18 Nov Roy’s return
Roy Keane wants to get back into management, but where?
Is there a Premier League Chairman that would trust him in the top half of the table with a significant budget? No, not in my book.
Would a bottom end board back Keane to keep them in the top flight? I can’t see it.
The Championship could offer him a lucrative contract and a chance to restore his credibility, but I wonder whether the nightmare of Ipswich Town is still fresh in the memory of decision makers in the second tier of English football.
The public spat with Sir Alex Ferguson certainly won’t have helped his case when looking for a reference from one of the great matchmakers in the British game over the last twenty years.
Then of course there is Celtic.
Would the Scottish Premiership club go back a second time to offer Keane a job he knocked back prior to Ronny Deila’s appointment?
I have my doubts, but I can’t rule it out, if only for the Martin O’Neill and Dermot Desmond friendship factor.
The Republic of Ireland boss has been singing the praises of Keano after their win over Bosnia in the play-off secured qualification for Euro 2016 in France.
Roy, never short of an opinion, has stated he wanted to speak to Martin about staying as assistant for the Euros, but after that, he wanted to look again at management.
Keane could have been Celtic manager right now, had it not been for the Parkhead club’s seemingly backward attitude, that if you have declared your love for the hoops, you should walk over broken glass and take what’s on offer.
Keane said in the second instalment of his autobiography that Celtic ‘failed to rock my boat’ with their offer.
The fact that there seemed to be an inflexible attitude to their cut price deal also rankled with the forthright Irishman.
‘I felt they wanted me but they weren’t showing how much they wanted me.’
Keane’s legal advisor wasn’t happy with a number of clauses in the contract of a job that was there if he wanted it, and after careful consideration, Keane knocked back Dermot Desmond’s offer to succeed Neil Lennon at Celtic.
‘Right job, wrong time’ is how Keane summed it up.
Martin O’Neill still has Dermot Desmond’s ear and in my view the Celtic fans disenchantment with Ronny Deila’s results in Europe could convince the Irish majority shareholder to go back one more time to show Keane how much they really want him.
There are a number of factors that could influence any move.
First of all, an exit from the Europa league before the end of 2015 will prompt serious discussion over whether the job is too big to allow Deila another attempt at making the group stages of the Champions League next summer.
Secondly, the stands are not full this season at Celtic park and with the expected return of Rangers, the supporters might need an appointment and a change of direction that will re-ignite their hopes of great battles at home and in European competition.
The obvious attachment to Ireland always helps, but is it enough?
I’m certain the topic of Celtic will once again be brought up between O’Neill and Keane, but whether Roy bites is another matter.
If he does, Martin O’Neill, I am sure will make the call.
I think it is the Manchester United legend’s best hope of rehabilitation on the football stage. A one team league with a few wins required in Champions league qualifiers could kick start Keane’s career and give him the best chance of a return to management in England in the future.