Like Mark Hughes, Roy Keane seems fairly keen to distance himself from Manchester United, following his departure from the club in 2005.
It was only a couple of weeks ago he was tipping Chelsea for the title, and now he’s claiming that Brian Clough was by far the best manager he ever had, in an interview which will no doubt sting Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I have to say he was an absolute genius,” Keane said of Clough. “I meet other players who played under him and we have all got our own stories, but he was a genius, an absolute genius, and certainly the best manager I played under, without a shadow of a doubt. I just feel very lucky, like other players who played under him, to have had that opportunity. He was a genius and he has still left his mark on the football club.”
I love Roy and I can’t imagine how any isolated incident would make me change my mind on him, but there is something very spiteful about these comments. They’re totally unnecessary and come across as a blatant dig on Sir Alex Ferguson.
There is no denying that Clough had a fabulous managerial career and whether Roy really rates him as ‘without a shadow of a doubt’ the best manager he ever had, he has to know how this will reflect on Fergie. They worked together for 13 years and had a great relationship.
Following Keane’s brilliant performance in the European Cup semi-final, when he knew he would miss out on the final but still put 100% in to everything, he earned the highest praise from the manager.
“It was the most emphatic display of selflessness I have seen on a football field,” Ferguson said. “Pounding over every blade of grass, competing if he would rather die of exhaustion than lose, he inspired all around him. I felt it was an honour to be associated with such a player.”
Roy has previously appologised for the way he behaved towards the end of his time at United, with a rant on MUTV leaving Fergie is a very difficult position. Whilst the boundaries between player and boss should always be clear, Keano had blurrier lines between the two than any player at United. To now turn around and not just name another man as a better manager, but to make out that Clough was head and shoulders better than Ferguson, is needlessly disrespectful.
What do you make of Keane’s comments?