By 90Min
October 01, 2019

It'd be inaccurate to call Roy Keane a Marmite figure, because that implies around half of people love him - the truth is it's probably far fewer than that.

But, for all of his flaws, he's due a moment of 'good value' every now and again, and his debut on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football for Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Arsenal was surprisingly full of such moments.

So, let's take a look at some of his best lines from the coverage.


Going Against Gary Neville

Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Gary Neville is a stalwart of this iteration of Monday Night Football, the chief superintendent, the guv'nor, if you will. He takes his place in the studio or on the gantry and the place is his to run.

At the end of a drab match featuring little action, Neville claimed the second half was an enthralling watch, featuring "lots of endeavour, lots of chances". However, Keane's assessment was the complete opposite.

“Gary Neville said it was a really good game – I must’ve been watching a different game,” he said. “I thought it was shocking.

“United lacked the belief to finish the game off – the game was there for the taking for United. I’m not sure what can Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] will take from it. There’s not too many positives.”


Defending Granit Xhaka for Some Reason

By all accounts, Roy Keane is a 'Proper Football Man™'. He's a hard nut, has no time for the nonsense that is modern football, and probably gets angry at the sight of boots that aren't black.

Manchester United's goal - a stunning strike from Scott McTominay - appeared to head in because Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka ducked out of the way of the ball.

The Swiss midfielder is often criticised for his lapses in concentration and errors leading to goals, but Keane was quick to defend Xhaka.

When asked about the incident by Jamie Carragher, Keane said: “It does come at him pretty quick Jamie, I have to say.

“I’d be quite happy to criticise him but I think it does go quick.”

Well, if the toughest tackling midfielder of his generation says so, who are we to argue?


'Patrick Vieira Wouldn't Have Started for United'

Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Manchester United and Arsenal's rivalry is best epitomised by that of their captains during the early 2000s - Keane and Patrick Vieira.

Their feuds during their times at their respective clubs are well-documented by now, and Keane reiterated the Frenchman was his "toughest opponent at the time", but was eager to reignite this old fire.

"There was talk about Patrick [going to United], but I don't think he would have got into the United team," he said. "He would've had to have been a squad player and I don't think he would've been satisfied with that.

"What we would've done, when [Juan Sebastian] Veron came to the club, you see that as a challenge. The club has to improve, get better and you have to roll with it, roll your sleeves up and enjoy the challenge. If you want to be a big player at a big club, you have to accept these challenges."

Keane also explained their feud in the Highbury tunnel ahead of United's famous 4-2 win at the former home of the Gunners.

"I was never one for argy-bargy or slagging people off in the tunnel, but Patrick had threatened Gary [Neville] in the tunnel and I felt he crossed the line," he added.

"The key for me after that is don't be distracted by it. Focus on the match. The most important thing that night was to win the game, which we did. I always think these things look worse than what they really are. It summed up the rivalry."


Not Impressed by Nicolas Pepe

Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

£72m man Nicolas Pepe has found it tough to get going at Arsenal since his summer transfer from Lille, and his performance at Old Trafford did him no favours.

The Ivorian looked terribly uncoordinated, creating little and ballooning his shots straight into the crowd.

Keane compared his performance with that of 17-year-old Bukayo Saka on the opposite flank for Arsenal.

"[I'm] disappointed with him since he’s come to the club," he said. "Not great body language, okay, sometimes we make excuses for players a lot, it takes time to settle into a club. 

"You see this young kid tonight [Saka], Pepe compared to him for the money they paid, he needs to do a lot more."


Curbing His Enthusiasm

Keane is one of Sky Sports' latest 'signings' for the season, with Jose Mourinho probably the most high profile of their new pundits.

Presenter David Jones ended Monday night's broadcast by looking ahead to the new season with Keane alongside him.

"Roy we look forward to watching lots more football with you this season," Jones said, with his typically wide smile. 

Keane, deadpan and with all the emotion of a wet tablecloth, replied: "Yeah, I’m looking forward to it."

Typical Roy, eh?

You May Like