‘Justified anger’ – Roy Keane reflects on Manchester United exit in 2005

Roy Keane’s departure from Manchester United stunned fans, as the Irishman’s relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson reached boiling point and has not been amended since.

The former Manchester United and Republic of Ireland captain has opened up on his departure from Old Trafford in November 2005.

Keane left the club by mutual consent and was unable to find a new club until the January transfer window. His contract was winding down and there were no signs of an extension.

An honest interview with MUTV kicked things off between Keane and Ferguson. United had lost 4-0 and the club decided not to air the interview on MUTV.

Speaking on the latest Stick to Football podcast, Keane opened up on his United exit, saying: “I don’t see how things could have been different with Sir Alex. It’s a silly thing to be thinking about that’s not going to happen.

“I get my anger is obviously a long time ago but the worst anger you can have is the justified anger where you feel – again I feel I hadn’t done anything wrong. I was 34, I had a broken foot, and my contract was coming up, it was an easy fix for [Manchester] United to go, ‘Your days are numbered, alright, cheers, thanks a lot’. I’ve seen players leave but I could have left in the summer.

“I had no hang ups about leaving in the summer, or going, ‘Am I getting another sneaky deal here? Listen, I’m a big boy, I can deal with it’. It was all the way it was done; it wasn’t nice that’s the bit. Not that I had to leave United, no again, that’s life.”

This saw the end of Keane’s 12-and-a-half-year tenure at United, where he is still adored by the fans.

The Irishman eventually joined Celtic in Scotland.

Keane added: “In hindsight, if I went over to the secretary’s office at Manchester United asking that if I signed for another club, do I have to leave today, and they would have said no, then that would have changed my mindset. If I was unable to play for another team till January, then I would have played with the reserves at United.

“Some of the best decisions I’ve made in my life have been instinctive, and when I left Manchester United, my gut feeling was that the respect had gone for both parties, but the one who was going to suffer the most was me.

“I had bust ups with Sir Alex Ferguson in the past, but for him to say that me leaving the club was the end of my career was harsh from him. I walked out with an injury, which was a double whammy for me as I couldn’t play till January.

“When I left the club, there were a lot of stories that came out about me in the press, mainly focusing on my relationship with players, but it was all lies, which can tarnish you, but I can live with it and am at peace with it all.”

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