[This is my 100th post on this blog. However, I would have loved something more joyful.]
Midfielder Keane, 34, joined United in 1993 from Nottingham Forest for a then British record fee of 3.75 million pounds and has been the lynchpin of Britain’s most famous club for a decade.
Keane helped United win the Premier League seven times as well as the league and FA Cup double in 1994, 1996 and 1999 when United also won the European Cup.
He was the on-field mirror image of United manager Alex Ferguson – tough, uncompromising and interested only in winning – and the Irishman’s departure after 326 league games for United signals the end of the most successful era at Old Trafford.
Keane’s decision to quit hits us hard because of its abrupt nature. He had announced earlier that he would quit at the end of the season, so there will be questions raised as to the timing of the move. Inevitably, it will be linked to his recent outburst in an MUTV interview lamenting United’s poor form of late and assailing many players of losing the appetite to win. Though the interview was prevented from being telecast, the contents when leaked to the press struck a chord with the Old Trafford faithful, who have always been behind their captain.
Praise for Keano has come from all quarters, with Sir Alex Ferguson leading the way calling him “a faithful servant of the club.” So has Arsene Wenger, hailing him “…as a quality player, as an influence on the side and as a brain on the pitch he was very influential in the success of Manchester United.”
Keane, who has dreams of following his mentor as manager of Manchester United, is currently linked with a move to Celtic of Scotland.
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