The always outspoken and controversial Roy Keane is in the news once again. This time it’s due to him not traveling with ITV to Brazil to cover the World Cup as a pundit. Instead, he may become the assistant manager at Aston Villa. Keane is currently assistant manager for the Republic of Ireland, but returning to the Premier League could improve his future as a coach.
Interestingly, reports are stating that Keane would take the Aston Villa assistant job while still remaining assistant manager of his home country. Maybe Ireland’s manager Martin O’Neill believes working for the Villans will enhance the former Manchester United captain’s familiarity of the Birmingham-based club’s group of Irish players? Currently on Aston Villa’s first team are five Irish players in midfielder Samir Carruthers, defender Ciaran Clark, goalkeeper Shay Given, midfielder/winger Jack Grealish and defender Enda Stevens. On their under-21 squad, they have forwards Graham Burke and Michael Drennan as well.
The seven-time Premier League winner had previous experience being a manager. In 2006, he became manager of Sunderland and did a fantastic job by leading them to promotion to the Premier League, winning the Football League Championship title in 2006/07 and the Championship’s Manager of the Year award. The next season was a struggle but they finished 15th and remained in the top flight. Year three is when everything fell apart and after a 4-1 defeat to Bolton, Keane quit and his former players allegedly celebrated his resignation.
His next gig began in April 2009 at Ipswich Town. The 2000 FWA Footballer of the Year didn’t have the success like he did at Sunderland as he was fired after being in charge for only 20 months. “I am hugely disappointed to be leaving Portman Road. When results aren’t good the manager gets the sack, that’s the game. However, I have a genuine belief that we were making progress and that the players have what it takes to turn this season around,” said Keane in a statement through the League Managers Association.
Since then Keane has been involved in the media through either calling games or being an analyst for Sky Sports and ITV but it seems being a manager is his true passion at this point in his life. As a legendary footballer, he has the knowledge to be a successful manager but his demeanor is another issue. It seems like he will become assistant manager at Aston Villa under Paul Lambert while maintaining the same occupation for Ireland. It’ll be interesting to see how he juggles both duties and if he will get another shot to lead a club again.