Once infamous for his departure from the Ireland national team on the eve of a World Cup, Roy Keane is leaving his Premier League gig to focus on Ireland’s attempt to qualify for Euro 2016.
Keane’s time as an assistant to Paul Lambert at Aston Villa is over, the club announced early Friday. Fresh off a Monday draw with Southampton that snapped a five-game losing streak, Keane is stepping away.
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He’s had a busy few months between the Villans, Irish and promoting a second book. It’s taken him away from his family as well, and Keane is hoping to remedy that with this decision.
“Roy Keane came to see Paul Lambert on Friday morning and said that he could not continue to combine the two roles of being both assistant manager of Aston Villa and Republic of Ireland along with supporting his young family. Lambert says that he totally understands the reasons and respects his decision. Keane was always going to be a short-term appointment. Conspiracy theories will suggest that as it is Keane there is more to this than meets the eye, but quite simply he can’t juggle both roles.”
Makes sense, to be sure. It always seemed a bit quirky — as many things do with Keane — that any coach, assistant or not, could handle duties for both club and country. Keane’s Villa stint was short but memorable, with his massive beard and distaste for Jose Mourinho’s antics among the many subplots.