In breaking news, Roy Keane has announced that he has quit Sunderland.
Keane walked out of Sunderland AFC after having won only one game since his side’s win over Newcastle in October. The defeats for Sunderland that secured Keane’s departure were Stoke 1-0 Sunderland, Chelsea 5-0 Sunderland, Sunderland 1-2 Portsmouth, Sunderland 1-2 Blackburn, Sunderland 0-1 West Ham and Sunderland 1-4 Bolton. The only win was on November 15 when Sunderland beat Blackburn 2-1 at Ewood Park.
Sunderland currently sit in 15th position, third from bottom, with 15 points.
Possible replacements for Roy Keane include the usual pack of Terry Venables, Sam Allardyce and Alan Curbishley, as well as other managers such as Martin Jol and Alan Pardew.
What’s surprising about Sunderland’s form since October has been the lack of commitment shown by his players. Usually footballers show a lot of fear when playing under Keane but that has been absent for quite some time. The other issue has been the poor defending. Sunderland’s defending was abysmal against Chelsea. And in the most recent game against Bolton, Sunderland could have easily lost 6-1 or 7-1 after several schoolboy defensive errors and poor marking at the back.
If Keane had to walk, now is the right time. At least Sunderland will be able to find a manager before the end of the month, who will buy some new players in the January transfer window and help keep Sunderland up between now and May.
The question is, what will happen to Roy Keane’s managerial career? Keane joined Sunderland in 2006 and rescued them from relegation from the Championship, and led them to promotion instead in a remarkable turnaround. Trying to predict what will happen to Keane next is difficult especially with such an unpredictable character as the Irishman. I believe he’ll take some time away from the game to clear his mind, but he would be open to returning to a managerial position at a club when an opportunity presents itself next year.
If Roy Keane had a desire to manage Manchester United, the poor run of managerial form at Sunderland will be a scar on his record and will prevent his chances of succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson.
Wherever Keane goes next as a manager, he’ll be hard pressed to find a setup as good as he had at Sunderland. The owners of the club provided him with plenty of funds for transfer signings, as well as plenty of patience for Keane to turn things around. His next club he goes to may not give him the same luxuries.