Times have changed…
Damien Delaney played under Roy Keane at Ipswich Town, and despite both being Corkman, the former Ireland captain did not give Delaney any special treatment.
Keane was certainly not easy to play under, Delaney has said, despite the fact that he was picked to play almost every week.
Delaney said that it was not an environment where a player could flourish, and that he had to switch off in order to block out Keane’s negativity.
Damien Delaney on Roy Keane
He said: “It was a difficult time. He always picked me, every week. Which he didn’t with a lot of people. He’d have a go at me after a game and then not speak to me for about a month, but still pick me. That was the only saving grace.
“As long as the manager is picking you. All you want to do as a footballer is play. I put up with anything to play. I learned mentally how to deal with him… I just kind of switched off.
“You tried to stay out of his way as much as you can and just train. You just tried to do what he wanted. He was clear about what he wanted. If you made mistakes he’d come down on you pretty hard. Some more than others…
“It was okay and I was big enough to deal with it, and I tried not to let it affect me.
“But it was not an environment where you could flourish. You’re battling, if you know what I mean. That was a difficult 18 months.
Roy Keane the manager
Keane seems to be interested in a return to management, having recently been linked with both Sunderland and Hibernian in Scotland.
However, if he were to survive in the modern era, he would have to use a softer touch on the current generation of footballer than he did with Delaney. More on that here.