Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp has been using the Daily Mail to plug his latest book, A Man Walks onto a Pitch, and focused his latest column on the English manager becoming extinct.
In his thorough and lengthy write-up he brings up an interesting point regarding Aston Villa’s assistant manager Roy Keane, claiming it’s a shame that he doesn’t work at Manchester United.
Harry Redknapp: ‘Roy Keane is working in the game at Aston Villa and Ireland, but it seems a real shame to have a man of his stature outside United. Would they have come seventh last season if Keane had been around to pull the players up?'
‘He would have been after them as he always was in the peak years, when there were no short-cuts at United and those messages were passed from Sir Alex, through Keane.'
‘There is a story of him laying into Mark Bosnich, the goalkeeper, for turning up late on his first day of training. Bosnich said he’d got lost. Kean’es point was that on his own first day at the club, he got up early, hired a taxi and followed it to the training ground in his car to ensure he arrived on time.'
‘He had incredible professional standards and expected the same of everybody. It’s great to have a player like that in your team. Every manager wants a Tony Adams, a John Terry or a Roy Keane, a player who will have a go. I know Roy had a reputation for being high maintenance but I never found him that way.'
‘He was as good as gold as a manager and if you asked him about players you always got excellent, straight opinions.’
Since his exit from Old Trafford in 2005, the former Manchester United captain seems to have isolated himself from many of the people at United – most notably the class of ’92 and Sir Alex Ferguson.
The notion that United wouldn’t have finished seventh last season had he been at the club also doesn’t make much sense either. David Moyes’ regime implemented a couple of former United players in it – Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes – so I don’t believe United’s finishing position was down to lack of ‘know-how’
The under-pressure QPR manager does, however, make some good points regarding the ‘type’ of players that do tend to breed success. Tony Adams, John Terry and Roy Keane all played in successful sides, and their roles in those sides were never under-played. However, there is a huge difference between management and playing and I don’t think for a second that both Adams' and Keane’s miserable managerial spells were down to bad luck.
Keane has a fantastic opportunity at Aston Villa this season and should look to use it as a small step back on the ladder to rebuilding his coaching/managerial reputation. Paul Lambert is a good, relatively experienced, manager who has had to work hard for a Premier League managerial job. He is the type of manager that Keane should look to learn off and reflect.