Roy, What Do You Want To Prove?
Roy Keane has seemingly identified an image problem of his own: I think he believes people consider him to be nothing more but a creation of Sir Alex Ferguson, a loyal puppet of the Manchester United manager.
It is of course rubbish, even if some may think along those lines: anyone who has seen Keano play knows he's quite an individual. But still, he feels it prudent to put as much distance between himself and Fergie as possible.
The latest sign is that he stated Brian Clough was the best manager he ever had.
'I have to say he was an absolute genius," he said.
"I meet other players who played under him and we have all got our own stories, but he was a genius, an absolute genius, and certainly the best manager I played under, without a shadow of a doubt.
'I just feel very lucky, like other players who played under him, to have had that opportunity. He was a genius and he has still left his mark on the football club.
'We were there a few weeks ago and you still feel he is around the building somewhere. I am sure he is - in spirit anyway.'
Brian Clough WAS a genius: there's no denying that. If Keano said, ahead of their visit to Nottingham Forest, that he was on a par with Fergie then there is no problem.
But Keane has been working with Fergie for more than 12 years, he was closer to him than any player ever. Keane's departure was painful, yes, and he might feel it unjust, the way he was treated but he admitted since then that he had made a mistake and apologised for it.
I must ask: would Fergie ever say that one of his players was certainly, without a doubt, better than Roy Keane? I don't think so. It is about respect. I'm not the one to settle the Clough or Ferguson debate: for me, Fergie is the greatest manager ever. But Roy Keane, who achieved his greatest successes with Fergie, and did that while being Fergie's closest ally, simply should not place anyone above the old Scot.
Roy, you've got nothing to prove. You proved that your name alone is a great luring power: Gary Megson or Neil Warnock couldn't have brought Djibril Cissé to Sunderland. We know you're not Fergie's captain anymore, we know that you're a powerful manager of your own. Distancing yourself from the most important man of your footballing career is disrespectful. You should not do it.