It's 10 years since Mendieta destroyed Man United & Roy Keane had his infamous rant

The teams clash in the Capital One Cup later tonight.

Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

ALMOST A DECADE ago exactly, Manchester United were humiliated by Middlesbrough, losing 4-1 to a side then-managed by Steve McClaren.

Boro were in front after just two minutes when Gaizka Mendieta’s long-range strike got the better of Edwin van der Sar – a rare error from the Dutch goalkeeper.

From there, United got progressively worse.

A sweeping long ball from the Spanish midfielder played in Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink midway through the half and he made the most of some bumbling defending from Rio Ferdinand before forcing it home.

Yakubu added a third right on the stroke of half-time after Stuart Parnaby was pulled back in the area by Kieran Richardson.

With just over ten minutes left, Yakubu burned Ferdinand in the left channel and pulled back for Mendieta, who slotted to the net with consummate ease.

United managed a consolation goal deep in injury time but it was too little too late.

Source: youaremyboroTV/YouTube

The result seemed costly in the short-term as it meant United fell thirteen points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea. But it was days later when the fall-out really began.

Roy Keane, who had missed the Boro defeat due to injury, was selected by MUTV to visit their studios and take part in a punditry segment.

What subsequently happened is now part of United folklore.

Soccer - FA Barclays Premiership - Middlesbrough v Manchester United - The Riverside Stadium Source: Michael Regan/EMPICS Sport

The club captain, frustrated and angered by a number of other issues he felt had been allowed to fester for a while, lashed out and heavily criticised a number of his team-mates, notably Rio Ferdinand, for their performances against the Teesside club.

Just because you are paid £120,000-a-week and play well for 20 minutes against Tottenham, you think you are a superstar. The younger players have been let down by some of the more experienced players. They are just not leading.

There is a shortage of characters in this team. It seems to be in this club that you have to play badly to be rewarded. Maybe that is what I should do when I come back. Play badly.

I wasn’t surprised by the result (against Middlesbrough). I had been expecting one like this. The players have been asked questions and they are just not coming up with the answers. I am sick of having to say it and they are sick of listening to me. They have let down the club, the manager and the fans. When they sign their contracts, they think they have made it. They owe it to the manager, the staff and the fans.

The fact they are out should be enough incentive for those coming in to play better and give more. There is talk about putting this right in January and bringing new players in. We should be doing the opposite – we should be getting rid of people in January.”

Soccer - FA Barclays Premiership - Middlesbrough v Manchester United - The Riverside Stadium Source: Owen Humphreys/PA Archive/PA Images

The interview never made it to air as the club pulled it from transmission.

Still, aware of the murmurings in the press, Keane rounded up the United squad and they watched the video back together. He has always maintained the players didn’t have a problem with the content and thought it fair. But writing in his autobiography The Second Half, Keane says Ferguson and assistant coach Carlos Queiroz felt differently.

It was getting a bit silly so I got the players together in the dressing room and told them it was fucking nonsense. They were all going: ‘Yeah, Yeah’. Not one of them had an issue. Not one. Even now people still say: “The video had to be destroyed”. Like it was a nuclear weapon or something.

I said to Darren Fletcher: “Fletch?’” I had said something about my wife tackling better than him for one of the goals. But I could tell he was fine with it. But the manager and Carlos were in the back with steam coming out of their ears. The manager said: “It’s a disgrace, this f*****g video.”‘

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BRITAIN SOCCER Ferguson and Keane pictured in happier times, months before the Middlesbrough defeat and the infamous MUTV rant. Source: JON SUPER/AP/Press Association Images

In Ferguson’s book, My Autobiography, the former United manager, unsurprisingly, described the incident in a different way.

The hardest part of Roy’s body is his tongue. What I noticed about him that day as I was arguing with him was that his eyes started to narrow, almost to wee black beads. It was frightening to watch. And I’m from Glasgow.”

Keane would never play for United again, having broken a bone in his foot in a clash with Liverpool at Anfield the previous month.

On 18th November, it was announced the midfielder, then 34, had left the club by mutual consent.

The lineups from that Premier League game on October 29th were as follows:


Mark Schwarzer, Matthew Bates, Chris Riggott, Franck Queudrue, Stuart Parnaby, George Boateng, Gaizka Mendieta (James Morrison 87), Fabio Rochemback (Doriva 64), Emanuel Pogatetz, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Szilard Nemeth 79), Yakubu.

Subs Not Used: Brad Jones, Mark Viduka

Man Utd:

Edwin van der Sar, Phil Bardsley (Kieran Richardson 31), Rio Ferdinand (Wes Brown 87), John O’Shea, Mickael Silvestre, Darren Fletcher, Alan Smith, Paul Scholes, Ji-Sung Park (Cristiano Ronaldo 60), Wayne Rooney, Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Subs Not Used: Tim Howard, Giuseppe Rossi

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About the author:

Eoin O'Callaghan

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