Former Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre insists Roy Keane’s shock exit from the club in 2005 was a total ‘disaster’ and that it was not the Irishman’s fault.
Keane controversially walked out of Old Trafford in November 2005 following a controversial in-house interview with MUTV where he criticised team-mates while analysing a 4-1 defeat by Middlesbrough on October 29, 2005 – which Keane did not feature in.
The interview, which was never aired publicly, enraged boss Sir Alex Ferguson and his assistant Carlos Queiroz and led to a team meeting to where the video was shown to the squad. Keane’s words were considered so volatile that he was also fined £5,000 before his acrimonious departure just weeks later on November 18, 2005.
Mikael Silvestre (left) and Roy Keane (right) are pictured in action against Everton in 2005
Keane was furious with his team-mates following a 4-1 defeat at Middlesbrough (above)
Silvestre though, who did play in the Riverside Stadium loss, believes none of the players would have had an issue with Keane’s words.
The former French defender admitted that ‘people would be shocked’ at things said in the dressing room, but that Keane was the exception as he never applied a filter to his words publicly.
Silvestre who played 361 times for United between 1999 and 2008 insists blame could have been put on MUTV for not having better judgement in interviewing Keane over the heavy Premier League loss.
‘As players, we knew that Roy was always straight with us and he would treat everybody the same,’ Silvestre told SPORTbible via FreeBets.com. ‘He said, “what I told the MUTV guys, I would’ve said to your face,” so it [the MUTV interview] wasn’t an issue for us.
‘You could almost blame MUTV for putting him in that position, because if you know Roy, he’s not going to hold back. It was a disaster in the end, but it could’ve been dealt in a much better way.’
Keane criticised Manchester United’s defending during 4-1 defeat by Middlesbrough in 2005
Edwin Van der Sar looks on as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scores Middlesbrough’s second goal
Keane never played for United again after storming out of the meeting, shortly joining Celtic after where he finished his career.
But Silvestre insists he even tried to bring Keane back into the meeting before the club captain left without saying a word.
‘I felt bad to the point that when Roy left the meeting, I was the first one to leave after him about a second later because I wanted to drag him back to the meeting,’ he recalled.
‘I didn’t feel it was the right way to end things, so I followed him to the dressing room, but couldn’t get a word out to make him change his mind to go back upstairs to the meeting. I just saw him get changed and then he left.’
Writing in his 2014 autobiography, The Second Half, Keane defended himself over that situation – claiming the criticism of his team mates didn’t upset a single one of them and that it was only manager Sir Alex Ferguson and his assistant manager Carlos Queiroz who had a problem with his actions.
Gaizka Mendieta strikes the opening goal at the Riverside Stadium for Middlesbrough
Aware of what was appearing in newspapers about the issue, Keane called a meeting in the United dressing room and explained to this team mates that – contrary to press reports he believes were leaked by the club – he had not questioned the amount of money they earned.
‘It was getting a bit silly so I got the players together in the dressing room and told them it was f*****g nonsense,” he writes.
‘They were all going: ‘Yeah, Yeah’. Not one of them had an issue. Not one.
‘Even now people still say: “The video had to be destroyed”. Like it was a nuclear weapon or something.”
Still Keane had another trial to undergo, though, and it is this that he believes sowed the seeds of Ferguson’s decision to get rid of him.
Keane said he spoke to his team-mates and none of them had an issue with his criticism
Called in to an office at the club’s training ground, Ferguson made his captain and the first team squad sit through the programme in its entirety.
Again Keane was convinced the players he had criticised – such as Darren Fletcher, Rio Ferdinand and Kieron Richardson – did not have a problem with him.
‘I said to Darren Fletcher: “Fletch?”,’ writes Keane. ‘I had said something about my wife tackling better than him for one of the goals.
‘But I could tell he was fine with it. But the manager and Carlos were in the back with steam coming out of their ears.
‘The manager said: “It’s a disgrace, this f*****g video.”‘
Keane’s interview on MUTV over the defeat enraged manager Sir Alex Ferugson (left)
In his book, Keane makes an issue of matters such as trust and loyalty and it clearly rankles to this day that he was made out to be the bad guy after a programme he never wanted to make in the first place. He believes United painted him as ‘loose cannon slagging everyone off’
‘The MUTV people go: “It’s your turn”,’ he revealed. ‘I had to do it.
‘I was disappointed with the players but it was MUTV, propaganda for the club. So I did the interview.’