Roy Keane’s MUTV interview: Man Utd legend’s comments about teammates

  • Rob Swan

Roy Keane is unquestionably one of Manchester United’s greatest ever players.

Arguably the best captain of the Premier League era, Keane had everything you’d want in a midfielder. He was energetic, tenacious, an excellent tackler, an extraordinary leader, and he was brilliant on the ball, too.

Not enough is made about Keane’s passing ability. The Irishman wasn’t just a scary, tough-tackling warrior. He could play a bit, as he likes to remind people these days.

It’s a shame Keane’s United career ended under a cloud following a bust-up with Sir Alex Ferguson in 2005.

One of the contributing factors was an infamous MUTV interview which was never broadcast.

MUTV used to run a feature called “Plays The Pundit” and it just so happened to be Keane’s turn to provide analysis on the week after United were hammered 4-1 away at Middlesbrough.

It was a result which Sir Alex Ferguson himself described as “shocking” but Keane, who missed the game through injury, gave his teammates both barrels in an interview which caused a major stir.

Man Utd sought to destroy all copies of the tape, according to The Mirror, while Keane was slapped with a £5,000 fine from the club. He never played for the Red Devils again.

Although the footage has never been made publicly available, reports have revealed what Keane said about his teammates. It’s fair to say he didn’t hold back.

Keane on Edwin van der Sar

"He should have saved that (a 30-yard goal from Gaizka Mendieta). That was saveable."


Keane on John O’Shea

"He's just strolling around when he should have been busting a gut to get back."

Keane on Rio Ferdinand

“I have seen that happen to Rio before [after Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink robbed Ferdinand for the second goal]. It is poor defending.

"Just because you are paid £120,000 a week and play well for 20 minutes against Tottenham you think you are a superstar."


Keane on Darren Fletcher

"I can't understand why people in Scotland rave about Darren Fletcher."

Keane on Kieran Richardson

"He is a lazy defender who deserved to get punished.. he wasn't doing his job."


Keane on Alan Smith

"What is he doing there? He is wandering around as if he is lost. He doesn't know what he is doing."

Keane on United’s youngsters

"When they sign the contracts, they think they have made it. They owe it to the manager, the staff and the fans. They think they have made it. They haven't."

Keane on United’s experienced players

"The younger players have been let down by some of the more experienced ones - they are not leading. There is a shortage of characters.

"It seems to be in this club you have to play badly to be rewarded. Maybe that is what I should do when I come back - play badly."

Keane on United’s 4-1 defeat to Middlesbrough

"I wasn't surprised by the result I had been expecting one like this. The players have been asked questions and they are just not coming up with the answers.

"I am sick of having to say it and they are sick of listening to me. They have let down the club, the manager, and the fans."


Keane on injuries to several key players

"The fact they are out should be enough incentive for those coming in to play better and give more

"It is not enough to play well for 20 minutes, it is a 90-minute game.

"You get well rewarded but you have to put the hard work to earn those rewards."

In the eyes of Ferguson, Keane totally overstepped the mark.

Ferguson’s reaction to the video

"It was unbelievable. He slaughtered everyone. Darren Fletcher got it. Alan Smith. Van der Sar. Roy was taking them all down.

"The hardest part of Roy’s body is his tongue. He has the most savage tongue you can imagine."


Did Keane have any regrets?

Years later, Keane said he had no regrets over his frank analysis, adding: “I had to do it.

“I was disappointed with the players but it was MUTV, propaganda for the club. So I did the interview.

"It was getting a bit silly so I got the players together in the dressing room and told them it was f*****g nonsense.

"They were all going: ‘Yeah, Yeah’. Not one of them had an issue. Not one.

"Even now people still say: ‘The video had to be destroyed’. Like it was a nuclear weapon or something."

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