Sorry, Richard Dunne, but Roy Keane to Celtic rumours have to stop

By Euan Davidson

February 26, 2021

We need to nip this Roy Keane to Celtic chat in the bud.

Richard Dunne, of Manchester City and Ireland fame, has linked Roy Keane to the vacancy at Paradise. Despite Keane’s best role being “the angry one” on Sky Sports, his is a name constantly linked to Neil Lennon’s old job. Before Ronny Deila, Brendan Rodgers and Neil Lennon (a second time) took their seats in the dugout, Keane was consistently touted for the job.

That’s despite his last managerial job being an unsuccessful stint in Ipswich, 10 years ago [Transfermarkt]. By this point, it isn’t just tedious, it’s insanity. Yes, he’s taken in spells as assistant with the Republic of Ireland, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest, but none were spectacular successes.

Roy Keane, an underrated Celtic player on balance / (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Richard Dunne tips Roy Keane for Celtic job

Dunne, in his column for the Sunday World, wrote:

“Roy knows the club and knows the Scottish league as he played there, which is a help.

“And he’s also be able to cope with the media in Scotland, not an easy thing to do given the intense scrutiny you’re under.

“You can’t change what makes Roy tick. He drags the best out of people and won’t hold back from making his point. That won’t suit everyone at the club but once he gets the right players in and has the results going his way, no one will care what he’s said in the past.

“Looking in from England, Celtic won’t be taken seriously until they make inroads in the Champions League again but if they have that European success they can start to attract the top players again, keep the good players they have instead of losing them. It’s not enough to be dominant in Scotland, they need to be competitive in Europe for people to take them seriously.

“This Rangers side epitomise Steven Gerrard to me: they are intense, move the ball quickly, play with a real rhythm and that’s what Celtic seem to have lost.

“Celtic need a manager to get that back – and that could easily be Roy Keane.”

Roy Keane, upon signing for Celtic / (Photo by Alan Peebles/Getty Images)

Please, no.

We’ve only just parted with a feisty Irish manager, who is known for a no-nonsense man-management style. Like Lennon, Keane’s tactical identity is almost non-existent. Having been taught by Clough and Ferguson, Keane is very much of the “shout victories into existence” crop.

That just doesn’t work these days. Yes, Roy Keane may have got Sunderland promoted in his first job, but that was before HD TV. The idea of Brexit was some mad notion known only in the opposition back-benches. Kanye West still made cohesive projects. It was a long time ago.

Yes, in some respects it would be nice to have a successful Irish manager of Celtic. Certainly, one who’s played for the club, or at the very least is a lifelong supporter. But that profile fits Damien Duff far more snugly than it does Keane. It’s absolutely baffling that Keane’s name continues to come up.

Considering the calibre of talent Celtic are supposedly looking at, Keane and his one-dimensional brand of football would be dragging us back significantly. Yes, Gerrard v Keane would be a fun clash to watch, but only in the press. In terms of actual substance, not so much.

With all due respect to the former Manchester United captain, he’s much better suited to looking exasperated on TV. He can be funny and incisive. That doesn’t qualify him as the next Celtic boss, though. Appointing Keane would suggest that the bar isn’t just low to be Celtic boss, it’s underground. There is so little in Keane’s recent CV to suggest him securing a job in the English Championship, let alone a team with Champions League aspirations.

So, please: no more of this.

READ MORE: Talking of old ideas that need to be put to sleep