While Aston Villa remains in limbo waiting for a new owner, it’s all about damage limitation in the interim at Villa Park. The club is desperately in need of a new direction that will not be afforded during the ‘for sale’ period under Randy Lerner.

While Paul Lambert survives as manager during this limbo period, not only is he unlikely to have much opportunity to invest in much-needed upgrades for the Villa squad, but he has to replace his backroom staff whom were fired at the end of the season. Surely Villa can only offer a temporary job or as ex-Spurs boss Tim Sherwood would put it a ‘supply teacher’ type position to any incoming assistant manager. Like Lambert’s own job, it could last a couple of months or years with the axe potentially coming as soon as the new owner comes to town.

Who would take such precarious terms though?

Why Roy is keen

Apparently Lambert and Villa had been chatting to Roy Keane about the assistant Ireland manager combining his international duties with a similar role at B6, since May. Lambert and Keane are said to be friends and the projected temporary interim nature of the post meant Keane could stay on at Ireland while working for Villa.

It’s hard to think that Keane would want to play second-fiddle to Lambert if it was a long-term position, but his ego would consider it a chance to get involved again in the Premier League, which if it went well would rejuvenate his reputation for future number one jobs, after his stock dropped after being fired by Ipswich back in January 2011.

Keane has so far failed to impress as a manager; prior to Ipswich there was an unspectacular spell as the boss of  Sunderland, which he resigned from towards the end of 2008.

If Villa might help reboot Keane’s managerial career, what’s in it for the club?

Villa’s short-term fix?

I’m sure the board would think they have a ‘name’ to impress Villa supporters. I for one, wouldn’t be doing cartwheels if Keane came to the club as their manager, but in what is an awkward time for the players and fans, his strong character could perhaps add some much-needed buoyancy to the club in an assistant capacity.

Keane’s record as a player commands respect and his no-nonsense approach would be welcome in focusing a few minds at the club, as he’s sure not to take any prisoners.

In the short-term, it might work. Keane would see it as a risk-free added bonus, if he also carried on his current job with the Irish national team. At worst, if it went pear-shaped or a new owner came in  swiftly and didn’t fancy him, he’d still be in the same position as he was beforehand.

Long-term, it could certainly become an issue, as Keane is never going to allow himself to settle in as Lambert’s number two. But a new owner is probably going to make that academic anyway.

With Gordon Cowans not looking too likely to step up to the plate (he hasn’t really shown an appetite for first team management) it makes sense for Villa to get a dynamic name with something to prove, whom has no long-term expectations for the job, rather than the kind of journey man figure who is happy for a temporary paycheck.

Maybe Keane has one eye on the top job at Villa, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. As a few Villa fans have already pointed out, at least Keane knows how to win at Villa Park. As a player, he’s  probably been on the winning side at Villa Park more times than some of the current Villa squad! UTV



  1. Why did he give up the ITV pundit job? He could have started at Villa Park as soon as the World Cup finished. His Ireland ‘boss’ has been much more interesting though.

  2. This appointment makes me think the the deal to sell the Club is all but agreed, why would Keane agree (if he does agree) to join a club whereby they could be sold, and he would be out of a job in a few weeks? Keane would not sign up to something where he does not know the future. He is a man that talks the “loyalty” phrase up big time.

    Lambert is staying as part of any sale, the question remains who, and what investment the new owner is willing to make.

    Keane is using the Villa job as a stepping stone, not a problem for me, many assistants went through Ferguson’s reign that is the norm in todays game, as fans we are more concerned about the next 3 months not the next 3 years, will we have a squad to compete and at least start to move in the right direction assembled by the end of August.

  3. I am not s sure it is a desperation move. People are assuming the Culverhouses approach was the same as keanes would be ? Why ? Culverhouse was a bully not exactly the same as being straight up and telling it as it is.The players may well have far more respect for Keane as he has actually achieved something from the game..not like culverhouse.People also overlook the fact that keane took sunderland from the bottom of the championship to league winners and back to to the Premier league.Granted he lost his way in the premier league with them and fell out with players,however Im not convinced it is a bad move for PL,he may be able to change the mentality of players.
    Hes role at villa will be his daily job ,Ireland is only part time and his tv work is a bit part role at best.

    • ‘Granted he lost his way in the premier league with them and fell out with players’ – he’s like Lambert then! Most people have fallen for this ‘Culverhouse is a bully’ without knowing any context to it – why, how, when etc? It’s such a sweeping statement to then compare Keane to him. Keane is a serious chap, with his heart in coaching and management, and he’s made mistakes to learn from.

      In what are terrible times for Villa, Keane can’t do any harm.

      • Who did Lambert fall out with publicly? I have seen Hutton, Helenius, Sylla, and Bent moan about their situations either directly or thru agents. Hutton breaks legs, Helenius gets his pants pulled down and can’t draw a foul for it, Sylla can’t pass a ball 5 yards and Bent only plays 10 minutes in every 90. Not really worth worrying about. If Bent would have had a brilliant season at Fulham I could see some comeback on Lambert but he didn’t. I cannot recall any other player having a fit to the press. CB20 pulled his transfer request for Lambert, that speaks much more loudly in my opinion.

        As for “falling” for the culverhouse is a bully, you are correct in that I know absolutely no specifics except he was point blank sacked and I haven’t seen any reported claims for compensation nor any defense in the national press. However referring to the style of coaching, confrontational doesn’t seem to sit well with the team.

  4. Quote from the Beeb – “He is not a renowned coach, nor is he the type to improve a teams tactical nous.” Its apparent that the team didn’t respond to Culverhouse’s style, not sure Keane would be much different.

    Also its his third job, how can he be fully committed to the cause?

    Reeks of desperation. Shame as I want Lambert to stay and get a decent budget to work with to see what he can really do.

    • Correction: Second job. Just the fact he was willing to give up the World cup job has put him in a better light for me. Some of the comments I just read from the Ireland squad were quite positive too. I have no doubt he wants to use this as a route to being a no. 1 again in the PL, so maybe the position of the club is perfect, if we don’t do well it can be blamed on the “uncertainty” around the sale of the club and lack of investment, and if we do well it can be partly attributed to his coaching. Lot less risky than the Celtic job. A less desperate club may not have been so willing to be a “stepping stone”. Of course he could be planning to be be there for years; as I haven’t spoken to Mr Keane it is all speculation and opinion on my part.

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