Comments from Roy Keane in his autobiography ‘The Game’ saw the outspoken Manchester United midfielder hit the headlines – and hit with FA charges – once again.
The former Republic of Ireland international confessed in his book how he had deliberately set out to injure Manchester City’s Alfie Haaland. Keane has denied two Football Association charges over the incident.
Here, PA Sport list some of the outbursts contained in the book which have caused a commotion:
ON QUITTING: After being sent off following a tussle with Alan Shearer in a 4-3 defeat at Newcastle last season, Keane spent a sleepless night considering his future.
“Some time during the night I decided ‘Give it up Roy. You’ve turned 30 – get out, get away, do something else. You’ve got to stop hurting yourself, hurting those you love’.
“Anything would be better than this madness, getting angry and frustrated, lashing out.
“I felt I’d lost the argument that some players were in the comfort zone. Too many people were content with what they had. It wasn’t for me. I should go.”
But after a home visit from manager Sir Alex Ferguson, Keane was persuaded to change his mind.
“He had stood by me – quitting would be a slap in the face for him – the last thing he needed when the club was struggling. I carried on for him.”
ON THE COMFORT ZONE: Keane has blamed his team-mates’ passion for “Rolexes, cars and mansions” on Manchester United’s failure to win a trophy last season.
“The team leaked goals. The team. Finger-pointing was useless. We weren’t hungry fighters anymore,” he said.
“That feeling in my gut the night we clinched the treble kept coming back to my mind.
“The champagne was flowing, people were going crazy – but my belief was we had been lucky against a Bayern Munich team that bottled it.
“We should have bought big after the treble, gone for the best, freshened things up, attacked the complacency and let those who didn’t care if they never won another trophy join the sort of clubs that don’t win any.
“Glory, believing the publicity, had cost us. Rolex watches, garages full of cars, mansions, set up for life – they forgot about the game and lost the hunger that got them the Rolex, the cars and the mansion.”
ON McCARTHY: Keane was sent home from this summer’s World Cup after a blazing row with Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy.
The Republic eventually went out to Spain in the second round, but Keane classed that as a failure.
“The World Cup? They did okay, but that’s what they expected because the manager drums that into the team,” said Keane.
“‘We’ve done well to qualify’, all that nonsense. That’s the problem. That sums up the mentality.
“Spain had 10 men for half-an-hour, the game was there for the taking. I think a more astute manager would have won the game. Some people have higher standards than others.”
ON McCARTHY AGAIN: Keane returned home from the Far East after a row over inadequate training facilities escalated into a personal feud with McCarthy - one which shows no sign of ending.
“I know that time is a great healer and all that but it is still very raw to me,” said Keane.
“It still hurts me and I still feel bitter. Bitter and twisted towards these people.
“I would have played in the World Cup despite all that (the row over training facilities) if McCarthy hadn’t accused me of faking injuries. It is as simple as that. They dangled a carrot for me and I had a good nibble.
“I saw him on Football Focus saying ‘I don’t appreciate being called an effing w and an effing c’. But if you say I am faking injury and letting my team-mates down, then dead right.
“To me, that is the worst insult you can have.”
ON THAT HAALAND TACKLE: Keane was sent off in the derby match at Old Trafford after an x-rated challenge on City midfielder Haaland – a challenge which he admitted was pre-meditated.
Their pair’s rivalry had dated back to Haaland’s time at Leeds, when Keane suffered a horrific injury while trying to trip up the Norwegian at Elland Road - which Haaland accused him of faking.
“I’d waited long enough. I f ing hit him hard. The ball was there (I think). Take that you c ,” said Keane in his book.
“And don’t ever stand over me again sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal (David) Wetherall there’s some for him as well.
“I don’t wait for Mr Elleray to show the red card. I turned and walked to the dressing room.”
ON CHARLTON: Having fallen out with one international manager, Keane did not mince his words concerning former Republic boss – and Irish legend – Jack Charlton.
“Charlton’s achievements look greater than they are. As a coach he didn’t impress me at all and the preparation for Ireland was a haphazard joke.
“I found it impossible to relate to him as a man or a coach – he was a bully who neither frightened nor impressed me.
“Charlton developed a style of play that suited his crude convictions rather than the gifts of his players. Passing the ball was not a priority.”
ON UNITED’S WITHDRAWAL FROM THE FA CUP: Manchester United opted not to take part in the world’s oldest cup competition in 2000 in order to play in the FIFA-backed Club World Championship in Brazil.
“Tradition dies slowly in the English game and with the news the holders wouldn’t be defending the trophy all hell broke loose,” he said.
“We all put on our sick-as-a-parrot faces, expressing shock and regret but, privately, I didn’t care. Brazil in January sounded great.
“There’s no doubt in an era when the Premiership and Champions Cup have become the competitions to win, the FA Cup is nothing more than a consolation prize, an afterthought.”
ON CANTONA: Manchester United striker Eric Cantona was banned for eight months after launching a kung fu kick at a Crystal Palace fan following his sending-off at Selhurst Park in 1995.
The player was widely condemned but Keane couldn’t see the fuss, especially as the Frenchman had been racially abused.
“So what? Fair play to Eric. I might have done the same myself,” he said.
“Of course, when I got home and saw the television pictures I could see it was a nasty incident.
“Out of order, too. But my attitude didn’t change. My heart went out to him and all the lads felt the same.
“It was a big test for the manager, but I still say some of the things you hear from the terraces are really sickening.
“Racist taunts, chants about players’ personal lives – Eric suffered a lot from that – filth that makes you wonder about the people who come to football matches.”
ON DALGLISH: Keane shook hands with then Blackburn boss Kenny Dalglish to agree his 1995 transfer from Nottingham Forest.
However, the midfielder received a call from Ferguson and went back on his decision and joined United instead.
“I phoned Dalglish to tell him I’d changed my mind about joining Blackburn. He went crazy,” said Keane.
“‘Nobody does this to me, nobody does this to Kenny Dalglish.
“‘You’re a wee b and you won’t get way with this. Blackburn Rovers will sue you for every penny you’ve got’.”