Past his best, and unfit but Roy still went to Ibrox and produced a masterclass…
Roy Keane rolled up at Ibrox on 12 February 2006 aiming to make his mark in the biggest Derby on these shores. In those days it was known as the Old Firm, these days it’s a different version of Rangers and is simply called the Glasgow Derby.
Keane was admittedly past his best and hadn’t really shown his true class since signing for Gordon Strachan’s side two months before. There was of course that disaster of a debut at Broadwood as Clyde knocked us out the Scottish Cup, and a few other games where he was played out of position at centre-back.
So Roy was itching to prove he still had that class and what better way to showcase that than putting in a decent showing at the home of Celtic’s biggest rivals.
Ninety minutes later and Roy had done just that. He may have been past his best, the legs might have been gone, but his brain hadn’t and he produced a masterclass of a performance. It was one of the best midfield performances I had seen in this fixture and that’s no exaggeration.
Roy rolled back the years and strutted around Ibrox as if he owned the place. He was head and shoulders above anyone else on the field.
He expertly controlled the middle of the park, he never wasted a pass, he bullied his opponents. He was calmness personified. The Rangers midfield trio of Malcom, Ferguson and Buffel were no match for the Irishman. Ferguson is said to be one of the best midfielders that Scotland has produced, but he was in his peak and was still put in his place by a past it, unfit Roy Keane. That tells its own story.
Maciej Żurawski proved to be the match winner by scoring the only goal of the game, but that day undoubtedly belonged to Roy Keane. Watch the highlights below and see for yourselves.
Incidentally, Matt Corr’s outstanding book Majic, Stan and the King of Japan takes us through that entire eventful season, Gordon Strachan’s first as Celtic manager. You can get a copy in The Celtic Star’s winter sale for half price. Now that’s a bargain!
Just an Ordinary Bhoy