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Andy Cole: Keane Can Manage Again, But Only If He Learns From O'Neill

Paul O'Hara
By Paul O'Hara
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Andy Cole believes that Roy Keane is capable of taking another big management job in the future - but only if he uses his Ireland assistant manager position to hone his man-management skills.

Speaking at a Setanta Sports event in Dublin yesterday, the Independent reports Cole said "I'm not saying the Ireland assistant's job is a backward step – it will be good for him to look at the game through someone else's eyes and say 'right, I'm not a number one, I'm a number two now'.

"At this moment in time, Roy needs to be asking himself, 'how can I use this experience to help me get back into management? Most importantly, how can I change?' Because Roy does have to change. In all the managerial jobs he has taken, he has been confrontational, falling out with someone.

"You can do that when you are a player. But as a manager, if you keep falling out with your players, at some stage they are going to say: 'I don't care who you are, I don't want to play for you.'


"So, if Roy is going to get back into management, he's going to have to go about things in a totally different way because the days of managers ruling by fear are long gone. Dressing-room culture has changed to the extent where if you criticise a player, he will happily say, 'okay, I have three years left on my contract, so you can either sell me or I will sit here for three years'. The modern day manager has to marry egos."


The pair played central roles in Manchester United's golden era, helping the club to secure four leagues, two FA Cups and the Champions League between 1995 and 2001. Despite Cole's belief that Keane needs to rein in his combative side to be a top manager, he still has the highest regard for the Corkman's playing style: "No one could compete with the winner's mentality that he had. He made sure if he couldn't win every game that he would at least go down fighting.

"I knew that when I stepped over that white mark, that he – as my leader – would do everything possible to help me win and you have to respect it. If someone had taken that fire away from him, he would not have been the player he was. I respect him as a person and think Martin O'Neill has done a superb thing by bringing him in as his assistant."


"Roy was never afraid to make decisions, but sometimes when he went about it, he upset a hell of a lot of people... Being a number two, under a good manager like Martin O'Neill, allows him to look at how Martin approaches things. If he can learn from that and then take that experience with him when he becomes a manager again, he can be a better man and a stronger manager."

It could be interesting to see how Keane responds to Cole's counsel, especially considering that Cole as yet has no experience of top-level management.

H/T: Irish Independent 



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