5 times Roy Keane has changed his mind after backtracking on "idiot" Kyle Walker

Roy Keane has always been known for speaking his mind during his career, with former manager Sir Alex Ferguson previously admitting that his former midfielder has a "savage tongue".

However, despite his open and honest opinions about former teammates and current professionals, the Irishman is still human and can see his mind changed from time to time.

Sunday's huge clash between Manchester City and Liverpool was a recent example of Keane's change of heart, as the pundit complimented Kyle Walker after previously labelling the England international an "idiot".

It's certainly not a common occurrence, as it takes a lot for Keane's opinion to be reversed, and his mind isn't always changed for the better either.

Here Daily Star Sport take a look at five times Keane changed his mind about a Premier League footballer…

Kyle Walker

What better place to start than the most recent Keane U-turn, after Walker starred as City came from behind twice to draw 2-2 with Liverpool at Anfield.

It was against Liverpool that Keane previously slammed Walker for giving away a penalty against the Reds, calling him an "idiot" and a "car crash".

Keane said: "Kyle Walker, people tell me he is playing well but I don’t think so. I think this guy is 30 years of age, an international player, he’s a car crash, he keeps making these types of mistakes and rightly punished for it."

However, following an excellent performance against Liverpool off the back of a solid Euro 2020 campaign with England, Keane backtracked: "I can be quite critical with defenders but [he is a] big player for Man City and England so the kid's [Walker] doing something right.

"He’s had a very good career, it’s his pace that gets him out of a lot of trouble."

Patrick Vieira

Patrick Vieira was Keane's nemesis as Arsenal and Manchester United used to regularly battle it out for the Premier League title, with the two reaching boiling point at Highbury in 2005.

The pair clashed in the tunnel before United won 4-2 on the day, as Keane branded Vieira " typical Arsenal bully" which forced referee Graham Poll to intervene.

The famous incident has been broadcasted on many occasions, as their enemy status was extremely serious throughout their playing careers, but there seems to be a mutual respect and even signs of a friendship as both regularly feature as pundits.

Keane has been very complimentary of Vieira following retirement, admitting: "I don't think we'll ever be bosom buddies buying each other a drink in the pub but out of everybody I ever faced as a player, he drove me to become better.

"Obviously Arsenal were the team that really challenged Manchester United and, for a short time, went past us. And as their leader Patrick was immense.

"Without doubt I'd put him alongside [Zinedine] Zidane, [Paul] Scholes, [Steven] Gerrard and [Frank] Lampard as one of the very best I've ever played with or against, he was that good. On his day, when he was driving Arsenal on with the sheer force of his personality, he was unplayable."

Declan Rice

Declan Rice has become a sensation for both West Ham United and England, much to the disgust of Keane who mentored the midfielder during his time spent as a coach with the Irish national team.

Keane majorly criticised Rice as he broke into the West Ham side, saying: "Where he needs to improve… there’s plenty of aspects.

"I’ve looked at him pretty closely, worked with him when he was with the Irish squad, but where he needs to improve… where do you want me to start?

"His positional play. I don’t think he’s been consistent enough. He doesn’t stay with runners. He’s sloppy in possession… I can go on."

However, Keane has now conceded that the transformation of Rice has been exceptional, admitting: "I think Declan’s improved as much as any player over the last one or two seasons.

"I look to where I was when I was 22, I think he’s way ahead of me.

"I think the next step will come when he’s playing at a higher level, Champions League, competing for trophies. He’s obviously a regular for England. There’s a lot more to come from him."

Paul Pogba

It would be easier to name a pundit that hasn't criticised Paul Pogba during his second spell at United, as the French midfielder has constantly been a talking point since re-signing for the club.

As Pogba nears the end of his United contract, many have reflected on how he failed to impose his quality at Old Trafford despite his clear talent, and Keane has been one of those after previously defending the Frenchman.

Following a wave of previous criticism, Keane said: "Obviously Pogba has had his critics because he is so talented.

"If you are not performing week in, week out people are going to get on your back. I always say there is a compliment in that.

"People know he’s an outstanding talent but for some reason, it hasn’t gelled."

However, even Keane's patience wore thin, as he later said: "I still feel he hasn’t done enough at Man United.

"He obviously fell out with Mourinho, that was a big problem at the club, but even the last few months, we’re saying he’s had a big influence, I wouldn’t agree with that.

"I think he’s playing OK and he’s a good player, but I still look in some of the big crunch games United have had this year, he hasn’t turned up."

Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish is another star that chose England over the Republic of Ireland, but Keane has always been a big fan of the talented midfielder.

Grealish became the Premier League's record signing this summer as he joined City from Aston Villa in a deal worth £100million, just pipping Chelsea's £97.5m deal for Romelu Lukaku, and Keane has previously heaped praise on the midfielder's impact.

Keane said: "[Grealish] is the star man, he makes things happen. He has courage and always wants the ball in tight areas.

"Like Cristiano Ronaldo at Portugal, you need players like that in your team. It is brave."

However, now that the big-money move has been completed, Keane has recently urged Grealish to "man up" after a tricky run of fixtures for City.


The Irishman said: "Jack has had a tough week with his performances, at PSG the lads were getting stuck into him and he gets taken off here today.

"He is 26 years of age and he has to man up. You are here to win big prizes.

"People like Jack are still learning and I agree with the lads that I think Pep fully believed they are going to get [Harry] Kane as well as that."

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