In Depth

Still making enemies: 7 revelations from Roy Keane's book

'Dark' new book deals with Ferguson, Clough and Ronaldo - and a punch-up with Peter Schmeichel

Image removed. Image removed.Kevin Pietersen is not the only sportsman to release a controversial book this week: former Manchester United star Roy Keane, currently a coach at Aston Villa, has also got in on the act.

Details of his latest polemic, Roy Keane: The Second Half, which was ghost written by Roddy Doyle, came to light when the book went on sale in a branch of Tescos in Burnage in Manchester three days early.

Copies were snapped up by the media and Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail says the new tome reveals the "darkness of Keane's thoughts" and "offers the kind of insight that will disturb as much as it fascinates".

Here are seven of the most interesting revelations:

Keane headbutted Peter Schmeichel

The two Manchester United heavyweights came to blows in Hong Kong in 1998. "There was drink involved," admits Keane. "The manager had a go at us as we were getting on the bus, and people were going on about a fight in the hotel the night before. It started coming back to me – the fight between me and Peter. Peter had grabbed me, I'd headbutted him – we'd been fighting for ages."

Keane says he only "vaguely remembered the fight", but adds: "My hand was really sore and one of my fingers was bent backwards."

He regrets Ferguson apology

Keane left United under a cloud in 2005 after a bust-up with manager Alex Ferguson over an interview with the club's own TV station in which he criticised his team mates. After leaving, Keane apologised to Ferguson, but now says he regrets doing so.

"Now I kind of wish I hadn't," Keane writes. "Afterwards I was thinking, 'I'm not sure why I f****** apologised'... I was apologising for what had happened – that it had happened. But I wasn't apologising for my behaviour or stance."

Many observers believe Keane's comments may have been prompted by an attack on him by Ferguson in his autobiography last year.

However, Keane claims he thought little of Ferguson by the time he left United. Recalling how Fergie told him he was tearing up his contract during a meeting at Old Trafford in 2005, Keane writes: "I just thought: 'F****** prick' – and I stood up and went: 'Yeah. I'm off'."

Keane preferred Clough to Ferguson

After his falling out with Ferguson it's no surprise that the Irishman says he preferred playing for his first manager, Nottingham Forest boss Brian Clough.

"I worked under two great managers and I put Brian Clough ahead of Alex Ferguson for a simple reason. What was the most important thing in my football career? Brian Clough signing me. That kick started everything," he writes.

Both manager were "brilliant" he says, but adds: "I think Clough's warmth was genuine. I think with Sir Alex Ferguson it was pure business – everything is business. If he was being nice I would think: 'This is business, this'. He was driven and ruthless. That lack of warmth was his strength. United was a much bigger club than Forest but his coldness made him successful."

Keane likes Ronaldo

United agreed a deal to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting Lisbon after he left defender John O'Shea suffering dizzy spells in a friendly in 2003, says Keane.

"I liked Ronaldo straight away. He had a nice presence about him and a good attitude," Keane writes.

"After watching him train for a few days I thought: 'This lad is going to be one of the best players in the world'. He was 17 but he was immediately one of the hardest working players at United. He was good looking and he knew it. Looking at some of the other players in front of the mirror I would think: 'You f****** nugget'. But Ronaldo had an innocence to him and a niceness."

He doesn't regret the Haland tackle

The standout passage from Keane's first autobiography centred on his knee-high tackle on Alf-Inge Haland, which he claimed was revenge for a tackle by Haland that had left him injured. The comments in his first book earned him a £150,000 fine and a five match ban.

In his latest book he denies he wanted to injure Haland, who he describes as an "absolute prick", but just hurt him.

"I've kicked lots of players and I know the difference between hurting somebody and injuring somebody. I didn't go to injure Haaland... There are things I regret in my life and he's not one of them."

He was pleased when a player had a heart attack

While manager of Sunderland one of Keane's player's suffered a heart attack. Clive Clarke, who was on loan at Leicester City, had a cardiac arrest during a match against Nottingham Forest. It happened on the same night that Sunderland were knocked out of the League Cup.

"I had the evil thought: 'I'm glad he had it tonight' because it would deflect our woeful performance," admits Keane.

Keane says players let David Moyes down

The former United skipper appears unimpressed by the character of the current Old Trafford squad.

"When a manager like Sir Alex Ferguson is replaced the new man needs a helping hand," he says. "Does that mean every player should like him? No.

"But I look at the current players and they should be doing a lot better. Not liking a manager can never be an excuse for not going out and doing your best. Looking at what happened to David Moyes, I can only conclude that he didn't have a strong dressing room. He had a weak dressing room."

Image removed. Image removed.


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