“It Was A Disaster”- Mikael Silvestre On Roy Keane’s Departure From Manchester United
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Mikael Silvestre recounted Roy Keane's controversial departure from Manchester United, believing "it was a disaster," and that the situation could have been handled much better.
Keane acrimoniously left United in November 2005 after dramatic breakdown in his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson, and a famous MUTV interview analysing the side's dismal 4-1 defeat at Middlesbrough proved to be one of the final nails in the Irishman's coffin.
Silvestre spoke about the meeting where the tape was shown to the squad, and expressed his regret at the way in which the legendary captain was allowed to leave the club in an exclusive interview with SPORTbible via Freebets.com.
"As players, we knew that Roy was always straight with us and he would treat everybody the same. He said, 'what I told the MUTV guys, I would've said to your face,' so it [the MUTV interview] wasn't an issue for us.
"People would be shocked if they saw the things that were said in the dressing room on the TV. But the vocabulary and the way Roy would speak in the dressing room was normal; losing 4-1 as Manchester United and the way we gave up the goals and conceded is what annoyed him the most.
"You could almost blame MUTV for putting him in that position, because if you know Roy, he's not going to hold back. It was a disaster in the end, but it could've been dealt in a much better way.
"It wasn't nice to see the relationship between Roy, the manager and Carlos Quieroz being ripped apart. When you win trophies, you need everyone to be together and there can't be any hard feelings or second thoughts about who you're going to work with or fight for.
"I felt bad to the point that when Roy left the meeting, I was the first one to leave after him about a second later because I wanted to drag him back to the meeting.
"I didn't feel it was the right way to end things, so I followed him to the dressing room, but couldn't get a word out to make him change his mind to go back upstairs to the meeting. I just saw him get changed and then he left."
Despite Keane's undoubted quality and influence on the team, the Frenchman named another midfielder as the best player he played with at United - Paul Scholes.
"The best player has got to be Paul Scholes. Cristiano [Ronaldo] wasn't bad, so it was between the two of them. Paul ran the show in midfield with the way he controlled the ball and dribbled, while his decision making, vision, and ball-recovery skills were excellent.
"He had all the attributes you want from a midfielder. He was so intelligent, scored goals, and his defending was good too. I didn't see any weakness from him. He had the right mentality too.
"Roy was very good, but Scholesy had an eye for goal, and some with the volleys that he scored from outside the box were brilliant. If you ask [Zinedine] Zidane, he will say that the best midfielder he played against was Scholes, and that's coming from Zidane!"
Silvestre also spoke in more detail about playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo during the tender years of his career, and was convinced that he would become a future Ballon d'Or winner.
"He [Ronaldo] arrived at United as an 18-year-old and took the league by storm straight away, scoring goals. He showed the courage to believe in himself.
"There were big personalities in the dressing room, so you have to shine in the team first, and then you have to shine within the league.
"At 18 you can be a bit shy, but there was none of that from Cristiano. Although he was new to the league and didn't speak the language, he was already scaring a lot of defenders after a few months.
"I told him in either his second or third season that he would compete for the Ballon d'Or. This was because of his development and work ethic, which would ensure he reached that level at some point."