·26 September 2022
·26 September 2022
Manchester United legend Roy Keane is, in the eyes of some fans, the hardest player in Premier League history.
He’s certainly part of the conversation.
When Micah Richards and Alan Shearer ranked the Premier League’s hardest players in 2021 for Match of the Day’s Top 10 podcast, Keane finished third on the list ahead of Vinnie Jones, Jaap Star, Patrick Vieira, Stuart Peace, David Batty, Julian Dicks and Diego Costa.
Only Nemanja Vidic and Duncan Ferguson, who was named the Premier League’s hardest ever player by both Richards and Shearer, finished higher.
Keane, Vidic and Ferguson are footballers from a bygone era. As well as being able to dish it out, they could also take it.
You’d never catch any of them rolling around theatrically like a lot of modern-day players do after being tackled.
Ward flew in on Keane with his studs showing. He may have won the ball, but it was a tackle that would almost certainly have resulted in at least a yellow card – and very possibly a straight red – in today’s game.
However, Keane’s reaction sums up the Irishman and shows how much football has changed over the past 20 years.
Watch the footage here:
Keane barely flinched. He got straight back to his feet, exchanged a little word with Ward, and the pair both cracked on like nothing had happened.
Let’s check out some of the reaction to the footage:
Ward wasn’t booked for the challenge and the two sides went on to secure a point apiece after a 1-1 draw.
Dwight Yorke opened the scoring for United from an Andy Cole assist in the seventh minute, but Stam’s own goal in the closing stages saw Everton avoid defeat in front of their home supporters at Goodison Park.
Keane was no stranger to getting into scraps with opponents – we recently revisited the incident with Shearer which resulted in the United captain considering early retirement – throughout his glittering career.
But he must have been convinced that Ward was trying to win the ball fairly, rather than attempting to leave one on him, judging by his calm reaction to being two-footed.
They don’t make ‘em like Roy Keane anymore.
QUIZ: How many of these 90s Premier League players can you name?
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