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Keane - the final word.

One thing that interested me when reading the comments to Mr Banks recent post and on the various message boards that are knocking around was the number of fans who admit they would not be opposed to City signing Roy Keane providing he turned in performances worthy of 'the shirt' and helped us gain some success (specifically silverware) along the way.
I imagined there to be a torrent of anti-Keane and anti-United comments (and don't get me wrong, most do subscribe to this view) but there some of you are out there who would clearly be able to forgive and forget.
So I thought about writing a piece in the role of devils advocate and attempt to justify how signing Keane could be both a positive and beneficial move for the club - and I couldn't.
Not because of the obvious reasons that City fans could never stomach the sight of him in a Blue shirt - namely that he represents everything that City fans abhor and find distasteful and repulsive about United, but for the plain, simple fact is that he isn't good enough to warrant signing.
As any United will openly admit to, both this season and last Keane has been a fading force at United and has need other defensive players such as Neville and Fletcher to be 'his legs'. A particular thing that has bothered me over the past couple of days is the way the press have been fawning over Keane, hailing him as one of the worlds great players. Zidane he certainly isn't. In his pomp (or should be pompous?) it was the inner-drive and intimidation that made him stand out above other players, not any technical proficiency. He was never a devastating passer of the ball, possesses no great pace or touch and was not a prolific goalscorer from midifeld.
He is now 34 years old and whilst the drive and will to win may still be in his heart and his head, they are certainly no longer in his legs. It says a great deal when Celtic fans are not convinced he would even make their first choice midfield. Remember the home derby last season? A big game, one of the games which Keane would expect teammates to be up for. He was completely anonymous for the ninety minutes and had no effect whatsoever.
Also putting aside the likely disruptive influence he would bring to the club, I would not give him a starting place currently ahead of Ireland, Barton or Reyna in the midfield. Coupled with rumoured targets such Malbranque, Pienaar and Galasek I would not for one minute even consider signing him if I was Stuart Pearce.

In all honesty, I think it is an academic argument anyway as I don't see it happening from either side. I listened to an interview with Stuart Pearce on GMR earlier and at no stage did he confirm any interest in signing him and any answers he gave around the topic were very non-commital. Pearce appears to be quite shrewd (possibly cautious?) in the transfer market and I think he must realise that a player whose chief assets are very much on the wane is of no benefit to the side, how we are progressing and where we are heading.
I think the majority of other Premiership managers who have expressed an interest are also merely doing so to appear ambitious and that they are in the market for big name players (step forward Bolton and Wigan please).
I also don't think Keane would contemplate the move anyway. The fallout of his departure has ensured his place in martyrdom for United fans, and surely he wouldn't want to end up risking that.
Perhaps the best way to seal his sainthood would be sign up for FC United?