LARRY RYAN: Roy’s energy best spent illuminating present

Through his myriad media engagements this week, it was remarkable to watch Roy Keane pick the scabs off 10-year-old wounds with an energy that suggested very little healing has really been done.

In one sense, you have to hand it to him for delivering a fresh angle every year on the old row to ensure his beloved guide dogs gain the blanket coverage his annual visit always ensures.

But when Roy’s opinions on more current football matters were sought, you again discovered why he hasn’t yet made nearly the impression his old colleague Gary Neville has in the punditry game.

It would have been fascinating to hear some genuine insights into whatever lurks in the mindset of Alex Ferguson that might have brought about Manchester United’s timid and ultimately wretched performance in last Monday’s derby.

But when Roy was probed, all that really emerged were the hoariest of clichés. Keeping it tight. The first goal is crucial. United will bounce back.

Which was a pity, because Keane is better qualified than anyone to detect these rare shows of fear in a Ferguson side.

It happened occasionally too when he was enforcing the manager’s instructions, mainly in Europe, but at times domestically, particularly when Arsenal were their big challengers.

Every now and then, Keane’s United appeared to lose faith in the attacking principles that have always served them well and set up to contain, frustrate and sometimes kick. A departure that rarely served them well

But Keane hasn’t yet managed to relate his own playing time to his new job with anything like the conviction he musters when settling old scores.

And in that might there be some small clue why management too hasn’t yet worked out as well for him as we expected?


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