Aston Villa avoid relegation: Roy Keane’s reaction to dressing room scenes was priceless

  • Rob Swan

Aston Villa avoided relegation on the final day of the season by the skin of their teeth.

The West Midlands outfit finished the season in 17th spot, one place above the drop zone, after a 1-1 draw with West Ham on Sunday.

Bournemouth and Watford were the two clubs that will join Norwich City in the Championship next season.

Villa took the lead in the 84th minute through Jack Grealish, who may have made his final appearance for the club.

Andriy Yarmolenko immediately put the hosts back on level terms, but Dean Smith’s side had still done enough to retain their Premier League status.

“I have lost my voice. I expect Jack Grealish to get drunk with me tonight… that’s all I can say,” Smith told BT Sport after the final whistle.

Asked whether this was Grealish’s final appearance in a Villa shirt, he said: “I will speak to the owners tomorrow.”

Smith added: “We had to concentrate on this game. We were up throughout the whole game. Jack [Grealish] was due one and he scored a magnificent goal.

“I was brought up a Villa fan. It is a proud moment and feels better than going up last season. It was a big change we had to make at the football club.

“We had to build a new team, a new squad. We used the pandemic to the best. I lost my father through that period and there was a lot of disappointment, but we knew we had to work hard.”

Footage was posted on social media of the Villa squad and backroom staff celebrating wildly inside the dressing room.

Watch the video here…

It also looks like the players will also enjoy a beer or two tonight and who can blame them?

Can you imagine Roy Keane’s reaction if he saw those dressing room scenes?

Fortunately, you don’t need to imagine because Keane was shown the footage live on Sky Sports – and his reaction was priceless.

Watch it here…

“It’s why they never win anything,” the Manchester United legend, who briefly worked as Villa’s assistant manager in 2014, said.

Micah Richards, sitting opposite Keane, couldn’t help but burst out laughing.

Trying to forget what he’d just seen for a second, Keane added: “Delighted for Dean Smith. Big achievement.

“Celebrations, listen: slightly over the top but good luck to them.”

Ah, Roy. We wouldn’t have expected anything less.

It’s this type of attitude, though, which helped Keane scale such heights during his illustrious career.


He was a true winner who expected 100 per cent effort from every teammate, be it in a match or even in a training session.

To Keane, the very idea of partying after narrowly avoiding relegation simply doesn’t compute.

But to the rest of us mere mortals, we can forgive Villa’s players for letting their hair down tonight after what has been an extremely tough season.

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