Chris Camm says...
Honestly, why not?
Roy Keane is an icon here at Sunderland for his achievements well over a decade ago but the reason I believe he could be the right man for the job isn’t guided by nostalgia. This wouldn’t be a signing just for the sake of it, it would be the hiring of a manager with great playing pedigree, experience of success, who has spent a good few years now honing his craft as a coach as assistant to Martin O’Neill and perhaps most importantly; a personality that will look to drive standards and expectations among the players.
If you remove the name Roy Keane and look at the CV of the man. He was an assistant at the Republic of Ireland during a successful spell for them and has been seen to actively have developed his skillset while waiting for the right opportunity to take the reigns of a club. The last time he was manager he gained promotion from the championship in supreme style, lifting a team from the relegation zone to the title. He is a former Manchester United captain who has won premier leagues, champions leagues and made 67 appearances for his country. This is the profile of a man with the experience and ability to make a really positive impact with us.
If you added a different name, for instance, Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard, to that CV you’d probably find he already has a job in the Premier League. But it doesn’t. His name is Roy Keane and what that name means to Sunderland fans is the icing on the cake.
He is a man who completely understands the city and the football club. Who doesn’t shy away from the expectations of the fans because he shares those expectations and demands they be met. He would never accept “a bad day at the office” or excuse the concession of a last-minute equaliser. We have a squad here capable of achieving whatever they want in this division, Roy Keane could be the manager who makes them prove it.
Phil West says...
Nostalgia over the present time? Heart over head? Who knows, but one thing is certain: if Roy Keane does make a truly sensational return to the Stadium of Light after almost fourteen years, it would generate a buzz around the place, the line of which probably hasn’t been seen since a certain R.Keane arrived on Wearside in the summer of 2006.
If Keane does get the job, and can lift the club to the same extent he did back in 06/07, we could have something very, very exciting in prospect. His force of personality, his focus on standards and improvement, and his passion for the game should stand him in extremely good stead if he does accept the role.
There are so many unknowns, however. Will he adapt his coaching methods to the modern game? How will the players respond to him? Does he have the patience and the ability to work within a structure that is different from his first spell?
If the old magic is still there, and Keane delivers promotion this season, it would be one of the most incredible stories in the club’s recent history. It could work, it could be a disaster, but if it happens, it’ll be a lot of fun to see it unfold.
Joseph Tulip says...
It’s easy to get sucked into the modern way of thinking, almost to the point where managers who have been out of the game for some time are considered dinosaurs.
You won’t hear Roy Keane talking religiously about data, second phases and controlling the controllables in the way that Lee Johnson did so eloquently.
Keane has a more old-school approach, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t evolved with the game, let’s not forget he was involved with both Ireland and Forest until relatively recently.
That experience as an assistant manager, coupled with his own time in management and as a player, working under the very best in terms of Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough, means Keane is certainly qualified for the job.
It’s up to our hierarchy to do due diligence on whether he is the right character for the head coach role, but just like the return of Jermain Defoe, Keane offers something completely different to what our third tier rivals currently have.
That is big character from the elite level of the game. For too long we have been League One in terms of personnel, from top to bottom.
I’d be well up for Roy’s return. To get out of League One we need an injection of the right ingredients from above.
Hopefully a galvanised Roy Keane can interact with our talented young players and get the best out them, finally proving he is the manager we all thought he was going to be back in the mid-2000s.
Sean Brown says...
I miss Lee. I miss his smile, the way he made us play with style, the cap in hand when we lost by a mile, the fiendish grin as he laughed off the bile, but Lee is not as tall as Niall, so after a short period of denial, despite some odd attempts at guile, Lee befell the wrath of Kyril-e.
Basically I’ve lost my mind. There was no rhyme or reason to not giving Johnson the chance to finish the season he started so well - not because of my fondness for the artist formerly known as League One Hasbulla - but because I find swapping managers at a critical stage in the season usually results in writing off a season.
That being said since Lee’s sacking I’ve gone through every emotion imaginable. We’ve signed Defoe and a raft of attacking talent whilst simultaneously reducing our defensive options and the fans are in a strange place where we don’t know exactly what’s going on - or even what the plan is anymore - but even those of us who think this is all utter madness have just… enjoyed ourselves.
The insanity of it all is something to behold. Days after the return of Jermain we offer the job of Head Coach to a man so revered by so many his inclusion - should he want the job - tends to transcend anything as small and insignificant as logic or sense.
I once pointed out that should he want the job I’d give it to Roy Keane on the basis he is Roy Keane. So I’m not going to compare stats between Roy and other possibilities, particularly the likes of Woodgate and Lennon - who I truly believe have been interviewed solely to convince people who aren’t sold on Keano’s return that they may want to be sold on it pretty soon - and I’m not even going to defend LJ.
I’m simply going to do what I said I’d do and abandon all logic, all sense, all expectations… and ride this wave of insanity and pure emotion through to wherever it leads us - be that glorious success or glorious failure.
Let chaos reign.
Kelvin Beattie says...
As much as I enjoyed his first spell with us and loved watching him as a player, I am struggling to get my head around this proposal.
Everything I know about Roy Keane suggests that he is the leader, he is the boss! Unless the stories about him are exaggerated, he can be a divisive, hard, even strange character.
His on-screen persona in his tv work points toward a complex personality, that does not easily rub along with people. His lack of tolerance always appears to be bubbling just under the surface and combustion seems but a heartbeat away.
Now I accept this is his public face and he might be a bit different behind closed doors. However, listening to former colleagues I would say they evidence this view.
My heart says maybe, my head says no. The current regime has sold the new model to many of us, to threaten this with the appointment of an individual who would not meet many of the requirements for a head coach within this structure would be tantamount to a Tory u-turn - and God knows we have had enough of them to last a lifetime.
If Keane is appointed it will be interesting, to say the least. He is held in high esteem by many within the fan base, he was successful in the early part of his tenure at Sunderland. It will excite and probably unite the majority.
I wonder whether his experiences since leaving us so abruptly and any learning from these may help him work within the structure and get the best out of him and those around him… or am I just clutching at straws?