Keane slams managerial 'hypocrites' in top flight

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The Independent Football

Roy Keane did not mention Sir Alex Ferguson by name yesterday but the Manchester United manager is certain to be intrigued at least, and probably angered, by Keane's labelling of some Premier League managers as "hypocrites" over their stance on referees and discipline, particularly as Keane referred to a manager who was sent of at Bolton this season. Ferguson was dismissed by referee Mark Clattenburg at half-time during Manchester United's 1-0 defeat at Bolton in November.

Discussing player discipline, Keane, unprovoked, produced the word "hypocrites" and when later asked if Ferguson's criticism of Ashley Cole for his behaviour for Chelsea against Tottenham represented hypocrisy, Keane replied: "Was he [Ferguson] sent off against Bolton this year? At Bolton? At half-time? I don't know, you tell me?

"We're all bad losers. But if we are going to be coming out and saying: 'Let's respect officials and other managers, and make sure the players do', and you're not doing it, how can you expect the players to do it?"

Keane also mentioned Ferguson's comments after United's recent FA Cup defeat by Portsmouth, when Ferguson criticised referee Martin Atkinson for dismissing substitute goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak and not awarding a penalty for Sylvain Distin's challenge on Cristiano Ronaldo.

"It surprised me and he wasn't the only one," Keane said of Ferguson blaming Atkinson, "Carlos Queiroz, I think Ronaldo came out. Man United always taught me to be gracious losers, they weren't that day.

"I don't think any manager should have any more power than anybody else. You're on about the Portsmouth game – United had about 20 chances to score and didn't take them."

Keane is aware that his infamous pursuit of referee Andy D'Urso will always be used against him and any annoyance with Ferguson may stem from Ferguson's pre-Liverpool press conference, when he called the D'Urso incident a "pivotal moment" in United's disciplinary approach.

"If he hadn't kept running we wouldn't have kept chasing him," Keane said of D'Urso. "I met him afterwards and apologised to him, I apologised to the man."

Keane also had hard words for another club yesterday – believed to be Reading, though he would not confirm it – because of the general touchline behaviour.

"There's one or two clubs where their staff are a disgrace, an absolute disgrace to football," Keane said. "Their managers are worse because they step by and let it happen – 'It's nothing to do with me.' There's one club in particular, a disgrace, an absolute disgrace."

Keane offered a partial defence of Ashley Cole and Javier Mascherano, because they have apologised for their dissent and then took a swipe at Sky Television and the punditry industry.

"There have been some [incidents] highlighted and shown four million times on Sky during the day, and then ten ex-players come on and say it's 'out of order' and these ex-players have done things a hundred times worse. That's why I'm on about the hypocrites, coming out and getting offered a grand to do a piece saying this player's a disgrace.

"Half of these players, their marriage is over because they cheated on their wives and yet they're slagging players off. Idiots, absolute idiots."

Although he described Sky as "the world's worst" at one stage, Keane is obliged to speak to television pre-match and took the opportunity to repeat his view of things: "There's a lot of hypocrites out there in football. You hear other managers, and I am talking big managers, talking about respecting referees, but the same managers have been sent off for foul and abusive language. Makes me sick some of them."

On another matter Keane said that he expects to open discussions with Sunderland on a contract extension in the summer. "I hope to be here for the foreseeable future," he said.

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