Manchester United are quickly becoming the Liverpool of the 1990s. And the 2000s. And also the 2010s. Basically the Red Devils are headed to the doldrums to keep Liverpool company slightly above mid-table, for the foreseeable future.
Since Alex Ferguson’s retirement from football, United have had the impossible task of filling the gap left by one of the most successful ever managers in football, if not the most successful. It’s like filling in the Grand Canyon with cement, impossible.
David Moyes was a total bust, although you might argue he was never going to succeed. Though Scottish, he is not Ferguson. Nobody was going to live up to expectations immediately after Fergie’s departure.
Cue Louis Van Gaal, a manager of international reputation and success. Sounded good right? Alas, to date, he has been performing even worse than Moyes.
Through 26 Premier League games Van Gaal has 41 points. That’s one less than Moyes could pull together for the same duration. The only thing saving Van Gaal’s job right now is the fact that United are two positions higher (5th) than Moyes’ United (7th) for the same period. LVG may well thank the poor seasons had thus far by Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City for keeping him in a job.
With almost daily reports that Van Gaal is out and that José Mourinho is taking over anywhere from at the end of the season to next week, it seems merely a matter of time before the Iron Tulip leaves with a golden handshake.
So what better time to suggest the perfect replacement – Mr. Roy Keane, former captain fantastic for United and general opinion splitter with Rep of Ireland fans. Pipe down, pipe down. Here are the top four reasons why Keano is the man for the job.
Roy Keane was never a player, or a manager for that matter, who gave one single care about ego pandering. Such is the coddled nature of some footballers today, you seemingly have to tiptoe them around hoping you don’t offend and hope they play well by telling them just how fantastic they are. Keane would be quick use the boot á la Ferguson on Beckham, and then ship them out. Playing for United is an honour, never to be taken for granted. Keane knows this.
Keane was a doer. As captain of Manchester United you could never say he did not lead. The man was probably United’s finest ever captain. Remember that game in 1999 against Juventus when he got booked, thus banning him from the Champions League final? Remember how United were 2-0 down after 11 minutes, away from home? Who was it that grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and dragged United to victory?
Did Keane drop his head and pout? No. He led from the front, scored a goal to make it 2-1 and then inspired his side to victory, knowing throughout he would not be in the final. That is what United need again now, a leader.
The man is fearless. On the field Keane was the boss. Not the tallest midfielder you will ever meet but like a Jack Russell, he sure thought he was the biggest. Who can forget the clashes he had with Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira? Vieira was a big man but more often than not found himself on the losing side of his personal battles with Keane. Being fearless is what United need. Too many seem to fear the media, about how they are perceived. Keane had it spot on, give it your all, win your battles and it will be on these merits you will be judged.
Finally, if for no other reason than to see the face on Alex Ferguson if Keane was manager. After a decade of stellar success as manager and captain, it all came to screeching halt when Keane and Ferguson finally went at it. Keane called out his team mates on MUTV for their lack of heart and commitment and Ferguson calls it a line crossed by Keane. In the ensuing cold war, we still don’t know the real details, Keane was always going to lose. Ferguson was Mr. United after all and soon we saw Keane leave to fulfill his dream of playing for Celtic. Imagine Keane’s return to Manchester United as their manager. Surely Sir Alex would pop a blood vessel or two.
Right so the fourth reason is not exactly a reason but given the way United have been since Ferguson left, a side seemingly devoid of any real heart or entertainment, surely to see Ferguson and Keane back in the same stadium on the same side would bring some vigour and life back into the place. Who knows, Keane may even bring back some of the old glory days.