The Roy Keane Exit - An Appraisal
T has questioned the role of the Glazer's in the exit of Roy Keane. I have no doubt in my mind that this parting of ways by "mutual consent" has nothing to do with the Glazers and everything to do with Roy Keane and Alex Ferguson's relationship having totally broken down. There has been an increasing tension between the two for several months if not for the past couple of seasons. Formations, transfer dealings and Queiroz's influence at the club have become huge obstacles between the two. The recent MUTV interview was, as T says, the straw that broke the camels back. And despite Keane's status, Ferguson is still all powerful - so Keane goes.
Besides, the Glazer's have absolutely no interest in the playing side of things at Old Trafford (where were they for the Chelsea match?) and even less so the dynamics of player/manager relations.
So T, this was definitely Ferguson's call - so I dont think this will influence his deceision to stay at United beyond the end of this season. If he had his way, he would be at Old Trafford for the next 5 years. The only way he will leave at the end of the season is if he is forced out because of another trophy-less season.
Redsman, in answer to what happens next - I agree that Gary Neville should be made the next United captain. He is one of the few players currently at United who has as much hunger for success and passion to win as Keane. Its time Neville's nickname changed from "Scargill" to skipper.
As for Ballack - his signing has become an absolute imperative. This is not as a replacement for Keane - they are completely different - but because without Keane United are in need of a talisman. Ballack, like Keane commands, respect and exudes a winning mentality. Its this that United have been missing and will miss even more without Keane.
But Ballack will not join United mid-season and in fact I believe he will move to Real, Barca or Ac Milan ahead of United. With the current status quo at United, leaving Bavaria for Manchester would be a step down and it hurts me to write that.
Keane will be sorely missed at United (see my laughable attempt at a tribute "poem" below), and I knew that he would not be wearing the red shirt next season - but I only wish that his deparure from United had been less acrimoniuos because his was a glorious career at Old Trafford.