Rio Ferdinand will always remember his first day at Manchester United and the childlike excitement of pulling on the strip. "I was thinking to myself: 'These are Man United socks, this is how they feel. This is how the shirt feels, these are their shorts.'" Then he went out for his first training session and, bang, Roy Keane was screaming in his face.
Ferdinand had made the mistake of taking the safe option, playing a nice, easy pass to his nearest team-mate. He remembers Keane "went mental and barked: 'Pass the fucking ball forward.' I looked at him, his face all contorted, and he goes: 'It's fucking easy going sideways, pass it forward.'"
Keane was always good at cutting down to size those he suspected did not fully understand what it meant to play for the club. Dwight Yorke experienced something similar, also in his first training game, when Keane booted the ball at him, deliberately too hard, and the new signing miscontrolled it. "Welcome to United," Keane hissed with that Tommy DeVito stare. "Cantona used to kill them."