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Alex Ferguson: Can Keane Replace ‘The Godfather?’

By | 20th August 2008

Everyone knows that Alex Ferguson is arguably the most highly rated manager of all time in the English game. He persevered through a rocky start, eventually winning his first trophy. Since then Manchester United have never looked back, going through a stage of domination that has left them on the brink of overtaking Liverpool at the summit of English football. However, ‘Godfather’ Fergie has said he will step down in the next three years. So who can replace him? In truth, no one can. He has firmly established himself as one of football’s living Gods amongst the Old Trafford faithful. But someone will have to try and step up. The big question is who? Carlos Queiroz, Mark Hughes, Martin O’Neill and Steve Bruce have been amongst the names being touted as possible replacements. However, there is one man who stands above all when you consider the possible candidates who have similar qualities to the fiery Scot. And that man is Roy Keane.

What qualities does Ferguson have that makes him such a success? Sir Alex is passionate, relentless, headstrong, ruthless and has that craving to be the best that is everlasting. It’s well known that Fergie knows the club from top to bottom, nothing is done without his say so, nothing is done without his knowledge. He has full control, and no one with sense dares question him. Those that do are soon shown the door. Van Nistelrooy, Jaap Stam, David Beckham: all victims of the infamous ‘hairdryer’ treatment. Roy Keane has all of these qualities, and more. Sunderland players in his first year there even became wary of the ‘tumbledryer’ treatment. It seems he has learned very well from the master already.

Fergie is Manchester United. He has carried on the traditions of Matt Busby. The famous traditions of slick and stylish attacking football to graduating youth into the famous red shirt. All those that have worked with Fergie have had nothing but praise for the Scot. It has become evident very quickly that replacing Fergie could become a very hard task indeed. There aren’t many with all of the qualities needed when taking the helm at Manchester United. Roy Keane has it all. That’s why when I look at Keane I just know it would work. He can match all the qualities of Ferguson and then some. He can become a “great.” He knows United from the inside out, been there through the good and the bad. No one in the world could match his drive and the fire that made Keane the player he was. I don’t think anyone could match it as a manager either.

I believe that Keane would carry on the same traditions that have made United so successful. He already has the qualities that Ferguson has. He can see right through a player. He can understand a lack of ability, but not the commitment. And he stated that any player not willing to give 100%, regardless of ability would be basically removed from the club. If you are not proud to wear the shirt, then you won’t. This was obvious after the Liam Miller incident where after turning up for training late a number of times, Miller was placed on the transfer list. Ruthless? Yes, but fair and understandable. Keano showing once again that he is not one to be crossed, rather like a certain Scotsman we know. That’s why I believe Roy Keane is the perfect replacement. Once he gains some experience and learns more about the managerial world, then not many will be more suitable. In other words, in 3 years when Fergie has retired. It would seem like fate if he was to take the helm, returning to once again lead us to glory just when days seem to darken and we reminisce of the days gone by with Fergie.

Roy Keane was a legend as a player. Now I hope he gets the chance to become a legend with us as a manager too.

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