As Keane snaps at Ferguson, what does Beckham have planned?
One former United midfielder speaks out on TV, the other has a memoir of his own in the pipeline
ALEX FERGUSON'S assessment of Roy Keane as a man with a "savage tongue" appears to have been borne out by the Irish midfielder's icy reaction to criticisms of him contained in his former manager's autobiography, and Fergie may also be concerned about the contents of the soon-to-be-published autobiography of another of his victims – David Beckham.
Keane was singled out for particularly harsh treatment in Ferguson's latest book, in which he admitted that even he found the player scary. "The hardest part of Roy's body is his tongue," writes Ferguson. "He can debilitate the most confident person in the world in seconds. He was an intimidating, ferocious individual."
Keane, who is now a pundit on ITV, had the chance to respond to the book within hours as he appeared on the channel's Champions League coverage last night. Host Adrian Chiles, who has first-hand experience of Keane's withering put-downs, asked him about the book and Keane, as expected, rose to the bait.
Keane chose to cast himself as spokesman for all the players criticised in Ferguson's memoir and announced: "I remember having a conversation with the manager when I was at the club about loyalty. In my opinion I don't think he knows the meaning of the word.
"It doesn't bother me too much what he has to say about me but to constantly criticise other players at the club who brought him a lot of success, I find very, very strange.
"These players have been top servants to Man United, and a lot of these players helped the manager win lots of trophies. Imagine if we'd never won a trophy. What would he have said then?"
Keane was not the only player to respond to comments about them in the book. Australian goalkeeper Mark Bosnich, described as a "terrible professional" in the memoir, said that although he had not had time to read the book he felt "honoured" to be mentioned.
He told the Daily Telegraph: "At the appropriate time, I will have my right to reply."
Meanwhile Ferguson has also attracted criticism from some media pundits. "Ferguson may be the greatest British manager of all time, he continues to give a fascinating lesson in how to be an absolutely terrible ex-manager," says Barney Ronay in The Guardian. "Looming in the stands, name-checked in every press conference and now available in headline-grabbing book form, he is for his successor, David Moyes, the managerial equivalent of the father-in-law from hell."
One player who has so far kept his counsel is David Beckham, although it appears he may have a plan up his sleeve. Becks came under fire in Ferguson's book for pursuing fame while at Man United, but he could be about to use his high profile to blow Fergie out of the water.
The Times reports that Becks "will not be drawn into a slanging match with Ferguson". However, it also notes that Beckham has an autobiography of his own scheduled for release next week, which the paper will be serialising. His assessment of Ferguson will be keenly awaited. ·