ROY KEANE has revealed that he doesn't see a permanent role for himself playing in defence as the last two years of his Manchster United career draw in. In a wideranging interview in the Manchester United fanzine United We Stand, reproduced in today's Sunday Tribune, Keane admits that he wouldn't be happy to see out his days outside of the midfield berth he calls home.
"I don't see myself as going to the back, " he says. "I've got two years left at United and I really hope I can finish those two years. Realistically you have to say that that will probably be it. I would look back and consider myself lucky to have had 16 or 17 years as a professional, especially with my injuries. When I did my cruciate, I said I'd be lucky to get to 32, 33 but the trouble with football is that you want to hang in there as long as you can. When I say that I don't mean to be a bit-part player because I want to have an influence." Keane also points out that this season is vital for United if they are to avoid the fate that has befallen their oncegreat rivals Liverpool. "It's a great challenge to try and get our championship back because if things don't go well this year, all of a sudden we could be like Liverpool ? 14 or 15 years without winning the championship. It happens.
That's why you have to enjoy your success, even the FA Cup.
I was a bit out of order to say what I did about the FA Cup in my book. I look back and think, 'Who was I to criticise the FA Cup?' It was wrong of me to do that because a lot of people then jumped on the bandwagon and started looking at the FA Cup as a consolation." And contrary to what most pundits see as a three-horse race for the Premiership, Keane still holds Arsenal as the biggest threat to another Premiership title. "You have to. People mention the Chelseas, Liverpools and Newcastles but we have to be realistic. For me Arsenal are our biggest rivals. They have been our biggest challengers in the last 11 or 12 years.
I know games against Liverpool, City and Leeds mean a lot to the fans and I can understand that but Arsenal are our biggest challengers."