Roy Keane walkout 'farce' leaves Villa high and dry
Irishman's abrupt exit greeted with 'applause' from unhappy Villa players
There was a sense of deja vu about Roy Keane's sudden departure from Aston Villa on Friday, with little surprise that the Irishman's arrangement with Paul Lambert at Villa Park had come to an abrupt end.
The club insists that the split was amicable and down to Keane's wish to devote more time to his other role as assistant manager of the Republic of Ireland. However, Keane has an impressive track record of walkouts his latest has sparked plenty of speculation.
The abrasive Irishman was reportedly involved in a row with some Villa players before leaving his post, claims the Daily Mail. "Tensions between Keane and several senior players have been simmering for some time," says the paper, suggesting that the straw that broke the camel's back was "a bust-up at their Bodymoor Heath training ground on Thursday which began during the session and is thought to have continued afterwards".
The reason for the row will come as no surprise to seasoned Keane watchers. "His relationship with several players is said to have become strained with Keane struggling to accept what he felt was a lack of intensity in training," explains the Mail.
"The official reason that Keane was leaving to focus on his international commitments has been questioned in some quarters because Ireland do not play again until March," it adds.
The Sunday People says that the bad blood dates back to October and a defeat to QPR. "Keane rounded on several Villa players, calling them out after a pitiful display during the loss," it reports, adding that the former Man United legend suffered a "real head loss".
So unpopular was Keane that "Villa's players broke into applause when the Irishman's exit was confirmed on Friday morning", it adds.
Keane famously walked out on Ireland ahead of the 2002 World Cup, quit Man United in 2005 and walked away from his job as Sunderland manager in 2009, and earlier this summer he abruptly quit as an ITV pundit in order to take up the role with Villa.
His latest exit is "farcical" writes Tony Cascarino in The Sun. "No one knows exactly how Roy's mind works but his decision to leave Villa is hard to understand... this latest episode must come with consequences.
"Opportunities keep coming Roy's way when he possibly hasn't deserved them, but he surely won't be given another assistant manager's job after proving he can't be trusted to do it... Whatever way you look at it, his decision to leave Villa high and dry reflects poorly on him.
"But you can be sure too that Roy won't give a damn about what the rest of us think about him."