At this time of year, many people like to look back at things they have been thankful for over the last year. If you were to ask us, there are fewer things higher up on the list than Roy Keane.
Once a world class footballer, the Cork man continues to make strides towards becoming a world class pundit. What he lacks in tactical analysis he more than makes up for in sheer entertainment value, with his one-liners some of the most cutting you will hear on television. That is without even mentioning his comedic timing.
In all 2021 was a hell of a year for Roy Keane. Here are some of his best moments over the last 12 months.
Roy Keane's Best Moments of 2021
It took Keane until February to really light our screens, but his argument with Jamie Redknapp over the Spurs squad was one of the highlights of the year.
Roy Keane v Jamie Redknapp 🍿
Things have got heated already on Super Sunday as the pair argue over Tottenham's form and hopes going forward.
📺 Watch live now on Sky Sports PL pic.twitter.com/jrYSnrH4HY
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 28, 2021
Spurs are a favoured punching bad of his, but Manchester United have not been far behind in recent times.
Here he is taking no messing from Bruno Fernandes.
"Just get on with it, don't be such a baby." 👶
Come for Roy Keane and Graeme Souness talking about Bruno Fernandes' performances against the 'Big Six', stay for Micah Richards' laugh...😂 pic.twitter.com/Mhscb4nfAz
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 7, 2021
In saying that, he didn't have much time for decision going against his old teams either.
This assessment of one against Spurs was particularly memorable.
🗣 "If this is a foul we should all go home, it's embarrassing."
Roy Keane is amazed that VAR disallowed Cavani's goal for a foul from McTominay on Son in the build-up pic.twitter.com/1xt0vjqQiG
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 11, 2021
As good as Keane's Premier League coverage is, he really seems to come into his own when international football comes about. Euro 2020 provided some incredible moments with the Irishman as part of ITV's coverage.
Here was his take on Portugal's Joao Felix after the nation's exit from the tournament:
[Joao] Felix, when he came on, that guy is an imposter. He's an imposter!
He's coming on like this, your country needs you and he comes on and can't hit the target? £100million!
I think if I was Ronaldo I would certainly be going after him in the dressing room.
Despite England's deep run in the Euros, they certainly weren't spared from his attacks.
The Cork man's withering take on the seemingly injured Jordan Henderson's presence at Euro 2020 was a particular highlight.
I've heard people say, 'They want him around the place' - for what? Does he do card tricks? Does he have a sing-song? Does he do quizzes in the evening? What does he do?
Keane had a good rapport with many of his colleagues on ITV, even if there was a bit of history there with some of them.
He is a reminder of when himself and Patrick Vieira addressed the elephant in the room about their previous clashes.
As for England's loss in the final, it won't come as a surprise to learn that the Cork man had a few things on the matter.
His summary of England's Italy shootout decisions was without doubt the highlight of the bunch, questioning why the likes of Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling allowed 19-year old Bukayo Saka to take the decisive spot kick.
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) July 11, 2021
Probably a little bit harsh.
In general, his Euro 2020 performance was a pièce de résistance.
It did not take him long to get back into the swing of club football once the Euros were wrapped up.
His reminder of Arsenal's current standing in the game before the season kicked off was actually a very well balanced piece of analysis.
As for his playing days, we all know that Keane was never flustered by the opposition.
That included a policy of never asking for another player's jersey after the game, although it did go very badly on the one occasion he did try it.
I've asked one player to swap a jersey, which I regret.
We played Germany with Ireland, pre World Cup 94 in a friendly. It was after the game, and we beat them to be fair.
He was walking off and I was only being polite. It was the sweeper, [Matthias] Sammer, and he said no. I went 'ya fucking prick' anyway.
That was it. I just thought 'I shouldn't be asking anybody'. I was only being polite, it's not that I wanted his jersey.
The latter part of the year was dominated by Keane's various misgivings with Manchester United and their players.
Here were his harsh words for some of the squad members after their reaction to the 5-0 defeat at home to Liverpool. That included a hilarious impression of Harry Maguire.
🗣 "A lot rubbish coming out from players, apologies left right and centre, it's no good, It's all rubbish."
Roy Keane doesn't sugar coat his assessment of the current situation at Manchester United following the Liverpool defeat pic.twitter.com/B8fVG6Ze0D
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 30, 2021
We're not sure our lives can get any better now that we've heard Roy Keane's impression of Harry Maguire 🤣pic.twitter.com/3Qrn9al4mV
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) October 30, 2021
His reaction to the Manchester City game wasn't much better.
His summary of a disastrous first half for United made for compelling viewing.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 6, 2021
He wasn't finished with Harry Maguire either.
After the defender cupped his hands to his ears when he scored for England against Albania in apparent response to criticism from Keane and others, the pundit certainly wasn't impressed.
Keane would also have a run-in with a Manchester United fan outside Old Trafford around this time, although he didn't think much of the incident.
He says that type of thing is a regular occurrence for him.
This guy stops me. He’s got two jerseys. Dealers, they know when you’ll be coming out after the TV. They spot you a mile away, they’re waiting. Who goes to watch United against City with two replica Keane 16 shirts in a plastic bag?
I’m signing these jerseys for the guy and I’m saying I don’t want to be here all day, and this other guy is pissed so he calls me a prick. He’s doesn’t see that I’m just having fun with the dealer.
I wasn’t going to stand there under the tunnel at Old Trafford and explain: do you know what, you got the wrong end of the stick. I just said, ‘Look, you’ve had a few drinks,’ and that was me being unbelievably mature, which is unlike me.
The clip goes on social media. People say I was angry. That’s not me angry. There’s plenty levels beyond that, trust me. That was a normal chat with a punter who’s annoying me. That was nothing. That kind of incident, I have the potential for 50 of them a day.
He wasn't all that impressed by how the club handled Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's departure.
The comments from caretaker boss Michael Carrick after the draw against Chelsea seemed to especially rile him up.
🗣 "I disagree with everything he said in that interview."
Roy Keane blasts Michael Carrick's post-match interview for his words about having a plan and being proud of the Man United team pic.twitter.com/9xXLLaRojQ
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 28, 2021
Of course, his fiercest on-air argument was yet to come.
That arrived during a heated debate with Jamie Carragher over the virtues of United signing Cristiano Ronaldo, with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in the middle of the pair summing up the feelings of all the viewers at home.
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 28, 2021
His year as a pundit would end in the same fashion that it began: with a dig at Spurs and their Amazon documentary:
You had players in the dressing room and medical room and everybody was on their phones.
They showed a couple of players falling out, I think it was [Dele] Alli and [Eric] Dier, but they were arguing like children! They were going 'you need to do your job', there was no aggression. They were like actors, there was no emotion behind it.
Harry Kane was doing a talk before the games and oh my god. I was like 'Harry, you need to liven up man'.
Not a fan.
Of course, all of this is without mentioning the cultural phenomenon that is Roy Keane's Instagram page.
Roy, please never change.