Roy Keane's arrival as a Sky Sports pundit has split many. Some find his eye rolling style of punditry a bit well worn, others find him box office, others are a little put out such a legend of the game being reduced to a Sky Sports punchline. Whatever you think of him though, he's endlessly fascinating.
Making his debut on Monday Night Football last night alongside Jamie Carragher, Keane reflected on his time at Manchester United. While he was a little more magnanimous about his relationship with Alex Ferguson than he has been in recent times, he also couldn't resist responding again to Ferguson's claims from 14 years ago that he tried to "run the dressing room", even though he definitely hadn't been asked about it.
I know he was critical towards me at the end, almost saying I was running the dressing room, but I was. Senior players run the dressing room. As you know at club level, managers are very rarely in the dressing room, at the training ground particularly.
You can ask any of the senior players. When I was at Forest, Stuart Pearce and Des (Walker) would organise it. When I first went to Man United, Robbo, Brucey, Eric, they'd be organising stuff. Senior players ultimately run the dressing room.
When Keane became a senior player, he claimed that naturally became his role, but says he didn't go over the line or try to discipline other players.
You would have to try and set good examples. What people would be critical of me when I was a player, and I hear a lot of players say with their stories, and a lot of them are exaggerated, I was very hard on them and we used to train properly, and I'd expect people to be on time. And we give it all for the club. And I thought, 'yeah, that's what I supposed to do.'
I was there to win at Man United. I wasn't there to be pals with everybody. I wasn't a great one for speeches. I tried to lead by example. And a lot of my talks, if I was ever given them to the players, were before games, and would be something trivial. There'd be certain games where you'd go, 'hey lads, remember who we are, we're Man United. Don't forget that. We're here to win', and that would be it.
I never felt my role was more important than what it was. But I knew I had to train properly. I had to try and drive people on. Keep people focused, don't be distracted by off the field stuff. And that's what I tried to pass on to players.
"I think we both really loved and wanted to do what was best for Manchester United." ❤
"Senior players ultimately run the dressing room." 💪
Roy Keane lifts the lid on his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson and the Manchester United dressing room. 🔴 pic.twitter.com/a93a85L6bH
— Sky Sports Retro (@SkySportsRetro) September 30, 2019
After the performance last night, and hearing what Keane had to say about it, it'd be interesting to know if the former United captain thinks there's anyone in the current dressing room who is taking on that senior player role.
Who does Roy Keane think is more likely to finish in the top four, Arsenal or Manchester United?
"On tonight's performance, none of them." 😂#MUNARS
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) September 30, 2019