Roy Keane’s return to football management was almost a certainty after his departure from Sunderland, however his return to football management at Ipswich Town has come as a move which hardly anyone would have predicted. The Tractor Boys achieved European glory under then manager Bobby Robson when they lifted the Uefa Cup back in 1981. Since then though things have gone down hill, having failed to regain their place in the Premier League following relegation to the Championship in 2002. The club have now turned to a man who managed to get Sunderland back into the top flight at the first time of asking.
With the Black Cats Keane had very little cash to work with and a fan base crying out for Premier League football. That will stand him in good stead at Portman Road where money is tight and the supporters expect no less than the Sunderland ones did. However, why Keane chose Ipswich remains the big question to me when he reportedly had offers, no offence to Ipswich fans, to manage bigger clubs.
It’s clear the former Manchester United skipper enjoys a challenge but I also believe he likes to be away from the spotlight you are placed under when you are a manager in the Premier League. Despite Keane saying in his first press conference that he wants to get Ipswich back into the top flight of English football I believe he will probably enjoy his time in the Championship more.
The quieter nature of the Championship suits Keane more I feel, as we all know how much he likes to escape the limelight by walking his dogs, something which is a lot easier to do in the old Second Division where the pressure is less intense. However in the Premier League Keane seem to bottle the big challenges after comfortably keeping Sunderland in the Premier League first time around he walked away when things got difficult this season.
Keane will bring something different to Ipswich after taking over from Jim Magilton, who seems to have been done over in this situation, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the Blues did enjoy promotion next season. The pressure will be on Keane to repeat the feat he performed at Sunderland in getting Ipswich promotion and whilst Keane the player would never shy away from a challenge I just wonder when the going gets tough whether Keane the manager will stick around or put his tail between his legs again and head back to dog walking.