You could see the glint in his eye as the producer threw back to the studio.
Whenever you tune in for a spot of Roy Keane punditry, there are some old reliables he hits on:
- Demanding effort and doing the basics of running hard and working for teammates
- Referring to prima-donna players as lazy or someone that does not try hard enough
- Praising ‘brave’ players that demand the ball and make things happen
- Giving even the greatest goalkeepers short shrift
On punditry duty for ITV for Leeds United’s FA Cup third round romp against Cardiff City, the former Manchester United captain leaned into one of his go-to lines when discussing a stunning triple save in a Tuesday match.
Birmingham City advanced to the fourth round due, in no smart part, to their goalkeeper Neil Etheridge. Birmingham defeated Forest Green 2-1 but relied on Etheridge for a superb triple save. Robbie Earnshaw was full of praise for ‘a great save’ but Keane was not having it. With the odd smile breaking out, he commented:
“That’s his job! I think they’re standard saves. I actually think catch the first [shot].
“Pretty straightforward. That’s why he’s wearing gloves! That’s his job, honestly.”
"THAT'S HIS JOB" 😂
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) January 18, 2023
Roy Keane fancies himself as a goalkeeper
When he was Sunderland manager, in 2007, Roy Keane signed Scotland international Craig Gordon for £9 million, from Hearts. Sunderland paid a British transfer record for a goalkeeper, but Keane would end up making a show of Gordon in training.
Keane wasn’t happy with a goal the keeper conceded, so thought he’d show them how it was done, and jumped in goal. As he recalled in his autobiography:
“I put the gloves on and I said that if they could get the ball past me I’d give them a thousand pounds each but, if they missed, they’d have to give me a hundred. Eight or nine players lined up, and I knew that Craig and the other goalkeepers were pissed off with it. They didn’t even look at my goalkeeping skills.
“They just did their stretches. I tipped a few on to the bar, on to the post, and I kept a clean sheet. I won eight hundred quid off the players – I could have lost eight grand. I was trying to generate a bit of banter, but I’d embarrassed, and maybe belittled, the goalkeepers. I hadn’t meant to.
“But I didn’t think the keeper should be beaten from 25 or 30 yards. I think I lost Craig for a few weeks, and maybe longer, because of that.”
The Cork native made a few bob, but his relationship with Gordon had taken a big hit. He is not a fan of David De Gea or Jordan Pickford either.
There is recorded footage of Roy Keane praising a goalkeeper, back in May 2022 when he selected Peter Schmeichel in his Best Manchester United XI. “He was very, very good,” said Keane. “Not as good as everyone thought he was, but he was very good.”