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Phil Neville Reveals Why Roy Keane Always Got Away With Hammering His Teammates

Phil Neville Reveals Why Roy Keane Always Got Away With Hammering His Teammates
By Mikey Traynor

Roy Keane is someone who always seems to find a place in the 'Teammates XI' of anyone who played on the same pitch as him during his career as a player.

Damien Duff did just that over the weekend as he explained that Keano's leadership was on another level to anyone else, and while Phil Neville wasn't picking his XI on Off The Ball on Monday night, he made it very clear that the Cork man left a massive, lasting impression on him.

Neville was chatting to Joe Molloy about a range of topics such as his decision to leave Old Trafford, and how confident he is that Seamus Coleman will back stronger than ever, but particularly interesting was the way in which he talked about the current Ireland assistant manager.

Neville added himself to the growing list of pro footballers who don't believe enough people talk about how good a passer Roy was, as Michael Carrick did recently.

You remember certain things that he used to demand from you, and when I became captain of Everton I started to demand from the teammates there that I thought, I had think thing in my head; 'what would Roy say now?'

If somebody came in with a cap on his head or not the right trainers on, Roy Keane would hammer you for that.

I learned so much from him, and as a player, I don't think people realise how good he was. People say he was tough, he was aggressive.. He was a brilliant passer of a ball. He used to always say, 'If you're ever in trouble, even if I've got men around me, just give me the ball and I'll get you out of trouble.'

You could trust him with your life. People don't realise how great he was for team spirit too.

And this was the basis of a fantastic point made by Phil where he revealed why, as a teammate, you could never respond to Roy, you simply had to allow you to hammer you for a mistake.

You may think that it was fear that prevented many of his teammates from answering back, but the biggest thing for Neville was that if you were waiting for him to make a mistake so you could have a go back, that opportunity never came.


He used to drive us forward. Training was harder than matches, he was harder on us. Give the ball away in a possession session, he would hammer you, if you didn't stay with your runner or give a goal away, he would be highly critical of you because of the standards that he required.

The thing is with people like Roy Keane is you'd think to yourself 'Oh, just wait until he gives the ball away'... He never gave the ball away. You could never actually had a go back at him.

He was just fantastic, I loved playing with him and he was someone that helped us with our success.

He would hammer you for making mistakes because he wouldn't make them, and demanded that you raise your standards to his level. The picture Neville paints of Man Utd players being more relaxed by playing in an actual match than on the training pitch tells you everything you need to know about his leadership.

Phil Neville described him as his idol even while he was playing alongside him.

You can listen to Phil Neville's Off The Ball interview with Joe Molloy and Kevin Kilbane over on Newstalk.com.

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