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28th Oct 2023

“He’s not Rodri level” – Roy Keane debate on Sky Sports show highlights how fans have short memories

Lee Costello

Roy Keane

“Keane is old fashioned.”

A debate around Roy Keane on Sky Sports Saturday Social show highlights how football fans really do suffer from short term memory loss as they forget how good he really was.

There’s a segment on the show where two lifelong fans of teams who are set to play each other that weekend, have to debate and pick an all-time combined starting 11.

In this case, with the Manchester derby set to take place on Sunday, Man United fan known as Flex has been challenging City die-hard ‘Big Steve’ about who should start in the midfield positions.

The obvious names of Alex Ferguson’s era like Keane, Pau Scholes, Ryan Giggs, etc are all thrown into the mix, while City’s midfield trio includes two current players in Rodri and Kevin de Bruyne, with Yaya Toure taking the third spot.

All fair candidates so far, but when the debate began, ‘Big Steve’ made some outrageous claim’s about Keane’s playing career.

“I’m having Rodri over Keane, Keane is old fashioned, but aggressive. This is modern day football, this is Rodri – Roy Keane in today’s football gets sent off every game.”

Flex rightly replied by saying that claim was “ridiculous”.

“There’s this notion that Roy Keane was some hard man who went around kicking people – Roy Keane dragged Man United through the mud, he was the ultimate captain.

“There’s too much disrespect on Roy Keane to say that he goes around kicking people.”

Big Steve however just dug his heels in and said “he’s not Rodri level.”

There is a fair argument to say that the city midfielder is every bit as talented, if not more than the Irishman, and when it comes to picking an ultimate team like this, it’s really more about the kind of midfielder you want.

However, it does highlight that there is serious disrespect on Keane’s legacy, where fans just see the pundit who likes to have a go at people and encourage hard tackling, as well as old YouTube clips of fights, scuffles and the more physical side of the game.

The reality is, the United captain was one of the best passers in the Premier League for the better part of a decade, and in his younger years was a box to box midfielder who loved bombing forward and to get assists and goals.

As he got older and tactics changed, he went into a more defensive role, sitting in midfield but still dictating everything in front of him, and taking charge of the game, never allowing the standards of his teammates to drop.

Whatever you think of Keane as a player or pundit, you can’t deny that he was world class and had much more in his weaponry than just crunching tackles and sending offs.

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