Roy Keane had Gary Neville rolling with Alex Ferguson remark on 1999 celebrations 3 months ago

Roy Keane had Gary Neville rolling with Alex Ferguson remark on 1999 celebrations

The man has a way of delivering killer lines with aplomb.

Gary Neville and Roy Keane always bounced off each other well, even if the Cork native does his best to take cuts off his old teammate as often as he can.

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The pair played 10 seasons together for Manchester United and were reunited as Sky Sports pundits over the past few seasons, when Keane took a break from managerial and coaching roles to opine on the current generation or Premier League stars.

All the way through his career, sprinkled in about one of every 10 interviews, Keane would unveil his deadpan wit. Here he is in 2003, after a win over Leeds, giving Neville as little credit as possible for an assist to his match-winning header:

Roy Keane on Alex Ferguson relationship

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During the most recent episode of Gary Neville's Soccerbox, on Sky Sports, Roy Keane went back through some of his best Premier League moments, and relived some fine Manchester United assists and goals that some of us may have forgotten about.

The former United captain was in fine form during the show, as him and Neville sat in a small screening room and watched back clips from his 12 and a half seasons with the club.

Inevitably, there were plenty of clips shown of the former United stars' old boss, Alex Ferguson. Neville is convinced that Keane had a close relationship with the Scot, especially during his seven seasons as United captain, but that point was argued.

Keane, he claimed, could only ever recall 'four or five times' when Ferguson pulled him aside for an extra word, or to briefly consult on tactics or players. Other than that it was a case of 'just go out there and get on with it'. While former United captains like Bryan Robson or Steve Bruce may have went for a cup of tea after the odd training session, Keane stated it was all very cordial, and formal between the pair.

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There was a revealing moment when Keane said that most of the toughest words Ferguson ever had for him were shared behind a closed door, at his office, and never in front of the squad. He recalled that most of his scoldings were drink-related, and argued that Ferguson mostly allowed nights out 'to blow off steam' as long as United were winning.

One clip showed Ferguson running over to Keane after United had taken the first step towards their historic treble, in 1999, with a league-clinching win over Tottenham. Neville jumped on it, and said it showed the had a close relationship, but Keane fired back with a classic one-liner:

GARY NEVILLE: See, you were close. Look at you hugging him.

ROY KEANE: Yeah, it's like hugging a hedgehog!

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Roy Keane reasoned that the hug from his old gaffer was very stiff. This was at a time when both men were at the peak of their powers but, from one side at least, it was all business.

The pair did have an acrimonious split, of course, in 2005 when Keane openly criticised his United teammates during an interview with the club's MUTV channel. That interview was never aired and Keane was allowed leave, to join Celtic, soon after.


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