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Roy Keane - Even better than I remembered

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Due to the lockdown and Sky constantly showing old matches and classic games, I got to relive just how good Keane was.

He actually had a lot of injuries throughout his career. He only played in 30+ PL games three times during his 12 and half years at the club.

If you look at the seasons he was fit for the majority of them, they were often our best seasons. 

  • 1993/1994 - His debut season (plays in 54 games & chips in with 8 goals), and we win a domestic Double (could have been a domestic treble)
  • 1998/1999 - The most decorated season in the club's history, as United won an unprecedented Treble (55 games & 5 goals). That night in Turin.
  • 1999/2000 -  United retain the title and Keane has the most prolific goalscoring season of his United career (45 games & 12 goals).

 

We might have won another title or two had he stayed fit during certain seasons. Like Arsenal winning the league in 1998, when Keane was out for pretty much the entire season. Lost it by a point.

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In a lot of ways I do think he's the best CM the PL has seen. I think if he was English, he'd be considered the #1 CM of PL era and not just 'one of' IMO. He was quite a bit better than Scholes when they played together up until the injuries hit around 2003. Granted, you could say Scholes wasn't in his prime.

Interestingly Gerrard considers him the best midfielder he's played against in the PL, with Vieira #2. 

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1 minute ago, TheManc said:

In a lot of ways I do think he's the best CM the PL has seen. I think if he was English, he'd be considered the #1 CM of PL era and not just 'one of' IMO. He was quite a bit better than Scholes when they played together up until the injuries hit around 2003. Granted, you could say Scholes wasn't in his prime.

Interestingly Gerrard considers him the best midfielder he's played against in the PL, with Vieira #2. 

Scholes is definitely overrated by United fans in general. A lot of United fans probably pick Robson over Keane because he's English.

Robson was a brilliant player though, to be fair. I'm not knocking Scholes, but Xavi and Pirlo did eclipse him.

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This masterpiece has just been reuploaded to YT.

Just now, O said:

Scholes is definitely overrated by United fans in general. A lot of United fans probably pick Robson over Keane because he's English.

Robson was a brilliant player though, to be fair. I'm not knocking Scholes, but Xavi and Pirlo did eclipse him.

I think they did, but they also had team systems built around them. Their legacy is far above his due to CL, WC and Euro dominations. I wonder how Scholes would be if the deeper CM of 2006 moved their 5 or 6 years before when he still had that mobility. Scholes' best ever season (or top 2) was followed by two seasons where he suffered a serious knee injury in each that hurt him.

 

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4 minutes ago, TheManc said:

 

This masterpiece has just been reuploaded to YT.

I think they did, but they also had team systems built around them. Their legacy is far above his due to CL, WC and Euro dominations. I wonder how Scholes would be if the deeper CM of 2006 moved their 5 or 6 years before when he still had that mobility. Scholes' best ever season (or top 2) was followed by two seasons where he suffered a serious knee injury in each that hurt him.

 

From watching Scholes as a pundit, his recent podcast with MUTV, and seeing more behind the scenes in documentaries and things, he was never a real leader. He was just one of our most talented players who focused on his own job.

Gary Neville didn't have even a quarter of the ability, but his leadership and influence are there to be seen. Very vocal.

Scholes always had others around him to take up that responsibility.

Scholes' most influential season was probably 2006/2007. In other seasons (bar 2002/2003), when he was brilliant playing off of Ruud, he didn't have the influence of a Keane, Vieira, Zidane, Gerrard, etc. More of a supporting cast. And that's what probably goes against him. He was an individualist, rather than a leader. 

Incredibly versatile though, as he played 2-3 different roles throughout his United career. Second striker, runner from midfield, then finally playmaker.

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Keane is my all time favourite player - 

loved Scholes as a player, very diff type player to Keane.   Post playing, my respect for Keane has grown- talks sense most of the time, you want to hear what he has to say.  He's as box office as a pundit as he was player.   

Where as Scholes I've lost all respect-  doesn't strike me as very intelligent.  He's had little awareness of using his voice / position constructively (till his buddy Ole got in)

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In Robson and keane we were blessed with two greats of their position in quick succession. I think robbo had that little bit more of an attacking threat so of the two he gets my vote but its fine margins.

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42 minutes ago, John Locke said:

In Robson and keane we were blessed with two greats of their position in quick succession. I think robbo had that little bit more of an attacking threat so of the two he gets my vote but its fine margins.

I don't think Keane was allowed to get forward as often as Robson. They wanted him hold more in his later years.

He could definitely have scored more goals if used in a different way.

He was prolific at Forest.

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15 minutes ago, O said:

I don't think Keane was allowed to get forward as often as Robson. They wanted him hold more in his later years.

He could definitely have scored more goals if used in a different way.

He was prolific at Forest.

Robson was very unlucky with injuries at major tournaments and missed out on many european campaigns due to the ban. Reckon he could've won a ballon d'or had it not been for that.

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An incredible player.

His ability with the ball is very underrated also. Crisp is the best way to describe his passing, mostly incisive and also probing looking for gaps. Sure when it needed to be kept simple, he’d do it, but the man could pick out some delightful through balls.

Keano epitomised what a box-to-box midfielder should be all about. He’s arguably the greatest we’ve ever seen in that role or will ever see given players are much more specialised now. I can’t recall too many players cut from his cloth in the modern game anyway. Not to the standards he could bring.

I would question how’d he’d fare in a modern dressing room as a player. How would idiots like Pogba, and J Lingz react to the tongue lashings and some home truths? Not well I’d imagine.

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24 minutes ago, MrSwellman said:

An incredible player.

His ability with the ball is very underrated also. Crisp is the best way to describe his passing, mostly incisive and also probing looking for gaps. Sure when it needed to be kept simple, he’d do it, but the man could pick out some delightful through balls.

Keano epitomised what a box-to-box midfielder should be all about. He’s arguably the greatest we’ve ever seen in that role or will ever see given players are much more specialised now. I can’t recall too many players cut from his cloth in the modern game anyway. Not to the standards he could bring.

I would question how’d he’d fare in a modern dressing room as a player. How would idiots like Pogba, and J Lingz react to the tongue lashings and some home truths? Not well I’d imagine.

It's a position that's dying out.

Daniele De Rossi and Arturo Vidal are probably the closest to him in terms of style in recent times.

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I've mentioned this on here before and it's the first thing you notice when watching older games. Just a gem of a player. Complete midfielder. Could take a pass under any sort of pressure and make it look simple. A phenomenal ball winner and positional player defensively. He could slot into any system in the world, regardless of style.

Keane was right to feel shunned about Ferguson's disgraceful comments about players who brought him so much success while reserving the praise for his favourites. Keane was the force that carried his success until Ronaldo was ready. The trophies and lack thereof notably correlate with Keane's injuries and ageing. 

There's hardly a United fan in the world that would have taken Scholes over Keane from 1997-2001. Over Beckham either for that matter. They were the focal points of the treble winning side. The engine and creativity. Scholes and Giggs became incredibly overrated post retirement. Carrick too in a different way. Players who adapt their games to play into a later age see pundits hark back to glory days that never were. 

Edited by TFIA

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7 minutes ago, TFIA said:

I've mentioned this on here before and it's the first thing you notice when watching older games. Just a gem of a player. Complete midfielder. Could take a pass under any sort of pressure and make it look simple. A phenomenal ball winner and positional player off the ball. He could play in any system in the world, regardless of style.

Keane was right to feel shunned about Ferguson's disgraceful comments about players who brought him so much success while reserving the praise for his favourites. Keane was the force that carried his success until Ronaldo was ready. The trophies and lack thereof notably correlate with Keane's injuries and ageing. 

There's hardly a United fan in the world that would have taken Scholes over Keane from 1997-2001. Over Beckham either for that matter. They were the focal points of the treble winning side. The engine and creativity. Scholes and Giggs became incredibly overrated post retirement. Carrick too in a different way. Players who adapt their games to play into a later age see pundits hark back to glory days that never were. 

 

 

I know it's easy to play 'what if' but, looking back to the 1999 final against Bayern, I don't think the Germans would have had it all their own way in midfield for a large part of the game if Keane had been on the pitch. He was rightly miffed about the 'covered every blade of grass' comment. He was far more than that.

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25 minutes ago, TFIA said:

There's hardly a United fan in the world that would have taken Scholes over Keane from 1997-2001. Over Beckham either for that matter. They were the focal points of the treble winning side. The engine and creativity. Scholes and Giggs became incredibly overrated post retirement. Carrick too in a different way. Players who adapt their games to play into a later age see pundits hark back to glory days that never were. 

I agree on Bekcham. People forget how good he was from 1996-2003.

The work rate and stamina, the long diagonals, the whipped crosses, the free kicks, and his ball striking technique (he could manipulate it any way he wanted).

His corners alone basically won United The CL in 1999. We scored off so many of them, be it directly or from a flick on.

But I actually think Giggs has gone from overrated to underrated now. Giggs was often unplayable at times on some of the big European nights during the classic CL days. He regularly tore Juventus a new one. They were terrified of him.

He should have score more goals, but he was a top player for many years. He had seasons where he faded. 1998/1999 wasn't one of his better seasons. 

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17 hours ago, O said:

I agree on Bekcham. People forget how good he was from 1996-2003.

The work rate and stamina, the long diagonals, the whipped crosses, the free kicks, and his ball striking technique (he could manipulate it any way he wanted).

His corners alone basically won United The CL in 1999. We scored off so many of them, be it directly or from a flick on.

But I actually think Giggs has gone from overrated to underrated now. Giggs was often unplayable at times on some of the big European nights during the classic CL days. He regularly tore Juventus a new one. They were terrified of him.

He should have score more goals, but he was a top player for many years. He had seasons where he faded. 1998/1999 wasn't one of his better seasons. 

Most pundits still call Giggs our greatest ever player. When he won his PFA award, which he didn't deserve, you heard people bewildered that he hadn't won it sooner. 

Truth is he was never our best player or really ever close. In the treble side you wouldn't put him over Schmeichel, Stam, Beckham, Keane or Yorke - They were just playing at a higher level. He had injury issues to be fair but still felt more like a player of great moments rather than the consistent outlet Beckham was. I remember in 1999 very clearly there were a lot of United fans who preferred Blomqvist. Jasper the legend. Long periods were people would complain about his form. 

He really peaked in his teens. He was obviously very good for years but when it comes to the top performers of that time I'd have Giggs well below others. He went through long periods of ineffectiveness, as did Scholes. They both faded between the stretch of Keane and Ronaldo I was talking about when they had to step up most. 

 

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Yeah as talented as he was giggs was never that consistent. Also suffered with injuries a fair bit. I think it was also a mistake to not play for england. It might've even improved him as a player to have that expisure to major tournaments and to not be certain of his place at international level.

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4 hours ago, TFIA said:

Most pundits still call Giggs our greatest ever player. When he won his PFA award, which he didn't deserve, you heard people bewildered that he hadn't won it sooner. 

Truth is he was never our best player or really ever close. In the treble side you wouldn't put him over Schmeichel, Stam, Beckham, Keane or Yorke - They were just playing at a higher level. He had injury issues to be fair but still felt more like a player of great moments rather than the consistent outlet Beckham was. I remember in 1999 very clearly there were a lot of United fans who preferred Blomqvist. Jasper the legend. Long periods were people would complain about his form. 

He really peaked in his teens. He was obviously very good for years but when it comes to the top performers of that time I'd have Giggs well below others. He went through long periods of ineffectiveness, as did Scholes. They both faded between the stretch of Keane and Ronaldo I was talking about when they had to step up most. 

 

Greatest doesn't necessarily have to mean ability wise, which he would rank highly anyway.

Giggs started off playing in the old First Division and was still playing for the club by the Moyes era. That is exceptional. Think about the amount of changes that happened during his time as a player. He was able to adapt to them and continue playing until the age of 40. That is greatness in itself. And amassed 13 titles along the way.

I agree that he didn't deserve the award in 2009, it was a case of charity. But he would have been worthy of the award for his 1993/1994 season. Cantona won it, scoring 18 league goals. Giggs bagged 13 goals, which was a big return from a left winger. Hughes was 3rd with 12 goals.  

Figo, Giggs, Nedvêd and Pires were the elite wingers of the late 90's/early 00's.

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I'm not sure how comparing players from the same side in different positions and different leadership qualities is really productive? Just become some loser pundits talk shite doesn't mean we need to become thoughtless idiots to.

I enjoy marvelling at our dominance from 90s to 2013. Some wonderful players, some not so wonderful ones that contributed so much! 

Keane was chosen by Gerrard and Carra in a World 11 which couldn't have played in a tena with each other, that alone says something about the man. I can't ever say I felt Keane was underrated at the time but looking back his United career ended on a sour note and that caused the issue. 

I love his outspoken attitude, completely respectful of how he approaches life and love that video from YT that is brilliant! 

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