Club veteran and player-coach Ryan Giggs has been handed the role of manager on an interim basis for the Red Devils’ remaining four games of the season following the sacking of David Moyes on Tuesday.
The 40-year-old Welshman has been at the club 29 years but his former colleague and skipper at Old Trafford Roy Keane could be kind of figure the squad need right now after such a disappointing and confidence killing season under the sacked Scot.
Roy Keane is a club legend to this day, he was the captain at Old Trafford where he spent 12 years under Sir Alex Ferguson and led the club through their most successful era. He made almost 500 appearances for United and won no less than seven Premier League titles, four FA Cup titles, and the UEFA Champions League.
His experience as a player also extends to management; he had a two-year spell in charge of Sunderland and a two-year spell at Ipswich and now provides coaching to the Republic of Ireland national team as the assistant manager to Martin O’Neil. His credentials speak for themselves and certainly the Irishman has no qualms about speaking his mind.
It is well documented that, as a player and manager, Keane was and is one of the toughest disciplinarians, often critical of his players and colleagues. As a player he always gave one hundred per cent and never accepted anything less from his teammates or players to.
After the season they’ve endured under David Moyes, perhaps a strong disciplinarian figure to drive the players to work harder, to demand more commitment and professionalism is exactly the remedy to such lackluster displays from the squad this term and he could very easily bring back the ‘fear factor’ to Old Trafford as well as having that Ferguson-esc aura of keeping the players terrified of letting him down.
The cons are fairly obvious, in my estimation, and are likely the reason he’ll be overlooked for the job from the outset. Firstly, his managerial experience is not at the top level and his spells at both Sunderland and Ipswich were not particularly successful. Whilst he won the Championship title with the Black Cats in 2006/07 to gain promotion, he has no experience of challenging for a Premier League title, never mind European football, which is Manchester United’s aim.
Meanwhile, his status as a tough guy and a disciplinarian may have the desired affect on lower league teams and players but at the top level his controversial nature to stir things up and get in people’s faces could have a similar kind of affect that Paulo Di Canio had on Sunderland. After all, Ferguson revealed there was ‘relief’ when he finally left Old Trafford in 2006 and the Scot also suggested he had been a bit of a bully towards some of the younger players at the time.
On that note, Ferguson will likely have a say in who comes in to replace Moyes and, above all else, Ferguson and Keane don’t see eye to eye. United need calm and stability after the season they’ve had and they need to ride the waves of this transition from the Ferguson era with as much ease as possible so having a conflict going on behind the scenes is not going to help matters.
Overall, Roy Keane would be the antithesis to Moyes. He is real tough guy who speaks his mind and accepts nothing less than perfection from those around him. I actually believe that could be exactly what Manchester United need at the moment, it’s obvious they are lacking real leadership and direction but, unfortunately for Keane (because I reckon he would love the job) his relationship with Ferguson and his tendency to upset the apple cart too often likely means he won’t be considered.