Sir Alex Ferguson Unhappy at David Moyes Axe, Will Reportedly Block Roy Keane

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2014

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, 2007 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he found the manner of David Moyes' sacking "upsetting," while it is also reported the legendary Manchester United manager will block any attempt to install Roy Keane as the club's No. 2.

Ferguson, who chose Moyes as his Old Trafford successor, revealed his feelings during a charity event, as reported by Matt Lawton, Ian Ladyman and Charles Sale of the Daily Mail:

"Speaking to an audience of 300 at a charity lunch in Manchester, Ferguson said he found it 'upsetting the way it came out,'" reads the article.

League Managers Association chief Richard Bevan labelled United "unprofessional" after reports of Moyes' sacking leaked across the Internet on Monday, per ESPN. The axed boss wasn't informed of an official decision until Tuesday morning, an order of events that West Ham manager Sam Allardyce called "a great shame for United as a brand," as reported by Ben Jefferson of the Express.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 20:  Manchester United manager David Moyes shows his dejection as he walks back to his team bench during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on April 20, 2014 in Liverpool, En
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Gary Neville, former United right-back and current Sky Sports pundit, told Sky Sports News the process was "repulsive," per ESPN.

While Ferguson's annoyance has been replicated across the footballing world, the former boss is expected to have a say in who is hired next, reported by BBC Sport. The 72-year-old will allegedly halt any calls to offer Keane the assistant manager's job—a poignant blocking considering the pair's famous falling out in 2005—per Philip Quinn of the Daily Mail:

Alex Ferguson will resist any effort to install Roy Keane as part of a new-look Manchester United managerial ticket. 

As Keane’s name swirls inside the vacuum created by the dismissal of David Moyes, Sportsmail understands that Ferguson, now an influential director of the club he managed for 27 years, won’t countenance any role for the former midfielder.

Keane, whose famous "take no prisoners" attitude both made and ruined his United career, has been typically outspoken on the Moyes affair. Speaking on Tuesday's live ITV broadcast of the Atletico Madrid vs. Chelsea match, he suggested those wearing the red shirt should take a long look at themselves after Moyes' tenure, as tweeted by MailOnline Sport:

United's decision to install Ryan Giggs as interim manager addresses everything the club needs in the immediate future.

He is a reliable figure, someone who helped define United's attacking style under Ferguson, and his familiarity with the fans gives supporters a smidgen of hope heading into Saturday's match with Norwich.

CHICAGO - JULY 24:  Roy Keane, Captain of Manchester United, and Sir Alex Fergurson, Head Coach, speak at a Press Conferance before training at Soldier Fields on July 24, 2004 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
Phil Cole/Getty Images

Paul Scholes' addition to the coaching staff now means four "Class of '92" members have an influence over the players, per an alternate Ladyman report. The continued presence of Phil Neville and Nicky Butt ensures the club is steeped in unproven coaching pedigree but vitally is powered by United blood.

Keane would certainly galvanise this team, and he has managerial experience already, but his return is likely to split fans down the middle. The Irishman publicly criticised Ferguson's decision to speak honestly about the midfielder in his autobiography, calling the Scotsman's recollection "nonsense," saying "nothing surprises me with that man," per Robin Scott-Elliot of The Independent.

Perhaps ironically, Ferguson's reported decision to block any move for Keane would fuel the former captain's suggestion his old boss possesses a "massive ego." It was, after all, Ferguson who chose Moyes as his successor, a decision so famously heralded by "The Chosen One" banner at Old Trafford.

If Ferguson is forced to stop a move for Keane, it could also end United's suggested interest in Louis van Gaal. Keane is specifically said to be in the running for the assistant post if Van Gaal is given the permanent role, reported by Ladyman, suggesting the Dutchman may not bother if he isn't given full control to choose his staff.


Although Ferguson has only spoken about Moyes' exit behind closed doors, he is unlikely to defend the manner of his countryman's sacking. Ferguson earned the right to leave on his own terms after 26 years of success—despite early pressure throughout his reign—suggesting Moyes could have overcome this abysmal season to lead United toward success.

Vitally, Moyes' tactical output and cautious strategy never earned him the right to ride such a storm. Details of his sacking, and indeed his time in charge, will continue to surface across the coming weeks, but United must quickly focus to get their football back on track.

This may be the perfect time for Ferguson and Keane to bury the hatchet. A healthy relationship between the pair would produce one of football's fiercest, most formidable pairings, giving players powerful idols to emulate.

As both individuals are surely aware, no one person is bigger than the club, a quip that indicates their potential partnership could significantly transform United's fortune.


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