KEANE WANTED CLOSURE
Updated Sunday, 16th July 2006
Not your money.In another scintillating interview on the official site Roy Keane must have felt terrified by some of these questions.
What were your feelings on returning to Old Trafford for your testimonial?
I wasn't sure I was going to have a testimonial, but I thought about it and I knew it was a chance to have a sense of closure and for me and the fans to say our goodbyes. It's not really my scene, people making a fuss. But I feel it's the right thing to do. [Before the game] a lot of fans stopped me and said that it wouldn't be right for it to end without a proper farewell.
Do you remember your first few games at United?
When you're a player and you think you're ready for a challenge, you look for the biggest and the best. When I heard United were in for me, that was it. I look at other big clubs and I have respect for them, but they will never be as big as United, not in history or support. There were other times I suppose I had offers, but I looked around and thought about it, and nowhere in the world is there a bigger club than United. When I arrived, I was there to win.
Your first season was Bryan Robson's last. What did you learn from him?
It's been a privilege to have played with him, and the other players of that time. There were plenty of characters: Robbo, Incey, Giggsy, Mark Hughes, Brucey, all of those guys. Big men. People say to me, ‘You've won this, you've won that'. I haven't won anything. The teams I played in have won them. That's what it's about. There are some
great individual players out there, no doubt, but I thank my lucky stars I was able to play in teams like that.
What are your memories of the Treble season; do you still feel that you didn't deserve your Champions League winners' medal?
A lot of people talk about that, but you have to understand that the priorities are the club and the team. Other people missed that game. Paul Scholes missed it, and Henning Berg had an injury. So it wasn't about me. You've got to look at the bigger picture. When you're a player you want to play in the big games, but I'd done my ankle ligaments in the FA Cup final, so I wouldn't have played even if I hadn't been suspended.
The fans felt an empathy with you, though, because you'd done so much to get the club to the final.
I've never got sucked into that, I've never played for their feelings; my mood doesn't matter. I don't mean that in a negative way. It's about the club. I guarantee that on that night, when Ole scored the winner, no-one in that ground was thinking about me, and nor should they have been. It wasn't about me. What's important is Manchester United winning the European Cup. I was kicking myself more about losing the Bayer Leverkusen semi-final (in 2002), or Borussia Dortmund (1997), or Monaco (1998), or a couple of other times when we should have done better, won a couple more European Cups.
What are your thoughts and memories of Sir Alex?
I'm very fortunate to have played for him, and the manager will be the first to tell you that the staff that were there had a big role to play too: Brian Kidd, Steve McClaren, Jimmy Ryan, Mickey Phelan, Carlos Queiroz, Walter Smith. I always felt part of it, always felt that they were there to provide the best for the team, and it was a privilege.