Roy Keane had an incredible start to his managerial career at Sunderland, but things would take a turn for the worst during his third season in charge.
After a 16th-placed finish in the Premier League the season before, Keane brought in a number of reinforcements that summer. The likes of El Hadji Diouf, Pascal Chimbonda, and Anton Ferdinand were all brought in.
However, the season quickly went under, with the former Manchester United captain out of the job by the start of December. It has been claimed that those new signings had a major part to play in the team's demise.
Appearing on the Open Goal podcast with Si Ferry, Andy Reid said signing that group of players is probably Keane's biggest regret as Sunderland boss.
🎥⚽️| @siferry8 Meets... @AndyReidXI
✅ Meeting Cloughy at @NFFC
✅ Big Move to @SpursOfficial
✅ Playing w/ Keane, Defoe, Carrick & Davids
✅ Playing in Roy Keane's Return to @FAIreland
✅ @SunderlandAFC w/ Keane
✅ Troubled times at Mackems
✅ Return to Forest
— Open Goal (@opengoalsport) September 14, 2020
Roy said to us 'you're too nice, so I'm bringing in some people who aren't so nice'. That's what he wanted to do.
I don't know if anyone has ever asked him about it, but I'd imagine he regrets bringing them in because there was a real imbalance in the squad.
It started to get out of hand with arguments and fights in training all the time, Roy ended up leaving. El Hadji Diouf was fighting with everybody, he pulled out a knife on Anton Ferdinand.
That happened, that's not me telling you anything that's not already out there. That was public knowledge.
We stayed up that season after Ricky Sbragia and Dwight Yorke took over. We stayed up by default really, we maybe won one game in the last ten or something like that. We stayed up because Newcastle were worse and then Duffer (Damien Duff) scored an OG on the last day of the season against Villa.
We lost our last game at home to Chelsea, 2-1, and we just had to match or better Newcastle's result. We did and we stayed up, but by total default really. We were struggling, there was people pulling in all different directions.
You can watch the interview in full here.
To be fair, nothing would surprise us with El Hadji Diouf.