Well, I’m sure you’ve all heard the news by now. Roy Keane has left his post at the City Ground after just five months, leaving Martin O’Neill looking for a new number two.
Whilst many fans will speculate, and indeed they already are, that he should be taking up a post at Old Trafford, with many seeing him as the perfect answer to everything that’s been going on at Manchester United off the pitch.
He’s said in the past how much he has a problem with the off the field antics of the young United players like Lingard and Rashford about how they conduct themselves. All these comments, in my opinion, are his way of saying ‘just be thankful I’m not there to sort you out in person’.
That’s why it’s good that he left, it was never going to work out if Keane had aspirations to be manager, or indeed any sort of role at a bigger club. In my opinion, his heart wouldn’t have been fully in it.
That’s why it was also good that he made this move now, right at the start of pre-season. If he’d have done this in November or December, when fixtures are coming thick and fast whilst Martin O’Neill is looking at winter transfer targets, then him moving would have caused a stir and threatened to cause chaos at the club.
At least now he’s done it when the only major concern at the club is if Joe Lolley has come back an extra two pounds heavier than when he left.
There’s a phrase in football, and indeed other sports, called ‘the management bug’ and you can tell that Roy Keane has been infected by it. His time at Sunderland came with mixed success. He turned them around from relegation threatened to Championship winners and back to relegation-threatened again, before having an even worse time at Ipswich again leaving them relegation threatened.
But I think it is clear he wants to be a manager again in one form or another, otherwise he would have stuck purely to his punditry work, rather than this sort of half in half out role where he’s the assistant manager with the Republic of Ireland, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest.
I think he knows that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer isn’t long for the job at Old Trafford, he said himself that the squad the way it is will throw Solskjaer ‘under the bus’ if given the opportunity and he’ll want to position himself just right for the vacant job when it eventually comes round.
The fact that the split was called ‘amicable’ shows you that O’Neill isn’t angry over this whole thing and nor should he. Roy Keane has made this move now not only for himself, but also as a favour to Martin O’Neill and to Forest, and they should be thankful for the timing of it all.