(Article originally published on March 17th 2022)
Something that doesn’t get said often enough…
Jonny Evans has made an excellent point about Roy Keane, his former teammate at Manchester United and manager at Sunderland.
Evans and Keane never actually played together in the same United team, but the Northern Ireland international got to see a lot of him when he was a youth player at United.
The Leicester City defender recently spoke with the Man United website about Keane, and referenced one point in particular about him that is often overlooked.
While he was obviously a leader, a hard-trackler, and an icon – the thing that is often forgotten is that he was absolutely excellent at football.
Jonny Evans on Roy Keane
He said: “What an unbelievable player he was. We had this incredible team with all these star players, and he was the leader of them all, hard as nails… he was just there to be idolised. Just this huge, influential character. I idolised him.
“Everyone knows Roy was a real leader who inspired other players, but he was also an unbelievable player in his own right. Without a doubt, he could play in any team at any time, even today.”
Evans went on to play under Keane as a manager, which he said he “loved”, despite how demanding the Corkman was…
“Playing under Roy was fantastic, I loved it. He was very demanding of his players, but that’s how it should be. That’s what I wanted, what I was used to. From a young age, playing at Manchester United growing up, all our coaches were demanding.
“No time for slacking off or anything, so it was normal for me to have that. Roy can maybe be a bit more ruthless or cut-throat in how he approaches things and gets things across, but, for me, it was fine and I could handle it, no problem.
“Everything went so well that he didn’t really have a chance to have a go at me or anyone else. I certainly didn’t experience the Roy Keane wrath that everybody talks about.”
Keane is eyeing up a return to management, with Sunderland said to be interested recently. However, that didn’t materialise, which you can read more about here.