Keane: No kiss and make up with Fergie
Roy Keane reckons he will never have a reconciliation with Alex Ferguson.
Keane was unhappy with the way he was ushered out of Old Trafford in November 2005.
An interview with MUTV in which he was critical of some of his Manchester United team-mates was given as a reason for his departure after 12½ years.
Keane saw it as an excuse at a time when Fergie believed the player’s shelf-life was coming to an end.
Hostilities were resumed earlier this season when the Cork man questioned the attitude of some of United’s current crop, with Fergie hitting back at his former captain’s managerial record.
Asked if he could envisage a time when he would have a good relationship with the Scot again, Keane said: “I wouldn’t have thought so, no. He’s a busy man and I’m fairly busy.
“I said before I was disappointed the way I was treated at the end, nobody will change that. But that doesn’t mean to say I’m bitter and twisted towards Man United. Far from it.
“The worst thing is that when you have been associated with a club you still have loyalty towards it no matter what way I finished and no matter what my relationship with the manager might be.
“I can go back there, I just wouldn’t be comfortable so that’s my choice.”
On their spat, Keane said: “I just thought the young players needed to buck up their ideas. The boy Phil Jones was speaking before the Basel game saying, ‘I’ve nothing to prove’, and my attitude was every time you walk out on a football pitch you’ve something to prove.
“I understood where Ferguson was coming from. It was only natural he was going to come out and have a dig back because he’s going to defend his young player and he’s going to be upset after a defeat.
“When there’s snide comments coming in, I had a little dig back. That’s the end of that now.
“But you have to defend yourself when people are being critical of my managerial record. I said at the time he should remember the players who helped him get the record he’s got — Nicky Butt, those type of lads.
“I remember the lads who did well for me at Sunderland and Ipswich.”
Paul Scholes is another who played a key part in United’s success. The 37-year-old’s performances since coming out of retirement in January have won numerous plaudits, but Keane has a more considered view.
He said: “One of the reasons Scholesy retired was that he wasn’t necessarily picked for a lot of the big games.
“If you remember the Champions League final last year, Scholesy came on for the last 10 to 15 minutes and that must have played on his mind.
“I always judge a player on how he does in the big games. That was one the reasons I retired. I think I could have got away with it against lesser opposition but it’s how you do against the big teams.
“Scholesy has done relatively well and United had one or two injuries at the time and Darron Gibson was going to Everton.
“But whether Scholesy has come back to play against the Sunderlands, the Fulhams and that, I don’t know. You’d have to ask him.”
Keane sees Gibson’s switch to Everton as a positive but is similarly unconvinced about the Derry man’s ability to influence the big games.
Keane said: “He’s a good player and Everton will suit him.
“It’s very hard for any young player to leave United but I think it’s the right choice Everton, good club, decent bit of history.
“But he’s got a lot to learn, hasn’t he? There are certain games he’s got to get by the scruff of the neck — like Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final. In the second half you’re thinking, ‘Come on, this is what they’ve brought you to the club for’.
“Sometimes a lot of young fellas are in the game but they are not affecting the game by dictating the pace or dictating the result.
“We saw that with Darron. To be fair, he wasn’t the only one. A lot of players didn’t step up to the plate but you look back and the game was there for the taking.
“You get a feel for what’s needed in a game — to slow it down, speed it up. You need to make a tackle, get a breather, create something.
“Maybe he’ll learn, maybe he’ll never learn. Maybe he’ll get someone to do it for him, he’ll form a chemistry with someone.”
Gibson might get the chance to show if he has improved this summer.
Only Denmark are longer shots to win Euro 2012 than 80-1 Ireland — though Keane indicated that he felt Giovanni Trapattoni’s side could be worth a punt to reach the knockouts.
He remarked: “They’ve got to get something out of the first game. If you lose the first game, for any team not just Ireland, it’s an uphill battle.
"Before you know it you’re in the second game where a poor performance or a bad decision against you and you’re out of the competition.
“Can they do well and get out of the group? Of course they can. But do that, don’t worry yet about semi-finals and finals.
“I think Trapattoni will be well-organised, there’ll be no problem with the facilities.
“I don’t think travel will be a major problem so, on paper, Ireland should be well prepared.
“You need a bit of quality in the final third, which could cost Ireland, and every team needs luck. You can say they didn’t have it in the previous campaign but, trust me, if Ireland are going to do well they need a few breaks.”