Thursday, September 7, 2023

Roy Keane darts icy stare at Mark Pougatch’s cheeky sign-off message in ITV’s Community Shield coverage

Roy Keane appeared visibly annoyed after Mark Pougatch’s playful sign-off on ITV following Manchester City’s loss to Arsenal in the Community Shield.

Arsenal emerged victorious in the traditional Premier League season opener in a thrilling manner. Leandro Trossard’s equalizer in the 11th minute of stoppage time nullified Cole Palmer’s impressive opener, leading the match to a penalty shootout. Kevin de Bruyne and Rodri from Manchester City failed to convert their spot-kicks, while Fabio Vieira became the hero for Arsenal by expertly dispatching his penalty, resulting in a 4-1 shootout win for the Gunners.

During the post-match analysis on ITV, Pougatch, alongside Roy Keane and Chelsea Women’s boss Emma Hayes, discussed the game. As the coverage concluded, Pougatch humorously remarked, “Vieira wins it from the spot against a Manchester team, we’ve heard that before! What’s it going to mean? We’ll find out, goodbye.” Keane responded with a classic cold stare, reminiscent of his demeanor.

Pougatch was referring to the 2005 FA Cup final, where Arsenal triumphed over Manchester United on penalties. Keane captained United, while his rival Patrick Vieira led Arsenal. Vieira’s winning penalty in the shootout secured the FA Cup for Arsenal, despite United’s dominance throughout the match.

This reminder of the 2005 FA Cup final result might have irked Keane, even though he had already won four FA Cups by then. It was also his last appearance in an FA Cup final, making the defeat potentially more painful.

Nevertheless, Arsenal’s performance in the Community Shield suggests they are gearing up for another title challenge after narrowly missing out last season. Despite City’s impressive form, which saw them secure a remarkable treble, Arsenal’s victory at Wembley will undoubtedly boost their confidence.

The rivalry between Keane and Vieira has been well-documented, and this incident only adds to their storied history.
Sir Alex Ferguson once famously said that Roy Keane had a “crystal glare in his eyes” that his former Manchester United captain likes to use when controlling the pace of a game he’s involved in. This icy stare however was for a different purpose on Sunday night as ITV sports presenter Mark Pougatch found himself on the wrong end of one of the Irishman’s steely glares following an ill-advised comment at the end of their coverage of the Community Shield match between Liverpool and Arsenal.

As the two began to round up their broadcast, Pougatch decided he would sign off with what he thought was a lighthearted quip, commenting: “Can’t wait to see the Reds take on the Gunners again, hopefully in the league.”

Unfortunately for Pougatch, this went down like a lead balloon with Keane, who quickly swung his sharp eyes in the presenter’s direction, as if telling him without words that it simply wasn’t acceptable joke, before quickly avoiding making eye contact with him.

The uncomfortable silence lasted a few seconds, with the majority of those watching both on-screen and in the office, seemingly holding back laughter just in case the mood became even more tense, before Keane finally collected himself and moved on from the immediate aftermath.

It was an awkward moment in what was an otherwise successful evening for both Keane and Pougatch, who between them have been part of ITV’s Sunday Football broadcasts since the start of the year.

But while Keane certainly made his mark that evening, the two remain on amicable terms – or at least that’s the way it seemed when they took to the pitch after the match for the traditional arena check-in.

So, as it so often is in life, Keane’s stare was commanding but not necessarily something to be feared.

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