Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has spoken out on working with Roy Keane during his team at Old Trafford.
Chadwick made 39 appearances for the United first team between 1999 and 2003, playing alongside some legendary players so he can tell a story or two, and now he’s retired the former academy graduate often reminisces about his time at the club.
Keane was a stand-out character for many reasons. When asked if he agreed with Ben Foster’s recent claims that Keane was a ‘scary bloke’, Chadwick admitted it wasn’t easy training alongside him, though he also revealed another side to the Irishman which we’re not all that surprised to hear.
“Roy Keane I’d say was the ultimate captain,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside in an exclusive interview. “I remember going into my first sessions with the first-team, coming back from a loan spell in Antwerp. I gave the ball away a couple of times, a bit sloppy, and he went absolutely mad, shouting and swearing at me. I wondered what I’d got myself into!
“But after the session he spoke to me and said this is what’s expected here, we have to be the best we can in training so we’re in shape to go and win the game on Saturday.
“He was so demanding of everyone, whether it was me, a young kid who’d just come into the squad, or a seasoned pro. He said exactly what he felt if they weren’t at the standard required. Having said that, the way he trained every day gave him license to do that because he was on it every day, he trained at 100%.
“Off the pitch he was an incredibly supportive person in terms of looking after the dressing room. With young players like myself he’d go out of his way to make sure we felt part of the team and to help out wherever he could.
“Sometimes he picked me up from my flat because I couldn’t drive at the time, and helped me get to training and games, which was something he didn’t have to do. He was an incredible man who demanded the highest standards possible on the football pitch, but again a very supportive person off it as well.
“At United it was so intense every day, it was a squad of winners that all trained to the maximum. He moaned at some individuals more than others because they wouldn’t shout back, but Keane would do it at everyone, there wasn’t anyone he wouldn’t call out.
“At the same time if he was called out as well, he’d accept that. He was one of those players – if you moan all the time it loses what it means – but with Roy Keane he had so much respect that would never happen. You understood why he was doing it. He was part of developing an elite environment and without it I’m not sure the club would have reached those heights during that period.”
People have their own perceptions of Keane but I can only ever talk about my own experiences from covering the Republic of Ireland national team. He’s great value and friendly if you treat him with some respect.
Sadly, however, I was never able to get him to do a one-on-one interview with Stretty News.
Maybe one day!