Keane’s ten fatal mistakes
From the euphoria of his appointment to the pain of his dismissal, Roy Keane made plenty of mistakes. Here are the top ten nails in his Ipswich town coffin.
1. Sale of Jordan Rhodes.
The precocious teenager had scored goals for fun at every level and was breaking into the first team squad when Keane unceremoniously bundled him off to League One Huddersfield for a mere pittance. Rhodes has been a prolific scorer ever since. Would he have made it in the Championship? Town fans will never know. Keane’s first big mistake.
2. Signing Lee Martin, Colin Healy and Tamas Priskin.
Keane spent big money on Martin and Priskin, not so much on Healy. But Healy and Martin’s contribution has been negligible and Priskin was awful last season. He looked better early this campaign – and then was dropped.
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3. Getting rid of Bryan Klug.
Bryan Klug is one of the most highly qualified coaches in British football, with an unrivalled record in bringing through young talent. He managed the 2005 Youth Cup winning team. He’s also a nice guy, popular with the players, and had more than 20 years experience at Town. So Keane sacked him. Klug is now doing well at the Spurs academy.
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4. Selling Owen Garvan.
Garvan isn’t a world-beater, but he was the best midfield playmaker Town had on their books, rather in the Jim Magilton mould. Keane obviously didn’t rate him, so Garvan was in and out of the side, his confidence suffered and he was bundled out to Crystal Palace. He’s never been replaced in Town’s midfield, which now consists solely of little rettriers – lots of hard work, no cutting edge.
5. Selling David Wright.
Wright was a highly capable full-back (right or left) at Championship level, who also got forward and popped up with the odd vital goal – most notably the one against Derby which secured out first win last season, at the 15th attempt. So Keane let him go to Palace, without replacing him. Result? We still don’t have a proper right-back. Mystifying.
6. Land of the giants.
For several games this season, Keane bemused fans by picking four towering centre halves, right across the back four. Eastman, MacAuley, Delaney (all 6ft 3ins), and Tommy Smith ( a mere 6ft 2in). The result was inevitable – no width, because none of them is comfortable on the ball, and all get a nosebleed if they cross the halfway line.
7. Criticising the fans.
As pressure mounted, Keane twice had a swipe at the Town fans. Not a good idea at any time, and especially not if the team is struggling. If he’d thought about, he would have realised that he was very lucky to have such patient fans, as he himself did admit on many occasions.
8. Bizarre substitution.
The “tipping point’’ for Keane was the home game against a poor Barnsley team, who humiliated Town 3-1. Early in the second half, Keane took off Tamas Priskin – Town’s best player. A moment’s silence was followed by a crescendo of boos and chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing.’’ The writing was on the wall.
9. Humiliation at Norwich.
Was this the moment when Marcus Evans decided enough was enough? A 4-1 defeat at Carrow Road was Town’s worst in a derby. Yes, the Blues were reduced to ten men, but Town’s lack of fight was hard to stomach and Keane’s bizarre tactics were baffling.
10. Bust-up with fans.
Keane’s reign came to an ignominious end with a bust-up with fans at the end of what was his last game, at home to Nottingham Forest on Monday, After being taunted by home fans, Keane gestured “all mouth’’ to them before stomping off to the dressing rooms. It was the end.