“I was amazed and thought it was magnificent,” WGS on Celtic’s world class signing

Gordon Strachan has had his say on the Roy Keane at Celtic story which was in the news last week after the Manchester United spoke about his time at Celtic on the Gary Neville podcast, criticising the training facilities at Barrowfield (in the days before Lennoxtown) and revealing that he reckoned there were a couple of idiots in the Celtic dressing room.

Roy Keane of Celtic shouts to his team mates during the Scottish Premier League match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on February 12, 2006 (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Now Strachan has added to the story by talking about how he told Keane that he would NOT be a guaranteed starter ahead of Neil Lennon and Stan Petrov in the Celtic midfield. This was Strachan’s first season as Celtic manager and the detailed story is told in Matt Corr’s latest book titled Majic, Stan and the King of Japan which is available in the Celtic Star winter sale at HALF PRICE, you can order your copy HERE.

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“Roy trained with us a bit before the transfer window because he had been let go by Manchester United, so he got to know the lads for a fair period of time before he officially signed,” the former Celtic manager said, as reported by Glasgow Times.

“Roy was a different kettle of fish, because you’re talking about a world class player. When it became apparent that we could sign Roy Keane, I was amazed and thought it was magnificent.

Roy Keane poses with Celtic manager Gordon Strachan at Celtic Park, 15 December 2005. The 34-year-old has signed a deal until the summer of 2007 with the Glasgow giants after his contract with Manchester United was terminated by mutual consent. (Photo credit IAN STEWART/AFP via Getty Images)

“But I had a problem; we were unbeaten in so many games and I had Lennon and Petrov in the middle of the park.

“I used to play with two wingers and a forward player that would come back in and drop off the main striker, so I had no idea how I was going to fit him in there. I had to speak to Roy Keane and tell him that he wasn’t going to be starting.

“The conversation started with us just staring at each other over the table, and I was genuinely so excited to have him at Celtic with me and I was never interested in the circumstances as to why he left Manchester United.

“So I was honest with him and I said, ‘Listen, it’s great having you here, but if I’m picking a team tomorrow, you aren’t in it.’ Without hesitation, he said he was absolutely fine with that, even though I could see he absolutely wasn’t okay with that.

“But I have to say that I got on tremendously well with Roy and I still do to this day if we do TV work together. I find myself gravitating towards him.”

Roy Keane’s injury problems meant that we never really got to see the best of him in a Celtic jersey. However that day at Ibrox on 12 February 2006 the Irishman was magnificent and entirely bossed the game as Celtic won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Maciej Zurawski.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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