Roy Keane will forever be remembered.
One of the greatest players in Manchester United’s history, Keane drove consistently-high standards at the club for over 12 seasons that yielded seven Premier League titles, four of those coming as captain.
While captains are expected to drive standards, there’s a common thought that they either lead through words or actions. Some do they’re talking in the changing rooms, others let their feet do the talking.
Keane did both, however, which is why he is held in such high regard to this today.
During his time at the club, many midfielders came and went, some proved successful while many fell by the wayside.
One such midfielder was Eric Djemba-Djemba who didn’t quite make the desired impact on the pitch with just 20 appearances for the club between 2003-05. However, he is considered somewhat of a cult hero among the Man United faithful.
Djemba-Djemba spoke of his time working alongside Keane recalling the tale of fellow midfielder, Kleberson, who bore the wrath of Keane inside the Old Trafford dressing room.
Kleberson joined the club with high hopes having played central midfield on a star-studded Brazil team who captured the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Like Djemba-Djemba, however, the Brazilian made just 20 appearances for the club and is regarded as one their biggest flops.
Speaking to BettingApps.com, Djemba-Djemba said:
“Roy Keane had a right go at Kleberson! Kleberson looked like he didn’t want to play with his body language, and wanted to play slowly.”
“I remember one Champions League game at Old Trafford, we went into the dressing room and Roy Keane was screaming at him!
“He said ‘You need to wake-up! You need to give everything, you need to tackle! Why don’t you want to want to play? You just won The World Cup! What’s happened? You need to play better!’
“It was definitely scary for Kleberson. He was always smiling, and was still smiling when Keane had a go at him, which would have made Keane even more angry.”
With regards to the current state of the club, Man United seem to be on an upward trajectory with fans hopeful of a bright future provided that Bruno Fernandez and Paul Pogba can continue to flourish.
Despite their talent, however, Djemba-Djemba feels both of United’s current marquee players would have to settle for a place on the bench had they been around in Keane’s day.
The Cameroonian described Keane as a manager to the team citing his relationship in central midfield with Paul Scholes as “amazing”.
“Fernandes and Pogba would definitely have been on the bench behind [Roy] Keane and [Paul] Scholes.
“Those two were amazing together. Roy Keane was like a coach, like a manager to the team.”