“What a captain he was!”
Alan Shearer has praised Roy Keane’s leadership qualities after the Irishman was named as one of 23 nominees to join the inaugural Premier League Hall of Fame.
Shearer and fellow former forward Thierry Henry became the first two legends to be named in the class of 2021 and six places remain in the running to join the pair as inductees.
Keane is among the favourites to be given the nod and Shearer has backed the Irishman to make the Hall of Fame for his impact as Manchester United’s greatest-ever captain.
“I did [have run-ins] but only because of the amount of respect I had for him, because of how much he wanted to win and what a captain he was,” Shearer told the Premier League’s official website.
“The sign of a great captain is when your team is in trouble, you’ve got 70,000 or 80,000 fans looking at you, you’ve got millions all around the world looking at you.
“Probably more importantly, you’ve got your teammates and your manager looking at you to do something to get us out of trouble.”
“Whether that be a tackle, a pass or a goal, whatever that may be and that’s what great captains do – and that’s what Roy Keane was.
“He was a great leader and he led his team to so many victories, to so many trophies and he epitomised everything great about Man United at that time.”
Alan Shearer vs. Roy Keane
Both being fierce competitors, Shearer clashed with Keane on occasion and the former England international recently revealed how the Corkman waited for him after their infamous altercation at St. James’ Park in 2001.
Keane was sent off after throwing a punch at Shearer following a disagreement close to the touchline late on in a 4-3 victory for Newcastle over the Red Devils.
“When you went from the pitch into the tunnel at St James’, there were a set of steps and then you split towards the home or away dressing-rooms,” Shearer wrote in The Athletic.
“When the final whistle went, Roy was standing at the top of the stairs waiting for me. I’m pretty sure a few more choice words exchanged, there was some bustling and scrambling.
“But there were way too many people between us for anything physical to actually happen. That’s usually how it pans out in football.”
LOI Arena is the new home for great League of Ireland discussion. Each week Con and Conan will take to the mic to analyse the highs and lows from the Greatest League in the World. The lads are joined by great guests each week who share a passion for all things LOI and Irish Football.
Episode 5 of LOI Arena is free to listen to here. Former Celtic, Bohemians and St Patrick’s Athletic midfielder Paul Byrne gave Con and Conan an incredibly raw account of the many highs and lows of his football career.
The podcast will form part of a new membership offering from Pundit Arena that focuses on Irish soccer fans for just €3.99 per month, less than a euro per week.