The Shields Gazette reports that Roy Keane, so familiar with pressurising referees during his playing career, launched a verbal assault on ref Steve Bennett after the Sunderland-Aston Villa game. The match ended 1-1 but Sunderland’s Danny Collins’ last-minute winner was disallowed – something which predictably had Keane sweating pure distilled rage:
“We should be talking about two good teams after the game. Instead, for the next few days we’re going to be talking about the referee. But I think he’ll enjoy that, he’ll like to be the centre of attention. I saw him at the hotel the night before the game and I just thought to myself ‘nah’.”
Keane also told journalists that when talking to Blackburn’s Mark Hughes a while ago, he had naively claimed not to have had too many issues with refs, something which has definitely changed now. Keane’s incandescent rage continued as he ranted:
“This is certainly the most angry I’ve been as a manager after a game. End of first half, we get a corner, he lets all our players come up and get into position and then he blows for half-time. Please explain that one to me. To put the ball in would have taken another two seconds, but no.
“Then at the end, if you watch and see it again, he’s got his whistle in his mouth ready to blow for the foul as the ball is in the air and that’s what really concerns me. We’ve seen it and as the ball is travelling in, he’s got the whistle ready to blow for a foul before it even happens.
“There’s no getting away from it, no getting away from the fact that it will be the only talking point of the game afterwards.
“I was chatting to Mark Hughes a few weeks ago and said I found the referees all right. He said ‘that will change’ and he was spot on.”
We’d like to say that Keane’s attack ended there, but he so was enraged that he continued to verbally wallop the ref. To read more of the mammoth rant, click here. It looks like Keane has lost the small sliver of faith that he had in referees and we could be looking forward to some volcanic eruptions from the pugnacious Irishman.