Phil Neville explains what Roy Keane has meant to him

The duo won a host of trophies together at Manchester United

BY Raf Diallo 20:59 Monday 15 May 2017, 20:59 15 May 2017

Manchester United's Ryan Giggs, Phil Neville and Roy Keane during the announcement of the club team up with German car manufacturer Audi. Phil Noble/PA Archive/PA Images

Phil Neville says not all of Roy Keane's qualities at Manchester United have been fully appreciated by observers. 

While Keane's leadership skills are often highlighted, ex-United and Everton player Neville feels other sides of his game should also be greatly appreciated.

Speaking to Off The Ball, Neville said, "He was the greatest captain I ever played for and the person that I learned most from in my career in terms of standards that you've got to keep, in terms of leading a team from the front, in terms of never giving up, never letting your team-mates down and standing up for your team-mates when they're in trouble."

Neville who added that he had a "great relationship" with the former Ireland midfielder, left boyhood club United for Everton in 2005, carried some of Keane's lessons with him to Goodison Park, explaining, "You remember certain things that he used to demand of you when I became captain of Everton. You had this thing in your head, 'What would Roy say now?'"

And on top of those leadership qualities, Neville also feels his technical attributes have not been fully appreciated.

"As a player, I don't think people realise how good a player he was. People say he was tough, he was aggressive. He was a brilliant passer of the ball, he was as brave as a lion in terms of getting on the ball. He used to always say if I was at left back or right back, 'If you're having trouble and I've got men round me, just give me the ball I'll get you out of trouble'. And you can trust him with your life. He was brilliant in the last couple of years when I stepped into midfield and played alongside him. You just felt safe with him being in your team. I don't think I've seen anyone close to that kind of level of leadership that Roy gave that United team over a four or five year period."

One time, Keane pushed Neville on the field during a game against Sunderland but the ex-England player says the Cork man apologised immediately the following day about that.

Neville also added that Keane was willing to take part in light hearted moments along with the Class of 92, in contrast to the general stereotype.

He also praised another Irish captain in the shape of current skipper Seamus Coleman and gave his insight into his development after arriving at Everton.



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