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Keane To Replace Fergie? You’re Not So Sure NOW Are You…

Roy Keane has left Sunderland but it is unclear as yet whether he has been sacked or left on his own accord.

He faced criticism following poor results and wasted money, with Eamon Dunphy laying in to Keano during the week.

“He doesn’t appear to be cut out for management like a lot of great players,” said Dunphy. “He’s very intelligent, a great player but look at the likes of Bobby Charlton and Bryan Robson – great United players who didn’t make it as managers. He wants to win and he is in serious danger of getting relegated. He is rambling about all sorts of things and it’s really ridiculous. Roy Keane is beginning to believe the Roy Keane mythology. He’s pontificating on everything. He’s lost the plot. I have the highest regard for him, remarkable man, intelligent, family man but he has lost the plot, big time.”

Dunphy also suggested Keano could do with learning his trade elsewhere before taking charge of a club of Sunderland’s size, or bigger, again. Would Keane’s pride make it impossible for him to come to United and work under Sir Alex Ferguson for a couple of years? Probably. It might even be suggested that the thought of returning to Old Trafford the day after tomorrow was just too much for him. To be confronted with a club where he was so successful, where he was idolised, only to hear his new set of fans calling for his head on the back of what probably will be another defeat for Sunderland.

Following Sunderland’s 4-1 defeat at the weekend it became clear that Keane might be ready to move on.

“I ask myself every single day if I am the right man for Sunderland,” Keane said. “I asked myself this morning and I said that I was. Tomorrow morning if the answer’s no we will have to look at it. I have to be honest in my assessment. It’s not about what’s best for Roy Keane. It’s Sunderland Football Club. I might wake up on Monday morning and think I’m the right man. On Tuesday it might be different.”

Still think he’s got what it takes to be United boss?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. DanS says:

    I personally think he jacked it in. Born winning, hates losing. Sunderland are not winning… so time to chip-off.

  2. DanS says:


    *Born winner

  3. gautam from india says:

    that’s fine for a plyr not for a manager.i see no honour in this.

  4. tel says:

    think he needs to come back to us in a coaching role and learn a few things before he goes back to managing a premiership club

  5. North Stand,Tier 3,Back Row says:

    Tel, I cant see Keane coming in under Fergie. He’s a proud man, too proud sometimes. Since he’s left United, he has had a few verbal digs at Fergie, and the club as a whole, which I didnt like. He has a chip on his shoulder on the way he was let go (rightly or wrongly), and I think if he’s not careful, he could ruin the legendary status he has at present with us. I loved Keane as a player, and as a manager and a man, I like him. But if he has any more little digs at the club, or at Fergie, that status would start to change, for me at least.

  6. invertedquestionmark says:

    He did a good job in Sunderland the previous seasons, and I think he screwed up only on the transfer market. I would like to see Keane in charge of United one day but he obviously needs more experience.

  7. Costas says:

    To be honest i was very sad when i heard the news.There was speculation all week but i thought that Keano being the fighter that he is would suck it up.I do believe that his decision had to do with what the article says.He didn’t want to appear at such a compromising situation at his true football home.I disagree with Dunphy and i wonder where his hostility comes from.Didn’t he write Roy’s biography?Keano is capable of becoming a manager.It’s just a matter of biding his time and learning the ropes properly.Even though he had a massive success in his first season at Sunderland,he shouldn’t have managed immediately after his retirement.Finally,i don’t see him returning at Old Trafford in any capacity in the near future.In my opinion we still need a replacement for carlos Queiroz but somenone from Europe in order to bring fresh ideas.

  8. DarkDevil says:

    You can’t seriously be judging him on his first managerial job.

  9. denton davey says:

    Did SAF know this was coming when he said that he wanted to remain as manager of the world’s greatest football club for the foreseeable future ?

    First, Carlos Quieroz has clearly queered his pitch; next, Mark Hughes does the unforgivable; and now Keane-o shows that, no matter what qualities he possesses, that he’s no leader when the pressures on. So, who’s left standing ? Let me give you my short list.

    1 OGS who has always been praised by SAF as the most intelligent player; he’s a team guy, and now he’s coming up through the ranks;

    2 Jose Mourinho – don’t choke on this. He’s a winner, he wants to return to the EPL and he has the balls to take on what is likely to be a poisoned chalice due to the enormity of the task of replacing the very best of all British managers.

    3 Steve Bruce – don’t laugh ! He’s always had difficult situations – no money, bad ownership, poor players – but he has persevered. Against him, of course, is his failure to impose his stamp on a group of middling-level journeymen and get them to over-achieve; for him, is the reality that he would probably jump at the chance to sip from a poisoned chalice.

    Beyond these three there are some real outsiders –

    Laurent Blanc is doing nicely at Bordeaux;

    Slava Bilic looks like he has a high opinion of himself but got eviscerated by Ingerland at home in the WC2010 qualifying which has to raise eyebrows about his real ability;

    Michael Laudrup did very well last year at Getafe and is now doing a pretty good job in Moscow with CSKA.

    The most rank outsider of all is SAF’s son, Darren, who has quietly been gaining experience at Peterborough. Stranger things have happened.

    Fortunately, SAF shows no sign of stepping down and we all have to hope and pray that his ticker keeps on working because the reality is that these choices are pretty dismal.

  10. TinManUnited says:

    It’s all about being sentimental, Keane wouldn’t even be thought of as taking over from Fergie if he wasn’t a United Legend. Besides there is only one manager who I can think of that would do the job justice and he is plying his trade over at Inter Milan at the moment. Even though I hated him when he was at Chelsea, is was only because he was the greatest threat to United.

  11. North Stand,Tier 3,Back Row says:

    Denton Davey, you’re leaving out Martin ONeill there mate. I’ll assume you left him out on purpose cause if I remember correctly from a previos blog you didnt fancy him?
    But I think he would be a very strong candidate. Id prefer to see him at Old Trafford before any of the foreigners you named, and theres no way Ole could compete with his track record and experience. Steve Bruce? maybe. But ONeill is my choice, and Ive stated that here on many occasions. Im not having a go at you at all mate, we’re all entitled to opinions, and I respect yours, but I think ONeill would be the man…

  12. Red-Manc says:

    As a player i loved Keano, tough bloke and a good player but then when he left he turned rather bitter and like someone stated he started having a go at Fergie and our club so i’d never like to see him back at Old Trafford really.
    He did a good job getting sunderland into the prem and keeping them in it, he signed some good players for a club the size of sunderland and its unfortunate it didnt work out for him

  13. Vincent West says:

    I must say I didnt see this comin. Bt like have been said,bein a good player does not make a good manager. So there you go for Keano and al our thoughts of him being a united manager. This possibility of that happenin is now non existent. My prime candidates 4 d managerial position is Martin O’neil, Martin O’neil and Martin O’neil. We would call 4 Jose’s head if he even comes close 2 d seat because of the crappy defensive footbal we would play then. I jst hope it never happens.

  14. phoenix red says:

    Eamon Dunphy is a sensationalist, he’d fuckin say anything to cause controvosy, that cunt should stick to what he knows best, feeling up burly bouncers at night club doors! None of us know what went on in Wearside, i do reckon that Roy is a man who’ld stand up and take criticsm on the chin, and take responsibility for the teams results. Some of his signings were dubious at best, an aging Cole and Yorke??! But recently with the addition of Craig, Cisse,and Diouf he seemed to be moving in the right direction. Sunderland fans can dream on and on and on, cos thats all they’ll be doing. Apart from beating Newcastle twice in a year what else did they expect from Keano? Mid table at best for an average club WTF??!! Good news for those of us in Ireland who were sick of the influx of Sunderland shirts!
    The more i think about it, mmmmmmmmm, Keano is a great motivational coach according to players who’ve played under him, and i think he’s learned a thing or two since THAT MUTV interview. I think that if bridges are mended then we could see Keano back where he belongs, as Fergies’ right hand man(hairdrying assistant!lol). It would be good for himself and for our club, could they be the new Dream Team?

  15. daveob says:

    I would take everything that arse Ray Dunphy says with a pinch of salt….
    This is the man who more than once said Cristiano was a useless show-poney and that Cantona was a “lazy lazy player who didn’t bring much to the team”
    Roy Keane was a perfectionist and that is what made him a great leader on the pitch.. If a player wasn’t up to his standard on matchday then they knew it!!!!! (hence THE INFAMOUS INTERVIEW)
    I think in this sense Keano has toned down a bit since going into management. I could honestly say I would never have imagined him loaning a player to that “joke” Mick McCarthy.
    Roy took a woefullybad Sunderland team from the bottom of the Championship table to the Premiership where they then avoided relegation.
    He is just another example of a premiership manager not being given the time needed to influence things long term but he has set the foundations. Haven’t their Reserves not won the league for the last 2 seasons???? (not sure on that one)

    I think we are an example of all good things coming to those who wait.. (for their managers ideas to kick in)

    It will be weird going to the match on Sat where both teams will be without a manager!!!! :-)

  16. wiuru... says:

    Dunphy Afraid straight off i switched off. A bag of wind riding on F*** knows what history or knowledge . Roy lead by example and players followed , unfortunatley at the end of his time with us there were problems in the dressing room and Roy + RVN were at the centre of it. Man Management is not his strong point although you dont need much of it when things are going well. However, needed big time when the chips are down.

    Im still with CQ returning although quiet he was/is well respected. And he wont listen to Dunphy lol

  17. denton davey says:

    North Stand, Tier 3, Back Row – I also forgot about wee Gordon Strachan who has done quite nicely, thank you very much, at Parkhead, with Celtic.

  18. Stephen says:

    He also got Coventry relagated.

  19. Stephen says:

    Bruce has no chance of the job, nor does Ole, O’Neill id the only real candidate I see out there to be honest.

  20. Cherry says:

    I feel sorry for keano. He is a great winner

  21. DanS says:

    Nicely timed him leaving though. Could he of handled getting spanked on Saturday?

  22. Daniel says:

    I woke up this morning thinking about the benefits of bringing Keane to United if he left Sunderland. If Keane could suck up his pride, I think he would surely benefit from a spell with the club.

    There is a lot to learn as a manager and Keane would be well served to come, offer some support as a coach, and in turn develop a better network of contacts in terms of scouting, better develop his ability to see what a player has to offer, and further develop his ability to work with players. Yeah, he was with the club and SAF for a long time, but you see things different when you are in a different position such as a coach instead of a player.

    As to the future manager, anyone who absolutely dismisses Mourinho out of hand is crazy I think. Mourinho has a lot to offer the club and is one of few football personalities that I think could come to the club, be successful, and stay for a long time. The other being, as someone rightly pointed out, Martin O’Neill.

    Outside those two, I think Hiddink would be a great addition to the club if he thought he could stay with the club for ten years, assuming we wanted him.

  23. North Stand,Tier 3,Back Row says:

    Denton, Sir Alex doesnt have too much time for Strachan, despite the two of them having the odd bit of banter in recent times. When Fergie does go, whether he still has a role in the club, or has a clean break, he will have a huge say in who comes in after him, and he wouldnt want to see Strachan replace him. And neither would I.
    Strachans a character, and I like the man, but he wouldnt be able to fill Fergies boots. He’s done ok in Scotland (Rangers handed them the league last year, and his record in Europe isn’t great, especially away from home. I know his hands are tied financially aswell), but you cant tell me that Martin ONeill wouldnt be an option, and then say that Strachan would be???

  24. suhayl says:

    Strachan a realistic candidate for the biggest job in football. I think im more qualified than him. The sad truth is there is no worthy candidate..or a man or manager that evens comes in the same stratosphere as our SAF.

    10 men couldnt do his job. Then again i wouldnt mind..ole, keano, choccy, robbo, giggsy, nevo, brucey all our legends become the first group of managers to run a football club together. Would be

    As for keano..Daveob you’re spot on. In a way it would be great if he swallowed his pride and we could welcome one of our greatest legends back into the family fold at OT.

  25. Costas says:

    Personally,i am all for Jose Mourinho.I am afraid though that by the time SAF retires,the club won’t have the funds to hire him.The onlny thing that concerns me about Mourinho is if he can make teams play attractive football.My real favourite though is Ole Solskjaer.It’s just a shame that Fergie’s retirement will come to soon for him.

  26. Wiggsman says:



  27. olusanjo says:

    the only thing we can get from keano is the passion he has for the game, winning and man united. he has not cut it as a manager and we cannot trade quality for loyalty when it comes to choosing our next manager after the ”great one”.

  28. john ferry says:

    This is sad news, not only for Keano but for any manager in the mid table and down. In a couple of years Keano will manage a new team to the premier league. Who ever takes over for Fergie will no doubt have Ole as assistant manager.

  29. Its in my blood says:

    Carlos Q! There is no one else. The timing will be right (he will have failed with Portugal by then) and im willing to bet that SAF will give him his blessing.Capello has a squeak, and in a perfect world Ole would step triumphantly forward as our saviour! Sadly, it’ll probably come too early for him. As we all know, there just isn’t anyone to truly step into Sirs shoes. Have we ever found another Muhammed Ali? There isn’t one. I am so depressed thinking about it!

  30. PeeJay says:

    Someone mentioned Solskjaer,
    I think it’s potentially a good idea, naturally in about 5-10 years.
    A lot of good/great players have thrown themselves into the deep end
    like Paul Ince, Roy Keane, Gareth Southgate and Niall Quinn, among others.
    The fact that Ole is our Reserve team manager is a good sign, he could, slowly but surely, one day be our manager. I like his reserved demeanor and think he would be able to get the most out of players. A lot of people say our next manager has to be a previous player, though of course I’d love to see Eric Cantona managing United I think we should be more realistic.

  31. King Eric says:

    In my opinion the only men who could qualify for the job at United would be as follows, in no order:-

    Martin O Neill
    Jose Mourinho
    O G S (in a few years after gaining more experience)
    Would love to see Keano but just cant see it, however think he would be excellent in a coaching kind of role, thus gaing experince along the way. Have just been listening to talk sport and the amount of stick Keano has come under from pundits, callers etc is a disgrace. It has made my blood boil. Couple of puindits saying he is a bottler, weak and even went on to say that they would take stevie me over Keane any day. What the fuck. What has he won? 1 champions league and an F A Cup . not in same league as Roy.

    Just hope whatever he does he succeeds and proves the abu s wrong.

  32. King Eric says:

    Adrian fucking Durham also said “he failed as a footballer and he has failed as a manager” What the fuck? Don’t usually like Ray Houghton but at least he stuck up for Roy 100%

  33. bruce thomas says:

    To those who want the “winner” Jose Moanio -at OT- have you forgotten already just how f=eking boring boring boring boring boring boring boring boringboring boring boring boring boring boring boring boringboring boring boring boring boring boring boring boringboring boring boring boring boring boring boring boringboring boring boring boring boring boring boring boring his teams are? You want to watch that kinda shit?! Good luck.

  34. Eli Shares says:

    Why not considering Cantona? He might be a good coach!!!

  35. Vianey says:

    Fergie’s most suitable replacement would be Fabio Capello, Martin O’Neil or Harry Redknapp

  36. man utd says:

    just wonderd what people thought about roy keane, as man utd’s number 2????

  37. Sam says:

    bruce thomas spot on. We put up with sexton (ex chelsea) playing defensive football so fuck mourinho his style is not what we want to see. Fair enough it wins matches but we want attacking, entertaining football. whoever gets the job needs the full backing of the board and time like fergie. The only shame is sir bobby (who saved fergie’s job) is likely to retire so that wisdom might be lacking on the board.

  38. TonyBee says:

    Fuck that lot give Scotty from ROM a go ….
    seriuosly next after SAF has gotta be either O’Neill ot Mourinho…

  39. OTRed says:

    I’d have bet my arm Ince would resign or get fired before Keano, strange. Oh well good luck to him in whatever he decides to do now.

  40. denton davey says:

    It’s not that I don’t rate Martin O’Neill but, rather, he is well ensconced in a good job with a supportive owner; is team is improving slowly but it’s hardly fair to say that the evidence from his Celtic days suggest that he is going to do much more in the EPL than wee Gordon. Neither set the world on fire – and, more to the point, neither took an obscure Scottish team to win European honours like SAF did with Aberdeen. In contrast, Jose Mourinho took an obscure Portuguese team to win the UEFA and CL trophies in successive years and then took a huge chunk-of-change from the SiberianSleazeBag to win two successive EPL titles before RomanA started meddling. And, if you haven’t noticed, his InterMilan team is currently swanning along at the head of SerieA. Plus, of course, he gives absolutely great interviews – almost as good as the muppet on Setanta !

  41. TonyBee says:

    Changing tack slightly… anyone know how Evra fared at the FA tribunal with that rentboy racist cunt groundsman

  42. Tom F says:

    Always said it wouldn’t work and I never really wanted it to….

  43. blakey192 says:

    Rubbish- knowing Feruson he will appoint him as his assistant.I’ll bet you any money he will come back stronger fo this.The problem is there is no time for managers in the EPL. Sunderland have a tiny budget and no one was knocking him him until this month.

  44. Scott the Red says:

    Blakey – a small budget? £80 mill? That’s a hellova lot more than the likes of Everton or Villa have spent.

  45. Mic says:

    He’s hardly a failure, he took over a poor Sunderland team and brought in class players, i’ve no idea what’s wrong with them, they’re a good side now, still carry a lot of dead wood that they need to sell, they’ve got a good fan base and had a good manager. They were bottom of the Championship when he took over and now they’re in the premier league and their team is filled with actual stars. Considering he’s done this in two seasons it is impressive, £70 million with 100 transfers done (in and out) or something like that, he should’ve stuck there, he was heading the right way and i’m sure he’d have kept them up. They just need a bit of Stability. Everton and Villa are different, they’ve had stability and a few players coming and leaving each season, Sunderland have just pushed forward and progress should be slow and steady now had he not left.


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