphill task of going to the Stadio Delle Alpi, to at least score a goal.
Unfortunately for the Red Devil’s, Juventus not only scored early but the Old Lady, were 2-0 up after just 10-minutes, leaving United needing to score twice.
The plus point for Manchester United was that they knew that they only had to now draw this game as their 2-away goals if achieved would put them through.
Captain Roy, pulled a goal back for United, with a brilliant header, to give them hope.
Unfortunately for Roy, he then received a Yellow Card, ruling him out of the final, if United got there.
Nine years earlier, in the same Delle Alpi Stadium, Paul Gascoigne received a Yellow Card against Germany that would have ruled Gazza out of the World Cup final if England had got there.
In a challenge not dissimilar to Gazza’s, Keano lunged in on Zinedine Zidane and received the fateful card.
In 1990, Gazza fell to pieces.
In 1999, Roy Keane gave the performance of his career to inspire his team, who he was Captain of, to defeat Juventus 3-2 on the night and 4-3 on aggregate, scoring not only the 1st but number-2 and setting up Andy Cole for the winner.
A truly magnificent performance from a legend who knew that he was going to miss the most important game of his life.
Manchester United beat Bayern Munich by a 2-1 scoreline, at the Nou Camp, in the final of the 1999 European Champions League.
Trophy Number-3 in the bag for Manchester United.
Despite not playing in the final, Roy Keane, in spirit, is a Champions League winner and a winner of Champions.
Roy Keane is like marmite, folk either love him or hate him but despite everything over his career, one thing that is undisputed is that Roy is a winner and should be afforded the utmost respect by not only the Nottingham Forest, Manchester United, Celtic and Republic of Ireland faithful but by all football fans throughout the world.
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