This article originally appeared in Future Sport magazine. Click here to read the 2020 edition.

As captain of Manchester United he won it all; as a manager and coach he’s won promotion and been to international tournaments. For Roy Keane though, his management career is only in its infancy. Fresh from five memorable years assisting Martin O’Neill for the Republic of Ireland, Future Sport spoke to Keane about his time playing under Fergie, what he’s learnt about leadership and if he actually enjoys being in front of the camera…

It’s easy to imagine Roy Keane in the Old Trafford dressing room taking no prisoners and dictating terms. After all, there’s a reason the great Sir Alex Ferguson chose him as captain.

As one of the more vocal icons of the Premier League era, the Irishman has never shied away from giving an opinion. Whether as leader of treble-winning Manchester United, or since as a manager and pundit, Keane is straight, honest and often blunt.

So when Future Sport sat down to talk with the former Sunderland boss during his visit to UCFB, it perhaps wasn’t a total surprise to hear him suggest that player-power in the game had gone too far.

“To me now the manager is at the bottom of the pile,” he tells us. “When things aren’t going right or players aren’t happy, they make a few noises and the manager is gone.”

He adds: “It’s difficult for lots of managers out there; a lot more experienced managers than me have suffered from it. Players are in contact with chief executives and chairmen, whereas years ago you always felt the manager was one of the most important people at the club. You’ve got to manage people, obviously, but we’ve got to try and get rid of this player-power nonsense; particularly the bad players.”

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Though he might not admit it, Keane’s approach to his football career of ruling through fear was shaped by perhaps the two most influential men in the history of British football – Ferguson and Brian Clough. Their stories are famed, as is their legend and fingerprints on the game.

What did Keane learn from them? “Both were brilliant and I count my blessings that I got to work with them,” he says. “But if I could take anything away from working with them it was how simple they kept it. I never felt confused by their instructions or tactics.”

Just like his former bosses, Keane has always put immense pressure on himself to succeed. Whether for United, Celtic or his country, his desire to win never waned. He admits though that it’s much tougher for a manager. As a player he could escape to a “bubble”, but as a manager more people want answers. There is however, he says, an easy way to get to grips with it: “Experience.”

Though admitting he put too much pressure on himself at the beginning, when asked what advice he would have given himself when starting his management career in Sunderland, Keane said: “I would probably say ‘go a bit easier on yourself.’ I was hard, particularly after a bad performance. I know that’s part of the industry but I was quite good at beating myself up.”

But in true Keane style, he bites back: “The day you don’t suffer after a defeat you should probably get out of the game.”

In the past Keane has famously lambasted TV punditry, saying there were figures on TV he wouldn’t listen to down the pub. His stance has somewhat softened over the years, however, and his forthright comments now make for essential viewing. Following a five-year spell as Martin O’Neill’s assistant for the Republic of Ireland, which included Euro 2016 in France, Keane joined Sky Sports’ raft of former players in the pundits’ chair.

It doesn’t look like it, but does he enjoy it? “I enjoy watching good games,” he says after a brief pause. “People sometimes think I’m a bit serious when I do it but it’s my job; if they want a comedian they can get somebody else.”

Football clearly needs Keane as much as he needs it. Someone who has captained one of the best teams of the 20th century and been taught by two of the game’s greatest minds will never not have something to offer the players of tomorrow.  As he tells Future Sport, Keane doesn’t just see himself as a pundit.