Roy Keane's time at Aston Villa Football Club didn't last long. Keane was appointed assistant manager on the first of July 2014 and was resigned by November 28th 2014. At the time Keane revealed he needed to focus fully on his role with the Rep of Ireland. There is more to this than beats the eye however. At that time during 2014 stories of training ground bust ups and player rows with Keane were frequent. It now seems confirmed this week as Shay Given included a piece on Keane's time at Aston Villa in his autobiography.
Players were so afraid to publicly speak out against Keane that it led to an anonymous piece by a Villa player reported by the Daily Mail newspaper. The player in question stated
"The atmosphere was horrible. It went downhill the moment Keane arrived. He pissed off all the big names he shouldn’t have pissed off and his relationship with the senior players slowly fell apart. There was so much gloom about the place every time he turned up. When he went there was just a feeling of euphoria and relief". (Continued below)
The quote above was allegedly given to the press by Tom Cleverley. Who remembers the story of Keane and Cleverley? Yes well now there seems clarity to that story. The Tuesday following Keane's departure from Aston Villa and following the anonymous quote given to the press Roy Keane stormed to Tom Cleverley's house for an explanation. It's reported Keane is recorded on CCTV outside Cleverley's home ringing the door bell and waiting for fifteen minutes with no answer to his calls.
Aston Villa denied any training ground rows and it was rumoured the players were warned not to speak about it following Roy Keane's departure. Shay Given has in his new 2017 autobiography confirmed such bust ups however and just as reported three years ago the main bust up did in fact involve Gabby Agbonlahor and Fabian Delph.
Given is quoted as saying "It didn’t take long for the sparks to fly when Roy Keane joined as Lambert’s coach. Fabian Delph and Gabby Agbonlahor took a pretty much instant dislike to Roy – and he returned the favour. Fabian argued one day with Roy after a b ** ing in training" Given is referring here to a row between Keane and Delph. Keane allegedly stopped a session before confronting Delph in front of the whole team. Delph according to the reports replied with the lines "Don't try to mug me fucking off" which sparked a back and fourth between the pair. Given confirms that row "As I’ve said, Delphy loves training and always works hard so Roy obviously touched a nerve".
Shay Given went on to speak about the beginning of the end "Towards the end of Roy’s time at Villa – he left as quickly as he arrived – Gabby was talking to Paul about something and Roy added his thoughts only for Gabby to give him a mouthful along the lines of, “I wasn’t talking to you. It didn’t escalate to pushing or shoving but there were plenty of verbals and it got heated." With Keane upsetting so many key and influential dressing room players it wasn't long before a number of players grouped together and made their feelings known. In the end the easiest way to quietly agree to Keane's departure was to use his connection to the Irish team as the reason. One can't but wonder that with so much unrest between Keane and influential players, a mutual agreement was reached somewhere along the line.