Manchester United play Sunderland today, travelling up to the North East to play Roy Keane’s team for the second time since he took over as boss. The first game ended 1-0 at Old Trafford, after Louis Saha came off the bench to score our winning goal. Sunderland fought well, playing an extremely defensive game, and Keane managed to hide his frustration over losing well. As our captain, he hated losing, and whilst remaining calm on the sidelines at Old Trafford a couple of months ago, he has lost his rag a few times since then. Two weeks ago, Roy Keane believed his side should have scooped all three points against Aston Villa, after Danny Collins scored in injury time. However, Steve Bennett ruled out the winning goal for a foul, causing Keane to erupt, although his facial expression gave away very little, saying “We have great fans who travel up and down the country in huge numbers, but for them to be cheated is really disappointing.”
The following week, Sunderland travelled to Reading, this time Steve Tanner the referee. After going a goal down, Keane’s team managed to equalise through a penalty eight minutes from time. However, Steve Hunt was deemed to have scored in injury time, and after the referee consulted his linesman, gave the goal. Replays show the ball never crossed the line. “Nobody can be sure [that the ball crossed the line], but if the referee’s assistant can give it then obviously he’s got very, very good eyesight,” said Keane. “Any decision, if they’re not sure they can’t give it, but if they’re sure all credit to them, fantastic vision because we watched it a few times and we’re still unclear.”
For a man who hates losing, the ten losses from eighteen games so far this season have got to hurt, and today, we will be aiming to make that eleven losses! Keane has today emphasised how much he hates losing, stating that whilst at United, it was the losses that he remembers, than the wins.
“I moved on from success as a player very quickly, but the defeats were always the ones that kept you going,” he said. “You don’t look back and think of wins. I read and hear about players talking about when they won titles and cups, but I haven’t got a clue what year I won anything. But I do know when I got relegated. I do know when I lost cup finals. I do know when I lost leagues.”
Roy Keane compared himself to Neville, saying that it was Gary who remembered clearly when all the leagues were won. “I moved house the other day and found one or two medals in boxes. But they were losers’ medals. I’ve lost a few but the winners’ medals are in the bank somewhere,” he said. “I remember Gary Neville talking about winning leagues — and Gary is a good lad. But I don’t remember when I won what. I suppose we won most years!”
Will United dish out another defeat for Keano to remember today?