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Keane regretted signing me.. I'm happy he's on TV as maybe he's not a good coach

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PASCAL CHIMBONDA is happy that Roy Keane is making headlines with his controversial remarks as a pundit.

Although he remains determined to make it to the top as a coach and not settle for sitting in a studio like his former Sunderland manager.

Pascal Chimbonda has vowed to not give up on his coaching quest

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Pascal Chimbonda has vowed to not give up on his coaching questCredit: PFL
The Frenchman was in Pakistan last week with Michael Owen for a landmark announcement

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The Frenchman was in Pakistan last week with Michael Owen for a landmark announcementCredit: PFL
The ex-France full-back met thousands of kids on a whistle-stop tour of the country

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The ex-France full-back met thousands of kids on a whistle-stop tour of the countryCredit: PFL
The former Spurs defender was shocked by Roy Keane's recent criticism

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The former Spurs defender was shocked by Roy Keane’s recent criticismCredit: Getty

The 45-year-old had his first taste in management with non-league Skelmersdale United in the North West Counties League Premier Division side last season.

But the latest adventure in the former Wigan, Tottenham and Blackburn defender’s impressive career has now seen him trying to inspire a whole new generation of Pakistani footballers.

Chimbonda joined forces with England legend Michael Owen to officially launch the brand-new Pakistan Football League last week.

Joined by former England and Liverpool striker Emile Heskey, 46, and Sky Sports reporter Alison Bender, Owen led them, Chimbonda and the rest of an international delegation on a 800 mile journey from Islamabad to Lahore and then Karachi over three days in his role as global ambassador for the PFL.

However, the weeks leading up the trip for the ex-France international full-back were dominated by a war of words with Manchester United legend Keane.

Chimbonda signed for the Irishman at Sunderland in the summer of 2008 – although they did not work together long.

Keane was sacked that December with the club 18th in the Premier League while Chimbonda soon followed suit by rejoining Spurs the following month.

Keane then claimed earlier this year that Chimbonda was one of his worst signings and he had been warned against it – only for the defender to hit back and claim his old boss was never there at training.

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Sun Sport were the only UK publication to be out in Pakistan last week for the PFL launch.

And Chimbonda told us: “That was totally out of the blue [Keane’s criticism] but like I’ve said, I don’t want to make any big issue out of that.

I launched Real Madrid’s first channel and hosted Chelsea TV… now I’m the face of something completely different

“Roy Keane won lots of trophies, he played for his country, so what can I say?

“Maybe we just didn’t click, but every time I ever stepped foot on the pitch I always gave everything for the manager and the team.

“Everyone has an opinion and you see on the TV that he is doing really well.”

Although he could not resist leaving a stud in when asked whether he would say “hello” if he ever bumped into him.

“Of course,” insisted Chimbonda. “I have no issue with him, any manager or player that I’ve played with.

“He’s working on the TV and I’m glad and happy what he’s doing on the TV as it’s tough and he’s good at this.

“Maybe as a manager he wasn’t a good coach, so everyone has their own way and maybe the switch has been really good.”

Chimbonda is still doing everything possible to make a success of it in the dug-out after a difficult start at Skelmersdale.

Roy Keane has not managed for 13 years since he left Ipswich Town

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Roy Keane has not managed for 13 years since he left Ipswich TownCredit: Getty
Chimbonda took over as non-league Skelmersdale United boss last season

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Chimbonda took over as non-league Skelmersdale United boss last seasonCredit: Instagram / skelmersdaleunited
The 45-year-old is now hoping to inspire a generation of Pakistani footballers

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The 45-year-old is now hoping to inspire a generation of Pakistani footballersCredit: PFL
He was with Owen, Emile Heskey and Spaniard Raul Rodriguez to launch the new PFL in Lahore

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He was with Owen, Emile Heskey and Spaniard Raul Rodriguez to launch the new PFL in LahoreCredit: PFL

He has his Uefa A coaching licence and runs his own academy, coaching youngsters in Manchester both one-on-one and in group sessions to try and get them into non-league clubs.

After initially coming out of retirement and signing himself as a player at the club, he ended up taking charge of the ninth tier outfit six months ago when they were 10 points adrift at the bottom of the table.

Chimbonda, who was an unused substitute for France in the 2006 World Cup final, was unable to turn things around with only eight wins in 34 games as the club were relegated after finishing bottom of the table.

Chimbonda was sent off during Skelmersdale’s clash with Barnoldswick Town in October, less than a week after joining and received a five-game suspension and £50 fine for leaving his technical area after a row.

That was later reduced to three matches but he registered himself as a player for the club and made four appearances for his side.

He said: “I’ll never give up. Every time I want something I go and get it just like when I had started football. I had to wait 20 years to sign my first pro contract.

“So, now I know that everything is possible so I will see where it takes me.

“I did enjoy it, but it was short. I still have my own football academy, so I can still enjoy it and do my private and group coaching, that keeps my happy.

“Management is hard you know, I think in the lower divisions you really need to know where you are going.

“I started at Skelm because I wanted to do good, and I think I did great for me but maybe for other people I didn’t do so good.”

WHO SAID WHAT

Here’s what Roy Keane said and Pascal Chimbonda’s response:

Keane started the row in January when saying: “I brought Pascal Chimbonda in when people said to not touch him but I didn’t listen to them because I thought we needed him, and he had Premier League quality and experience.

“He came in and was hard work, and I’m being really polite.

“I didn’t listen to people, I thought we needed him.

“I remember, I left Sunderland and got a phone call from someone on the coaching staff at Spurs, they were thinking of bringing in Chimbonda and he’d already been at Spurs.

“I said, ‘I wouldn’t be sure.’ Next day, they bought him. Why ring people and get feedback, sometimes you have to take a gamble, and pressure can make bad decisions.”

Chimbonda later responded with: “We never had a relationship, really. It’s not like he was someone you’d see every day; we’d see him only once in the week… when we had a game.

“Then, maybe, we’d see him next Thursday, or Friday, when he’d pick the team.

“But we’d never see him on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday in training.

“You can’t have a relationship with a manager when you never see him. That’s not really something I was used to seeing, by the way.”

A report in 2002 showed that a total of 43 per cent of Premier League and 34 per cent of EFL players were black, but just 4.4 per cent of managers are black. 

Dwight Yorke has recently hit out at the lack of opportunities while ex-Crystal Palace head coach Patrick Vieira has also claimed that “doors are not open” for black managers.

Chimbonda said: “As a black manager, I just feel that you don’t get much of a chance. You’ll get one chance, and if you don’t do well, they’ll take you out.

“I see so many white managers in that league that have still remained in a job for many, many years even if they are not doing good.

“I’ve applied but I’ve never got any jobs – I don’t know.”

Fans from his former clubs will all remember the fun-loving and nearly always smiling Chimbonda out on the pitch.

But he hit the headlines at Skelmersdale after an X-rated half-time rant in a 6-0 defeat which saw him unleash and astonishing 72 swear words.

So exactly what sort of manager is he?

“Pascal Chimbonda is somebody that is chilled out, but to be a player and manager is two completely different things,” he said.

“I need things doing properly when I’m manager, in every way, from the chairman to every one at the club. If you don’t have this then I don’t think any manager will have success.

“I’ve taken little bits from everyone that I played for, but as a manager, you have to have your own personality as well.

PAKISTAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Michael Owen is the official global ambassador for the brand-new PFL.

The England legend, joined by Emile Heskey and Pascal Chimbonda, led an international delegation on a 800 mile journey from Islamabad to Lahore and then Karachi over three days last week.

The ex-Liverpool, Real Madrid and Man Utd forward then took centre stage at the official launch party on Thursday.

The eight-team league is set to be conducted in November this year and is being organised by the PFL UK Holdings, led by its chairman Farhan Junejo and president and CEO Ahmer Kunwar.

Follow the Pakistan Football League on Instagram for further updates on the newly-formed competition.

“It’s about having your own opinion and objective.”

He provided another insight into his philosophy when he was asked about his former club Tottenham and their boss Ange Postecoglou.

Chimbonda was part of their 2008 League Cup winning side – the last Spurs team to win a trophy – and said: “I definitely think within a couple of years they will be back winning something.

“Ange is the right man. When you play football, you always concede goals. But what the fans like is seeing something spectacular.

“If you win 5-4 or 3-2, it’s still three points but you’ve done it in a good way that fans enjoy.

“It doesn’t matter to me about clean sheets. If I won every game of the season like this, it doesn’t matter about clean sheets.”

The fun side of Chimbonda was on full display last week as he toured around Pakistan.

From attending meetings with a host of ministers, high commissioners, colleges, schools, malls and even an exhibition game in an area known as ‘Little Brazil’, he, Owen and Heskey signed literally thousands of autographs and posed for even more photos despite barely having enough time to sleep on the whistle-stop tour.

The eight-team Pakistan Football League is set to be conducted in November this year and is being organised by the PFL UK Holdings, led by its chairman Farhan Junejo and president and CEO Ahmer Kunwar.

Chimbonda added: “This is my first time in Pakistan and when the opportunity came up it was a country that I wanted to explore and see and try to do something important for the kids.

“It’s been a great experience and I love it and I look forward to coming back.”

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