A Managerial Return Beckons For Roy Keane

Posted: November 18, 2015 in Football, Managers, Opinion
Tags: , , , , , , , ,


(Roy can hardly contain his excitement following a particularly clever question from an ITV presenter)

When Roy Keane delivered the kick that effectively ended the career of Alfie Inge Haaland, I wonder if it went through his mind that, at some stage in the future he may find himself in a responsible position where he has to prevent players from doing far less than he did.

As a manager he has had a rather chequered, if short, career. Hailed as the Messiah on Wearside when he not only saved Sunderland from possible relegation, (they were in 23rd place when he took over), but got them promoted to the Premier League. His tenure did not last much longer as he left during his second season in the Premiership with Sunderland again in the relegation zone.

His next job, with Ipswich Town, was to last 20 months after which he was fired with the club occupying 19th position.

Keane then decided that he had had enough for the time being and became a pundit. It wasn’t something he originally had in mind and he also wasn’t too enthusiastic about it in the beginning. Keane is not stupid and, therefore, does not appreciate stupid questions. The problem with TV punditry was that he was likely going to be asked the occasional stupid question. Still, he put on his usual sardonic face and got on with it.

Featuring on ITV, mainly with presenter Adrian Chiles who, apart from being quite amusing, can also be quite irritating, along with ex-football players Lee Dixon and Gareth Southgate, his views were forthright and to the point and he always seemed to give his opinions thoughtfully and honestly.

He left this role, to the detriment of ITV, in 2013 when he decided to take up the offer of the Republic of Ireland assistant manager’s job. A post he holds to this day.

It would appear though, that he is now considering a return to club management after the Euros next year.

This could be a good move for him. Having spent most of his football playing life under the management of two dictators in Sir Alex Ferguson and, previously, Brian Clough, he appears to have gone into management originally with too many of their traits and methods which didn’t necessarily suit his character. Consequently, after a relatively brief flirtation with success at both Sunderland and Ipswich, he started on a downward spiral quite quickly. Roy seemed to know the ‘stick’ side of motivation but was short on the ‘carrot’ and was unable to reverse these slumps when they happened. Sometimes, when things start to go wrong, a change in the style of management is needed and Roy, at this stage, didn’t have the experience to be able to change his style.

He has now worked for a lengthy time with another successful manager. As far as I am aware, although he also played under Clough, Martin O’Neill’s management style isn’t particularly like either Clough or Ferguson. This experience should now give Roy Keane another angle to his managerial talents.

If he can take on board the best characteristics of the three top managers he has worked with, combine them with his own personality, and put them into practice at a decent club, there is no telling where he could go with his career.

It was a wise move to take a step back from front line management for a while. Now, Keane has seen football from the TV side and from an assistant manager’s point of view. This should make him a much better manager in future and, should he need to, he will have the experience and understanding to be able to prevent any of his players from doing far less damage to another player than he did to Inge Haaland.

(Incidentally, for those who are unaware, Inge Haaland had accused Roy Keane of faking injury when he had, in fact, ruptured his cruciate ligament, keeping him out of the game for months).


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