Ole Gunnar sensation Solskjaer, the former player and now manager, has given his old team-mate Roy Keane a strong personal endorsement.
Speaking in Ireland yesterday where he'd arrived to manage the Manchester United reserves in the Platinum One Challenge game against Arsenal reserves, Solskjaer was happy to discuss his admiration for the man he is proud to call a friend.
Said Solskjaer: 'Roy, when you played for him, was an inspiring, motivating figure, and a leader of a group. As a manager, he must be the same. If I was a young player, I’d want to work under Roy Keane. Me and Roy are close friends. He’s a top human being. You know that picture people have of Roy as a ranger and raver? Well, all he ever asks is 100 percent commitment. If you give that, you’re one of Roy’s favourites.'
Solskjaer added: 'I think he made a good move to Ipswich where he can work more on the quiet. I remember talking to Roy and saying to him ‘you’re going to be number two at United’ and he didn’t want to be a number two, he wanted to learn by making his own mistakes. Roy’s very humble; he knows he’s not the finished article. He may not be (the finished article) as a manager until 10 years from now.'
Thinking of the future Solskjaer added: 'I’m not here to pick the managers of Man United but I know he’s got the mentality of being at a top club, yes. But no matter where Roy manages, Ipswich, Sunderland, Man United, Juventus, AC Milan, he won’t have the same quality (on the pitch) as Roy Keane, the player, had.'
'If I had to pick one player from all the players I played with, and I was the manager, Roy would be the one. Of course, you’d want Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo, Cantona but if I had to pick one, it would be Roy.'
Forget the blarney! What it actually costs to live in Ireland