Top 5 Roy Keane Ruckuses
After another incident involving Keane on the eve of a big game at the team hotel (it wasn’t that serious, really) we’ve put together Roy’s best previous ruckases.
Tensions were already simmering nicely between manager, Mick McCarthy, and captain, Roy Keane, over a long-standing feud regarding training and preparation. In the now infamous team meeting, those tensions came to the boil when Keane exploded after provocation from McCarthy who, in turn, sent his star player home in disgrace.
The country went into lockdown as huge efforts were made to mend the war of words between the pair. Even Bertie Ahern, then Taoiseach, was urged to act as a mediator. It all came to no avail, though, as Keane stuck to his guns and sat out a tournament he had worked so hard to get his country to.
Once the inseparable pair, driving United to unparalleled success, their duopoly began to crumble long before the infamous MUTV interview. Slight incidents snowballed into major arguments over a couple of seasons resulting in Fergie throwing the book at Keane for criticising his teammates in the never-seen piece for the in-house channel.
A huge row ensued as Ferguson called Keane into his office to explain his outburst in front of the players. Cornered, Keane began a vicious tirade against his manager and assistant, Carlos Queroz, and from there, there was no way back. Keane was on his way after 12 years of legendary achievements.
As so often the case with Keane, slights are very rarely forgotten and nearly always avenged. Whilst trying to bring down the then-Leeds defender Alf Inge Haaland, Keane seriously injured his knee. Haaland, unfortunately for him, thought it sensible to accuse the Cork man of feigning injury: bad idea.
Keane waited three years before grasping the opportunity for retribution. During the Manchester derby, Keane hit Haaland with an eye-watering, studs-up, thigh-high challenge that flipped the Norwegian mid-air. Keane received a 3-match ban for the original offence and then a further 5-match ban and a £150,000 fine after the passage in his autobiography that made it seem like the attack was premeditated.
“Sometimes you wonder, do they understand the game of football?” he snarled. “We’re 1-0 up, then there are one or two stray passes and they’re getting on players’ backs. It’s just not on. At the end of the day they need to get behind the team. Away from home our fans are fantastic – I’d call them the hardcore fans – but at home they have a few drinks and probably the prawn sandwiches, and they don’t realise what’s going on out on the pitch. I don’t think some of the people who come to Old Trafford can spell ‘football’, never mind understand it.”
Now, it seems quite trivial compared to some of his other scraps but at the time, Keane taking aim at the supporters was viewed as quite the incident.
Keane’s latest autobiography also lifted the lid on his clash with the Manchester United goalkeeper which left the Dane with a black eye. The pair had regularly rowed but decided to sort it out their differences physically on a pre-season tour in Asia.
“I think we were in Hong Kong. There was drink involved,’ wrote Keane. “He said: ‘I’ve had enough of you, It’s time we sorted this out.’ So I said ‘Okay’ and we had a fight. It felt like 10 minutes. There was a lot of noise – Peter’s a big lad.”
Keane says Nicky Butt had refereed the fight and had given him a break-down of what had went on, including: “Peter had grabbed me, I’d head-butted him – we’d been fighting for ages.”