Wayne Rooney defends Roy Keane over incident that ended his Manchester United career

roy keane wayne rooney

“Well, he’s right.”

Wayne Rooney has defended Roy Keane over the MUTV interview that brought about the end of the Irishman’s 12 and a half year spell with Manchester United.

In November 2005, Keane left Man United following an explosive argument with Alex Ferguson.

The midfielder had criticised some of his teammates during an MUTV interview where he “played the pundit” and reviewed the team’s performance in a 3-1 loss to Middlesbrough.

Roy Keane’s infamous MUTV interview.

Keane was said to have been critical of Rio Ferdinand, Alan Smith, John O’Shea, Darren Fletcher and Kieran Richardson in the interview, which never aired.

Ferguson was furious and summoned Keane to a team meeting, where the interview was replayed in front of the Man United squad.

The former United midfielder said the players he had criticised had no issue with the video.

“Look, lads. Have any of you got a problem?’ They were all, ‘No, no, no.'” Keane writes in his second autobiography.

“I’d said something about my wife tackling better than him, for one of the goals. But I could tell from his expression that he was fine with it; Fletch knew my form. The mood was still good between me and the players.

“But Carlos and the manager were in the background, steam coming out their ears.”

Alex Ferguson’s version of events.

However, Ferguson’s version of events, detailed in his second autobiography, differs. The former Man United manager said Keane turned on him after the team meeting in front of the squad.

“The hardest part of Roy’s body is his tongue. He has the most savage tongue you can imagine,” Ferguson said about Keane and the incident in his second autobiography.

“He can debilitate the most confident person in the world in seconds with that tongue. What I noticed about him that day as I was arguing with him was that his eyes started to narrow, almost to wee black beads. It was frightening to watch. And I’m from Glasgow.”

Keane’s contract was then ended by mutual consent and he walked away from the club, a bitter end to an incredibly successful career at Old Trafford.

Wayne Rooney’s version of Roy Keane story.

Wayne Rooney, who was a Man United player at the time, has defended Roy Keane over the incident. The former England captain has said that there was “nothing wrong” with what Keane said.

“I was at United when he gave his infamous MUTV interview but disagree with how it’s portrayed,” Rooney says about Keane in his column for the Sunday Times.

“Roy was supposedly too critical of his team-mates but I’ve watched the video and there’s nothing wrong with it at all.

“He said that players can’t pass the ball ten yards and they’re playing for Manchester United and it’s not good enough. Well, he’s right.”

Rooney was writing about the role of a captain on a football team, drawing on his own experience of the role and those he worked with.

The former Everton forward said Keane was “vocal” and had “an aura.”

“I remember my first United training session thinking, ‘I need to impress him.’ Not the manager. Him.”


(Originally published on June 7, 2020).

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