“I didn’t get what they stood for sometimes.”
Roy Keane, appearing on Sky Sports, spoke about several topics during his career. He was quizzed about the changing dynamics in the United dressing room as he got into his 30s and newer players – like Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand – coming into the squad.
Keane said that, while he didn’t dislike Rooney or Ferdinand, he didn’t ‘get’ them.
Keane on Ferdinand & Rooney.
Keane was coming towards the end of his Manchester United career when the Red Devils signed promising English striker Wayne Rooney from Everton in August 2004.
Rooney would go on to stay at Old Trafford for 13 years becoming the club’s record scorer, while Keane in the latter stages of his playing career, moved to Celtic in December 2005 before retiring six months later.
Keane has admitted that he didn’t ‘get’ Rooney or Ferdinand, who joined United in 2002.
“I’m a bit old school and a bit grumpy or whatever I don’t know and I didn’t get it,” the Irishman said.
“Wayne and Rio, I didn’t get their banter, I didn’t get what they stood for sometimes.
“You know, that was just a personal thing but the game is changing obviously and I’ve changed with it.
“Towards the end at United with the type of players that were coming through, I didn’t always get them. I just thought personality-wise they are not for me.
“But they were all obviously very, very good players and I was a professional and I was delighted to play with them.”
Rooney had previously detailed one particular argument that the two had over Keane wanting to watch a game of rugby and the striker preferring The X-Factor instead.
“I always remember my first away trip I got into an argument with Keane,” he began.
“Roy was watching the rugby the night before, we were playing Newcastle away, and Roy went to the toilet so I turned over and put X Factor on and hid the remote.
“He wasn’t happy about it. But straight away he respected me more for it, for having a go back at him.”
On Friday morning Keane gave his side of the story, outlining that he didn’t even feel as though it could even be classed as an argument.
“I did like my rugby league, and someone did change the channel,” Keane said.
“We didn’t have an argument about it because the next day I come down for breakfast and Wayne said ‘did you find the controls?’ and I told him where to go, and that was it really. If that’s an argument, then God help us.
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“But I certainly didn’t respect Wayne because he squared up to me because he wanted to watch the X Factor or whatever it was.
“I had a lot of respect for Wayne anyway because I thought he was a brilliant player.”
Read next – Wayne Rooney defends Roy Keane over the incident that ended his Manchester United career.
Originally published on April 24, 2020.