Roy Keane regrets penning an autobiography while still a player.
Asked, in an interview with UCFB for the League Managers Association, about the things he’d change in his career, Keane says: “Loads, of course, but you can’t. Instead of thinking about the things I could have done differently, I always count my blessings.”
But he does wish he’d skipped the invitation to release his first book in 2002. ‘Keane’, ghostwritten by Eamon Dunphy, was published following Keane’s controversial departure from the World Cup.
Keane says: “Regrets about my first book. I don’t think it’s a good idea to write a book when you’re still playing. Obviously, I done a book when I was 32, around the World Cup.”
The book was a best-seller but Keane was banned for five matches by the Football Association, and fined £150,000, after a passage in the book indicated that his infamous red-card tackle on Alfe-Inge Haaland was premeditated.
Keane released another book, ‘The Second Half’, in 2014, this time written with Roddy Doyle.
“I enjoyed my second book a lot better because of the person who wrote the book for me, Roddy Doyle. Obviously, I was retired then, it was more relaxing. I’d meet Roddy every week, I’d go to Dublin or he’d come over to Manchester. We’d have a chit-chat and he’d put things together. I found that more relaxing because I had more time to check things over when I was looking at it.
“I had no real plans to do a second book but the book company got in touch with me and they had Roddy, but I said, ‘nah, no interest’.
“I met Roddy in Dublin for a cup of tea, not that Roddy was desperate to do the book but we thought if we got together, see if there’s any chemistry. As soon as I met him, I thought, let’s go for it. This guy is class.
“My first book I was still playing and my focus was still on being a player. Roddy was a really good guy, I enjoyed his company, classy guy. And I think he wrote a decent book. I hope that doesn't sound really cocky.
We kept it very simple. I’m still in touch with Roddy to this day. A good man and a good writer.
“No regrets about the second book but I certainly shouldn't have done the first one while I was still playing.”
In a wide-ranging interview, Keane says he still hopes to return to management and doesn’t yet see himself as a football pundit.
“I still don’t see myself as a pundit but if people see me as that, so be it.
“People sometimes watch me when I’m doing it and think I’m a bit serious. But if they want a comedian they can get somebody else
I’m there to give my professional opinion on a game. I try and be fair on the players and the management.”
As for the best player he faced in his career, Keane chooses Zinedine Zidane: “He was a brilliant payer. He was big, he was strong he was nasty and he could score a goal. He was a tough player to play against, world class.”