Written by David Dunne

Roy Keane – Great as a player, Poison as manager.

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The manner in which Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane allegedly spoke to Jon Walters and Harry Arter was truly awful. If Keane’s objective was simply to motivate, then he should have done so in a more constructive manner.

However, anything other than unabashed rage appears to be a sign of weakness and goes against the nature of Roy Keane.

Instead, the 47-year-old opted to bring up a previous incident at Ipswich Town from EIGHT years ago with Jon Walters.

Keane then turned his sights on Harry Arter, calling the midfielder a “c*nt” and a “prick”.

They are just two examples. Two examples as to why Roy Keane is not suitable for football management – or any form of management for that matter.

What Roy Keane has obviously failed to grasp about football players and life, in general, is that people are different. It is only natural for people to act and react in different ways. You have to bend and find different ways to reach players. Some players need an arm around the shoulder, while others require a boot up the hole. It’s called: “Management”.

This is not even a generational thing, players are not robots. Roy Keane just cannot seem to get his contrarian little head around this fact. He cannot and will not adapt.

It’s weakness you see.
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Unfortunately for Roy Keane, adaptation is a required skill and basic fundamentals of management and more importantly, life. This is the main reason why Keane has failed as a football manager.

Another reason is that Roy Keane seems to loathe people in general, he holds very few friendships within football. I would also have to agree with Liam Brady’s assertion that Keane doesn’t like football.

So why does this seemingly unbalanced individual continue to punish himself?

Why does Roy Keane continue to get involved in a profession that demands engagement with players? He clearly doesn’t enjoy it and refuses to do so.

So why bother if it makes him so unhappy?

Is it as Martin O’Neill suggests, to help motivate players?

Bollocks, I say.

It’s the spotlight, it always has been with Roy Keane the manager. This is a man that held a book launch at the AVIVA stadium during the build-up for an Ireland qualifier. That tells you all you need to know.

Even before the latest controversy, Roy Keane would have struggled to get a decent job in football management. Now those minuscule chances have completely evaporated in front of those menacing eyes.

Should I expect anything less from the constantly angry Roy Keane? The former Ireland Captain thought getting punched to the floor by Brian Clough after a sloppy back pass was OK.

Roy Keane would later say, with a glint in his eye, that this form of physical abuse was “part of management”.

So it should come as no surprise that 27 years later we are hearing stories involving Roy Keane abusing players. Albeit verbally.

Brian Clough

Brian Clough, undoubtedly one of the game’s finest managers, was often known for his outspoken behaviour. Sound familiar? However, as time went by, Clough’s antics became more erratic. Especially towards the end of his career.

The insulting of players, punching them and smacking pitch-invading fans and getting THEM to apologise to HIM. All part of the course for Brian Clough in the early 1990’s. Unfortunately, at that time Clough had been struggling with his own demons.

The loss of Brian Clough’s friend and assistant Peter Taylor in 1990 was a painful one. Clough and Peter Taylor never patched up their differences before his former assistant’s untimely death. They fell out over a transfer in 1983 when Taylor was the manager of Derby County. They hadn’t spoken since.

Brian Clough was indeed a successful manager. However, that was in the 1970’s and 80’s when being a borderline alcoholic and slightly unhinged went hand in hand with being a top manager in English football.

Unfortunately for Roy Keane, this is 2018. Brian Clough’s coaching methods are stored where they rightfully belong, in the past. Managerial methods in football have changed since ‘Old Big’ead’s’ time, thank God. However, they seem to have stayed the same in Roy Keane’s mind.

Roy Keane would argue that players have gone soft, that they have too much power now. That may be the case, however, you can’t simply shout and insult players anymore, it just doesn’t work.

Roy Keane started his senior playing career in 1989. This was an age when the manager was the highest paid employee at the club. As the boss, the manager could get away with striking the fear of god into HIS employees. He held their careers and livelihoods in the palm of his hands. No doubt Keane felt this wrath as a player. However, times have moved and on and that things have changed.

That is life.
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Roy Keane was lauded for his professionalism as a player and rightly so. Yet he can’t even fathom the fundamentals of management. Not even the basics.

In his 2014 autobiography, Roy Keane mentions going missing from training at Sunderland for days. He would only show up on match days. Going away with his mates that “don’t ask about football”. Getting his assistant to set up the tactics board for a “good aul karate kick” for motivation.

It’s madness.

Keane also complained about working as a pundit for ITV and doing the rounds on the autograph circuit. It wasn’t for him. Yet there he was back scowling in his chair, offering nothing of substance as a pundit at this Summer’s World Cup.

Absolute Madness.

In 2014 Roy Keane had a brief spell at Aston Villa as Paul Lambert’s assistant manager, as reported in the Mail:

The atmosphere was horrible. It went downhill the moment Keane arrived. He pissed off all the big names he shouldn’t have pissed off and his relationship with the senior players slowly fell apart.

There was so much gloom about the place every time he turned up. When he went there was just a feeling of euphoria and relief.


Reports confirmed that Keane created a poisonous atmosphere at Aston Villa. He only lasted six months.

Roy Keane does some good charity work and as a person, I’m sure he’s a decent family man. However, as a coach, he is hopeless.

Worse than hopeless, he is poison.

PS: If I was Stephen Ward, I would be planning on finding a new address before the Ireland team returns from Poland.


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