|Ferguson & Keane's Friendship Is Over|
The only person to blame for Keane's departure from Old Trafford, is himself. Keane was told to try and remain positive when giving his thoughts on a match United had been well beaten in, what did Keane do? The complete opposite, he was ruthless in his assessment of the team, he even questioned if the players who played were good enough to play for United.
The club and the manager were stunned and outraged by Keane's comments, they acted swiftly to make sure the programme did not go out on air. Like any school pupil who is a disruption to the class, he was effectively expelled from the United School.
So it hardly come as a surprise when Keane, now working as a pundit for ITV Champions League games, was highly critical of United's exit to Basle at the group stages. Keane firmly set the cat amongst the pigeons with his assessment of United, comments that obviously touched a nerve with Sir Alex, who made a comment in reply to his sides dressing down by questioning Keane's managerial record, which was a bit of a cheap shot on the United manager's behalf.
Both Keane and Ferguson were correct, but it is the nature of the jibes that are being thrown back and forward that suggests that there is more to this than just Keane being bitter about leaving United on bad terms. What Keane should realise, is that he started the fall out back in 2005.
The friendship between Keane and Ferguson is strained beyond repair, both men are strong, stubborn characters, who will not back down. A recent snub by Keane to attend a dinner party to celebrate Ferguson being in charge of United for twenty five years proves this. Keane claims he turned down the chance to attend because he would not have been able to stand up and clap Ferguson.
What Keane should realise is that United made him the player he was, no player is bigger than the club. Other players have left United on bad terms, Japp Stam, Rudd van Nistelrooy and David Beckham, all of whom, made up with Ferguson years after their departure, so why can't Keane? If everybody held a grudge against Keane then he would not be welcome back into his home country, following his decision to walk out on his nations national side during the 2002 world cup, following a disagreement with Mick McCarthy, who was the Republic of Ireland manager at that time.
Something else that Keane said in his article was that Ferguson's managerial record was down to players like him, well it works both ways Roy. Would Keane have been so decelerated as a player if he had joined another club instead of signing for United? Old Trafford handed Keane the platform he craved to help him fulfil his potential and become a legend and a success, Ferguson moulded him into the quality player he turned out to be .
Keane also said that United never stood by him? Is he being serious? Keane missed the whole of the 1997-98 season because of a cruciate ligament injury, caused by an attempt to kick and injure Leeds United player Alf-Inge Haaland. Manchester United rehabilitated him, and I assume Keane would have picked up his weekly wage during this time? He also threatened to leave United in 1999 if they did not pay him what he thought he was worth, the club gave in to his demands and quite rightly paid him the money he wanted, reported to be around £50,000 per week.
Roy Keane is without a doubt a Manchester United legend, but he is seriously beginning to affect his own status at Old Trafford. Keane needs to realise that Ferguson is the leader at United and is a far more influential figure than Keane ever was, and ever will be. Whilst Keane gives his views on the game as a pundit, Ferguson will continue to manage the most successful English football team in history, and the empire that he created.