Sir Alex Ferguson Still Striving for Power at Manchester United, Says Roy Keane

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2013

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 05:  New Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Real Sociedad and Manchester United at Estadio Anoeta on November 5, 2013 in San Sebastian, Spain.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

His days as boss at Manchester United may be over, but Sir Alex Ferguson isn't ready to completely relinquish his grip at the club, according to former star midfielder Roy Keane.

In an interview scheduled to be broadcast Tuesday night on ITV4, Keane once again addresses old stories of discontent between him and his ex-manager, citing the desire for power as one of the main reasons the two were torn apart.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 22:  Sir Alex Ferguson poses during a press conference ahead of the publication of his autobiography at the Institute of Directors on October 22, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Keane spoke on the subject as part of the television show Best of Enemies, which chronicles the Irishman's feud with Patrick Vieira. Mike Walters of Mirror Football reports some of his latest Fergie accusations:

He scowled: "The manager accused me of trying to manage Manchester United behind his back - but managing the dressing room, and pulling up players who stepped out of line, was part of my job."

And he claimed Ferguson was still "striving" to exert "control and power" at Old Trafford - where new boss David Moyes is struggling, with United currently 13 points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal.

Ferguson's 27-year reign as manager of United is among the most well-covered managerial voyages in the history of the sport, but his fractious relationship with one of his greatest players is something that's been discussed at length since Keane left Old Trafford in 2005.

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 01:  Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson (L) and Sunderland Manager Roy Keane watch the action during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford on September 1,
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Given the amount of time that the Scot spent as manager of United, bringing them the kind of continued success that few other clubs have experienced, one may understand if letting go were to be difficult for the 71-year-old.

However, it was Ferguson who had himself suggested David Moyes as his successor, as touched upon by the Daily Mail Online's Rik Sharma back in May.

The club figure nonetheless remains at the Theatre of Dreams in a directorial position, with nowhere near as much influence on the daily running of things he once had.

However, his figure still looms over United at every home game, casting a shadow over Moyes, who is struggling badly as the club's replacement.

Keane's latest comments won't be a complete surprise, given the back-and-forth manner in which the pair have quarrelled over recent years. Walters even reports that only now will the Republic of Ireland assistant manager go to watch his former team play, following Ferguson's retirement.

The Times' Matt Dickinson sheds more light on the recent quotes, with Keane adding that Ferguson doesn't rank as the best manager he played under:

The former Sunderland and Ipswich Town helmsman will be as aware of Ferguson's habits for control as any. However, that control becomes a problem if it inhibits Moyes' freedom to run the club.

United now sit ninth in the Premier League table, 13 points away from leaders Arsenal, winning just three of their eight home league matches thus far under Moyes.

David Moyes could use some Ferguson influence at the moment.
David Moyes could use some Ferguson influence at the moment.Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

Right now, the club could do with a player of precisely Keane's qualities on the pitch—someone with the ability to lead from the middle and capable of winning games without the ball.

Ferguson and Keane remain fraught with animosity toward one another to this day, but it is fair to say United could use the leadership and will to win of both men to help them out of their current slump.