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Sir Alex Ferguson Revealed The Match He Realised It Was Over For Roy Keane

Ryan Sidle

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Sir Alex Ferguson Revealed The Match He Realised It Was Over For Roy Keane

Featured Image Credit: PA

Roy Keane left Manchester United in November 2005 but Sir Alex Ferguson actually revealed it wasn't until a match months later he realised Keane's career was over.

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For many years Keane was Fergie on the pitch. The Irish midfielder was the heart and soul of the team on the pitch, and was known to let players know in no uncertain terms if they weren't playing to their best.

The United captain's relationship with his manager, and the rest of the team, disappeared in 2005 though, when he gave an interview to MUTV, the club's own channel, criticising many of his teammates.

Not long later his contract was ended, by mutual consent, and the former Nottingham Forest player moved north to play for Celtic.

However in his autobiography, Alex Ferguson: My Biography, via Pundit Arena, the former United boss revealed it wasn't until an Old Firm game for Celtic that he realised Keane was done.

"I think the [United] dressing room relaxed when Roy left. Relief swept the room. They no longer had to listen to the barrage that some of them had grown to expect," Fergie wrote of his former captain.

"Because he'd been a declining force, the gap he left was not as big as it would have been three years previously.

"I watched him in a Celtic v Rangers game and said to Carlos [Queiroz] beforehand, 'He'll be the star man today.'"

Keane arrived at Parkhead to much acclaim. Image: PA Images
Keane arrived at Parkhead to much acclaim. Image: PA Images

Keane wasn't the star man, as the two Glasgow sides played out a 0-0 draw, and he was replaced by Shunsuke Nakamura around the hour mark.

"Roy was never in the game. He played a passive role," Fergie continued, "The dynamic, fist-clenching, demanding Roy Keane wasn't there.

"He loved it at Celtic Park. I spoke to him about it and he praised the training, the facilities, the Prozone.

"Things did settle down between us. About two months later I was sitting in my office discussing team business with Carlos, when a member of staff called to say that Roy was here to see me.

"I was startled.

"'I just want to apologise to you for my behaviour,' he said. That's when we began describing the scene at Celtic and telling me how well his work was going.

"But when I saw him in that Rangers-Celtic game I knew he wouldn't carry on with it."

Keane after he was subbed off in the Old Firm game in April 2006. Image: PA Images
Keane after he was subbed off in the Old Firm game in April 2006. Image: PA Images

Keane only last six months in the Scottish Premier League before calling it a day on his playing career, and appeared just 10 times in the league.

However he did at least help them win a league and cup double, so it was successful for him.

After a managerial career of mixed success, the 49-year-old can now been seen as a pundit on Sky Sports News, giving forthright views.

Topics: Football News, Celtic, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Scottish Football, Premier League, Old Firm, SPFL, Scotland, Roy Keane, Rangers

Ryan Sidle
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