Roy Keane the manager: Vicious rants and childish comments as Sunderland job offered

Roy Keane has reportedly been offered the chance to get back in the dugout, with League One side Sunderland reaching out to the former Manchester United skipper

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Roy Keane’s Ultimate XI: Who’s played with the Irishman the most?

Sunderland have reportedly offered Roy Keane a route back into management, some 11 years after his last post.

The former Manchester United captain led the Black Cats to promotion in his first season in the dugout in 2006, before helping to keep them in the Premier League the following year.

However, his stint on Wearside ended in December 2008 with the Irishman resigning due to differences with Ellis Short and strains with chairman Niall Quinn.

He then went on to have an indifferent spell with Ipswich Town which lasted two years, before stints as an assistant with the Republic of Ireland, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.

Now the hugely successful pundit is closing in on a return to Sunderland, with the Telegraph claiming a job offer is on the table.

Ahead of what could be an imminent return to management, Mirror Football takes a look at his colorful career on the sidelines so far.

Putting his foot down

Roy Keane guided Sunderland to promotion in his first season in charge



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With Sunderland marching towards promotion in 2007, Keane would ensure his players’ kept their eyes on the prize by ruthlessly dropping three of his star players.

‘The Barnsley three’ as they were later known as included Anthony Stokes, Tobias Hysen and Marton Fulop.

The trio arrived late for the coach to Oakwell and instead of accommodating he simply left the three at home.

“It was time for me to put my foot down,” he said at the time. “The players are fine with that. It’s a serious game, we should be in the Premiership and that’s what I’m trying to do.

“All this stuff, be it preparation or training, we’re trying to give them a chance to do that. I’m trying to change the mentality of a lot of things at Sunderland.”

The Keane ‘hairdryer’

Having spent the majority of his playing career playing under Sir Alex Ferguson, the former midfield general knew a thing or two about a half-time rant inspiring a team to victory.

And in November 2006, Keane enacted his own version, by getting his kit man John Cooke to set up a tactics board – only to swiftly boot it down.

Keane learned a thing or two from Sir Alex



“I had a front-row view,” former Sunderland winger Carlos Edwards told theAthletic. “I have seen managers effing and blinding but I had never seen anything like that. To kick the tactics board was a bit ‘Ohhhh, bloody hell’.

“The poor tactics board started off with three legs and ended up with two. The kit man could not put the board back upright so it had to be stuck on the wall after that.”

vicious rants

Steven Caldwell was the skipper when Keane replaced Quinn at the start of the 2007/07 season, but played only 11 times under the new boss.

And the former center back admits he failed to get on board with Keane’s very abrupt style of motivation.

“I remember Monday meetings where he’d start well and then you would see him switch and you are thinking ‘Oh my God, here it comes’,” he explained.

Keane would go on lengthy rants, according to former Sunderland defender Steven Caldwell

“He would be screaming at somebody for some mistake they made. They could go on quite long as some guys had a go back. I was never scared of him. I was scared of other managers.

“You are scared when you have so much respect you don’t want to let them down. With Roy, I never had that trust or relationship with him.

“When he went into those rants, I found it a bit nonsensical. I was not scared when he lost it. He could be vicious. The bluntness and the delivery. It was very personal. It was like you’ve done it to him.”

Influence on Jordan Henderson

Keane clearly had an eye for talent having spotted Henderson’s future in the game, giving the now Liverpool captain his first chance in senior football.

That came after being impressed by Henderson’s bravery not only on the pitch, but off it as well.

speaking on Jamie Carragher’s Greatest Game podcast, the central midfielder explained an interaction after a defeat for the reserves.

Keane handed Jordan Henderson his senior debut in 2008

In the lounge area Keane confronted the team and pointed at a young Henderson, saying: “Do you think you are good enough to play for the first team?”

“Well after this rant I am thinking ‘f****** hell.’ There is buckets I am sweating, all sorts coming off me,” he said. ‘.

“And I think he was bit like ‘oh right, OK’. He was having that because he had heard that in the game I had still worked hard, I had still wanted it and he said ‘good answer’ and moved on.”

ipswich reflections

Keane admitted he made mistakes during his time with Ipswich Town


Action Images)

After leaving Sunderland, Keane was handed the reins at Portman Road, but failed to ever truly make the place his home, lasting less than two years in charge.

And reflecting on his time in Suffolk as part of his 2014 autobiography, he has admitted that he got it badly wrong.

“I don’t think I’m a bad manager, but at Ipswich I managed badly,” writes Keane. “I spoke to some people like something on the bottom of my shoe.

“I don’t f****** like blue. City were blue, Rangers were blue. My biggest rivals were blue. Is that childish? I couldn’t feel it.”

The Tractor Boys

Keane rubbed a few Ipswich players up the wrong way

Several Ipswich players have spoken out about Keane’s time at Ipswich, including Damien Delaney, who told a court he was speeding because he “had an unreasonable boss at the time who would not accept lateness and would not have listened to me”.

Jon Walters was once forced to send a picture of his vomit to prove he was actually unwell and perhaps understandably, failed to ever truly adapt to Keane’s abrasive style.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if some players are terrified of him,” Walters said. You never know where you stand with him and that was the fear factor he brought in. I respected him as a player, but maybe he can’t get his point across from him as a manager.

“There’s a way of going about b********* people. At Ipswich, it became personal a few times.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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