Perhaps taking a tip from Andy Reid (or perhaps not), Alex Ferguson reminds midfielder Roy Keane that while there is no “I” in “team”, there’s most definetly a “you” in “fuck off”.
Roy Keane has dramatically left Manchester United, reportedly after another acrimonious dispute with Sir Ferguson.
Both club and player today insisted the decision to part ways was by “mutual consent”, however sources in Ireland suggest that Keane had a blazing row with the United manager after being told he wasn’t wanted for a reserve game against West Brom last night.
Keane was also told that he was being stripped of the captaincy, after which he realised he had no future at Old Trafford.
Today’s events were the culmination of months of frostiness between club and player, which started when the Manchester United captain criticised a pre-season get-together in Portugal as a waste of time. He then angered United further in September, by admitting he was likely to leave at the end of the season when his contract ran out – comments that came as a shock to Ferguson, who hadn’t been briefed on his captain’s feelings.
Then there was that infamous rant on MUTV – later destroyed by the club – in which he criticised key United players. “Just because you are paid £120,000-a-week and play well for 20 minutes against Tottenham, you think you are a superstar,” Keane said, pointing the finger firmly at Rio Ferdinand. “The younger players have been let down by some of the more experienced players. They are just not leading.
“There is a shortage of characters in this team. It seems to be in this club that you have to play badly to be rewarded. Maybe that is what I should do when I come back. Play badly. There is talk about putting this right in January and bringing new players in. We should be doing the opposite – we should be getting rid of people in January.”
(UPDATE : I’ve just been informed that Will Leitch covered this story with his typical aplomb :
It could very well be considered the end of Manchester United™s dominant reign; Keane was the tough, winning-driven captain, all business. If you™re not into soccer, think of it like Derek Jeter leaving the Yankees in July.
The key words of course being, “if you’re not into soccer”. Funny how Will thinks Man Ure are in the midst of a “dominant reign” when they finished 3rd the last two seasons and are currently 4th in the Premiership. Much like the Yankees’ currently dominant reign, then. Not everyone might remember Keane as so fondly as “the tough, winning-driven captain”, either, so perhaps Will can ask his “official soccer expert” about Alfe Inge Haaland.)