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Opinion: Is It Time For Roy Keane To Step Away From Football?

Should football’s angriest Irishman be given the responsibility to take charge of a group of players again?

This weekend Roy Keane took an inevitable step away from Aston Villa in what proved to be just a massive waste of time for all involved. His departure mirrored that of Martin O’Neill’s own exit from the same club in coming a day before a game after he couldn’t prove that he is an effective enough coach spread over two jobs.

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Many were shocked by Keane’s decision to join Villa over the summer as Paul Lambert’s number two, but it looked as the the men from the Midlands were looking to someone to help change their fortunes, and after a positive start to the campaign that saw them go unbeaten for the first four it looked to be working.

However, a tricky spread of games against nearly all of last season’s top five has seen the club slump back down the table as they now search for their first win since September. Keane’s major focus throughout this time was to promote his new book, in which he seer about setting the record straight again over claims and accusations made about him as a player and manager.

What Keane’s role in Villa’s slide was remains unknown, though if reports in the Daily Mail are to be believed, then bust ups with players surely only served to dampen the mood in the camp.

His constant battles with his fellow professionals as a player, and his arguments about impossible to reach standards of his players when in positions of authority lend to the suggestion that he just doesn’t have the temperament required for football, sure, he’s a warrior, but at what cost?

When he was a pundit on ITV, he began to win people around. Contained in the studio he would inflict his anger onto the likes of Adrian Chiles, whilst making air-tight observations about the game going on behind them, people warmed to him, and there was a real case for him knowing what he’s talking about.

But out on the training pitch, or in the dugout, he just cannot get over his temper, perceiving every slight as a personal attack on himself and everyone he’s ever loved. It’s this that will hold him back, it’s this that will prevent him from getting another (good) job and it’s this that will ultimately make his time in coaching appear to be a blemish on otherwise great career.

Villa played with more freedom against Burnley on Saturday, though a lot of that could have been down to actually using a creative player in the midfield for once, but you can bet that a lot of those players were relieved to not have to face the wrath of Keane during and after the game.

He apparently offered to stay on in the role until manager Paul Lambert could find a suitable replacement, but the Scot declined. Perhaps this should be Keane’s cue to take a step back and return to the studio, bar his time with the Irish national team, it’s quite clear that this management lark just isn’t for him.

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