Sunday, November 20, 2005

Keane's departure

And so, Roy Keane has left Man Utd. On mutual consent, so say reports. No doubt many will speculate that his most recent outburst and criticism of teammates has hastened his departure. How much truth that carries, we will never know. He has had many such outbursts before but none quite like this one that the manager decided he had to intervene. Reactions to Keane's departure and praise of his past service for the club has been fast in coming. So have offers from other clubs to sign him.

To me, it is not totally bad news. Man Utd have been playing the 4-5-1 formation quite often to accommodate his slowing legs (partially due to age, partially due to past injuries) and it hasn't worked well. Keane himself has not been happy with Man Utd's form for the past two seasons. So parting ways now might be a good thing for all parties involved. It might also give more urgency to the management and board to search for and sign an able replacement during the January transfer window.

For me, the burning questions now are i) who will be club captain, ii) who will lead and plod the team along now (the current team seems to suffer from a dearth in natural leaders) and iii) who will take up that vital defensive midfielder role (Fergie has been experimenting with Smith in Keane's role and the jury is still out on the success of that).

This weekend's away game against Charlton suddenly becomes very very important. (Edit: Man Utd did manage to beat Charlton. Interestingly, van Nistelrooy took the captain's armband for this game, as did the past few when Keane was injured.)

131 days to go.


Post a Comment

<< Home