By Mark Weasley
For a player who played 480 times for Manchester United, won 17 major trophies including 7 Premier League titles, Roy Keane isn’t somewhat revered at Old Trafford for his meritorious service for the club. Partly because he left the club under acrimonious circumstances back in 2005, Keane hasn’t enjoyed the same adulation the likes of Scholes, Giggs and Neville have enjoyed despite being a long serving club captain.
No player epitomised what it meant to play for Manchester United than Keane, and we will always remember him for taking the Champions League semifinal against Juventus back in ’99 despite knowing he would miss the final due to suspension. Not many people would forget his hard tackling displays in the middle of the park, and his constant battles with Arsenal captain, Patrick Vieira showed a man who would not cower in the face of intimidation: trait the current club players can emulate.
After criticising his teammates on TV back in 2005, stunning news emerged that Keane’s contract at the club had been terminated, as Sir Alex Ferguson felt the power the Irishman wielded at the club was becoming overbearing. United would later go on to dominate English football in the three to four years after his exit, but till this day, no player has won his heart on the sleeve like the former defensive midfielder.
Keane was signed by Sir Alex back in ’93 from Nottingham Forest after their relegation from the inaugural Premier League. He quickly established himself as a mainstay in the team, helping the team win countless trophies and being named club captain. He led the club time and time again and would be a valuable asset in any capacity at the club.
He still hasn’t buried the hatchet with Ferguson, which would work against him getting a job at the club while his analysis as a pundit has also not gone on well with some key figures at the club, who feel that as a club legend, he should be more understanding when things go wrong at the club instead of being overly critical.
With United currently struggling to keep pace at the top of the table, a player like Keane wouldn’t have stood for mediocrity. He would have led both on and off the pitch, and ensure that we compete adequately season in, season out. We hope to see Roy Keane soon at our club. A club legend shouldn’t be so far away.