This week, we received official conformation of a rumour we had all heard some time ago: Roy Keane was named as Paul Lambert’s assistant manager.
When I first heard the rumours, I laughed to myself and wondered whether it would end very well or very badly. I have thought about it a lot since then and the more and the more I think about it the more I think that this appointment will only end badly for both men, which means it will end badly for Aston Villa Football Club too.
Firstly, it is very very rare that opposites ever attract. They are complete opposite for a reason and when it comes to Paul Lambert and Roy Keane I think we have found polar opposites. On one side we’ve got Paul Lambert and, from what I can tell and what I have seen, he is quite a quiet and timid man, someone who I’ve very rarely seen lose his temper and who it would take a lot to wind up. Then on the other side we’ve got Roy Keane, a very loud and opinionated man who has got an extremely short fuse and who always seems to be losing his temper about something. At times, Keane has been an extremely controversial person who just loves confrontation.
On the flip side, I suppose I could say that Martin O’Neill and Paul Lambert are very similar and that Keane and O’Neill seem to be getting on well with the Republic of Ireland set-up. While this may be true, there are two major differences. Martin O’Neill has a backbone. He will stand up to Keane and ensure that Keane knows who is in charge. Additionally, O’Neill and Keane don’t have to spend too much time together. Keane seems like a guy who could be handled in small doses but I fear that, being there with Lambert and the squad virtually every day, he will start to take charge. That’s why things could start to go horribly wrong.
The fact is that we need someone who is totally committed to Aston Villa Football Club. We need a guy who can be completely focused on our cause and Keane is definitely not that man. Playing for club and country is one thing but trying to manage club and country is another entirely. He is always going to be split between club and country and I believe that his focus will be more on his country than on Aston Villa. I also think that each job will affect his performance in the other one too. If things go well for both Ireland and Villa then great but as soon as there are issues in one camp the other party will know about it.
Give it a few months and I don’t think any of us will be sure we know who the manager is. Lambert is used to having his own men at hand and I really don’t think he knows what he is getting himself into by appointing Keane. I seriously doubt Lambert will be able to handle Keane and if the rumours are true about how the former Manchester United captain managed Sunderland and Ipswich, with the players unhappy about his leadership and attitude, then it could lead to a very unhappy squad. Some of our players need a kick up the backside to try and get them going again but I don’t think Keane is the answer to our problems. I think his approach may be too aggressive and the players might not want to play for him.
I could be wrong and Keane’s appointment could turn out to be a stroke of genius but I am having some serious doubts. If they can work together effectively, Lambert and Keane could achieve some great things but I can see Lambert sitting back and Keane taking control. Keane as a number two for Ireland is great as they only have to put up with him for a few weeks a year but as a club number two, where he will be involved almost daily, I just don’t see him working well at all. I just hope that I’m wrong.