Thursday media watch [03.07.14 AM]: Keane in focus
Daily Telegraph: Roy Keane has insisted his fearsome reputation is undeserved, but warned Aston Villa's squad he will be ready to act if they step out of line. Keane was officially unveiled as Paul Lambert's No 2 on Wednesday and will meet up with the players next week determined to erase his unwanted image as an outspoken taskmaster. The 42-year-old's managerial spells with Sunderland and Ipswich were blighted by confrontations, while his brutally honest opinions have made him one of the most compelling pundits on television. However, Keane's fiery qualities are arguably just what Villa need to galvanise Lambert's squad after two successive relegation battles, while the club remains up for sale under chairman Randy Lerner. Keane may find his public persona a frustration, but the former Manchester United captain has admitted he will not be afraid of conflict if standards drop.
The Sun: Roy Keane says he intends to revel in his new role as a Villan. But the Irishman insists he has not taken on the assistant manager's job at Aston Villa just to become Paul Lambert's 'bad cop.' Keane earned a reputation for taking no prisoners on or off the field during a stellar playing career for club and country. However, after being unveiled as boss Lambo's new No.2 yesterday, the former Man Utd hardman made it clear he has much more to offer than simply ranting and raving at players.
Daily Mail: Roy Keane insists he will bring more to the role of Aston Villa assistant manager than stern words and icy stares, claiming his public profile as a ranter and raver is unfair. It had been predicted that Keane would provide the bad cop to manager Paul Lambert's good cop but the former Man Utd captain said: "Whatever people think about my attitude to working with players, about it being confrontational and all that stuff - I actually don't think it is true - I hope they will enjoy working with me."
Birmingham Mail: Roy Keane is ready to crack the whip in the Aston Villa dressing room to ensure the club enjoy a more successful season. The new Villa No.2 was unveiled by the club at Bodymoor Heath on Wednesday afternoon. The Manchester United legend and former Republic of Ireland captain, who is now also their assistant manager, brushed aside the perception of him being 'confrontational'. But Keane is keen to ensure that he and Paul Lambert create the right chemistry within the Villa dressing room to ensure a less fraught campaign. Villa finished 15th in the Premier League last season, just five points above the drop zone, with Lambert coming under increasing pressure as the campaign wore on. Asked whether his reputation bothered him, Keane said: "It doesn't keep me awake at night."
Daily Mirror: New Aston Villa assistant boss Roy Keane claims he can play good cop after slamming his image as one of football's most fearsome characters. The 42-year-old has been hired as Paul Lambert's assistant - a role he will perform alongside his job as Martin O'Neill's No.2 with the Republic of Ireland national team. Hard-man Keane arrives at the Villans with a reputation for a no-nonsense and tough-talking approach as a player and manager - something his brutally-honest opinions aired as a TV pundit did little to diminish. But he said: "Whatever people think about my attitude to working with players, about it being confrontational and all that stuff - I actually don't think it is true. I hope they will enjoy working with me."
Daily Star: Roy Keane has rubbished his image as football's Mr Angry. The 42-year-old has been hired as boss Paul Lambert's assistant - a role he will do alongside his job as Martin O'Neill's No.2 with Republic of Ireland. Keane has a fearsome reputation for his no-nonsense approach and brutally-honest opinions. But he said: "Whatever people think about my attitude to working with players, about it being confrontational and all that stuff - I actually don't think it is true. "I think it is a bit unfair but it doesn't keep me awake at night."
Independent: New Aston Villa assistant manager Roy Keane insists his fearsome reputation is more of a media creation than a reality. The Irishman had his fair share of bust-ups with the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Mick McCarthy, to name but two, and reports of his last days as Sunderland boss only enhanced the image of an uncompromising, no-nonsense and almost domineering character. Keane delivered more straight-talking at his press conference to announce his new position, which he will undertake jointly with a current similar role with the Republic of Ireland and, while he was far from cheery, he was on his best behaviour as he addressed the media. He sensibly declared he was "not interested" in getting involved in the debate surrounding Luis Suarez and told one reporter it was "none of his business" whether he had taken a pay cut from his Ireland job as his duties and time would now be shared with the Premier League club. But questions about how he would deal with the players on a day-to-day basis and how his confrontational attitude would fit in he addressed head on. "I think it is a bit unfair but it doesn't keep me awake at night," he said when questioned about his reputation."
Daily Express: Roy Keane is ready to have a row with any Aston Villa player who takes him on. He has taken over as manager Paul Lambert's No2 and will meet the players for the first time on Monday. And they had better get used to him quickly because Keane will be responsible for most of the coaching. But Keane, who had a fierce reputation as a player and now as a manager and coach, says Villa's players have no cause to fear him. "The reputation I've got is a bit unfair but it doesn't keep me awake at night," he said. "I have worked with the players over long periods of time without any issues. "But having said that, you have to be ready to have disagreements. In any good dressing room disagreements are part of the game. It is getting the balance right in terms of how far you go with it."
Irish Examiner: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert does not see Roy Keane as a threat to his job and says he is strong enough to deal with the considerable presence of the Corkman. Lambert has welcomed Keane to Villa Park as his assistant but does not see him as a readymade replacement for his job if things go wrong again this season. "Martin O'Neill has taken him on. If you are weak, you might worry about it but Martin is not weak. I am not weak and Roy is certainly not weak," said Lambert yesterday. Keane and Lambert formed a friendship as managers of rival East Anglia sides Ipswich Town and Norwich City during Keane's last spell as manager.
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert's recruitment drive will burst into life once the World Cup is over. The Aston Villa manager has already signed Joe Cole and Philippe Senderos this summer but he wants more new arrivals ahead of the 2014-15 campaign. Villa's under-performing squad clearly needs improving next term and once this summer's main even in Brazil is over, Lambert will step up his search. "We will try to get a few more in," he said. "Things will start to happen after the World Cup."
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Liverpool have held "productive" talks with Barcelona over the proposed sale of striker Luis Suarez but no deal has been finalised between the clubs. Reds chief executive Ian Ayre spent much of Wednesday in discussions with senior Barcelona officials in London.
Sky Sports: Barcelona have declared Lionel Messi "not for sale" - but admitted Xavi could leave the club this summer. Messi, who has steered Argentina to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Brazil, could soon be joined at the Nou Camp by Luis Suarez as talks continue with Liverpool over a move for the striker.
BBC Sport: Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari summoned the squad's psychologist to his side's training base after the emotional last-16 win over Chile. The hosts won 3-2 on penalties and a number of Selecao players were seen shedding tears during celebrations at the Estadio Mineirao.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.