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Roy Keane - Contradictions & InconsistenciesContinued from Keane Autobiography Contradictions
The Best Manager that Roy Keane Has Played For
Throughout his autobiography Roy Keane, in a less than subtle manner, regularly drew comparisons between Alex Ferguson's management abilities with those of Republic of Ireland soccer manager Mick McCarthy. Keane emphasised Ferguson's positive attributes as a way of exposing deficiencies he perceived in McCarthy. Even if Keane did over-egg the cake a bit his admiration and respect for Ferguson was clearly genuinely felt. "Alex Ferguson was the perfect manager for me. He was dedicated and hungry...Personally I owed him everything."[Page 215].
Roll the clock forward six years and Roy Keane had left his beloved Manchester United, following a well-publicised row with Sir Alex Ferguson. Keane was then the manager of Sunderland. Ahead of a Carling Cup clash with his first English club, Nottingham Forest, Keane made the following comments about his former manager, the eccentric Brian Clough, "... he was a genius, an absolute genius, and certainly the best manager I played under, without a shadow of a doubt."[Daily Mirror - 27 Aug. 2008].
It may be possible to argue that his comments about Ferguson and Clough are not at odds with each other but one can't help feeling that because of the way his United career ended Ferguson had fallen down in the managerial pecking order to be replaced by a manager that had once knocked over a young Roy Keane with a punch to the face.
Professionalism and Preparation for Matches
One of the recurring themes in his autobiography is the lack of professionalism in the Republic of Ireland set up especially when compared with Manchester United. For example he complains that some of the Republic of Ireland squad members went for an all-night drinking session after Ireland had beaten Cyprus in the 2002 World Cup campaign on Saturday 24 March 2001. "This was way out of order. We were playing Andorra on Wednesday."[Page 253].
Less than two years earlier Keane didn't seem to have any problem with the fact that he ended up in a police cell four days before the 1999 FA Cup Final (the second leg of the famous treble) having been arrested following a drunken brawl. His arrest by the police brought to an end a monumental two day drinking spree [Page 194-204]. Neither situation is really acceptable from so-called professional footballers but Roy Keane's sense of outrage at the Irish squad incident less than two years later is difficult to take seriously.
Interview in Saipan with Paul Kimmage
Kimmage, of the Sunday Independent, asked Keane did he dislike Mick McCarthy. "No I don't dislike him." Keane replied. Yet in his autobiography, in a passage describing how he felt when McCarthy was appointed as the manager of the Republic of Ireland, Keane said, "He and I had never hit it off...[but] I thought: let bygones be bygones."[Page 246].
Just 36 hours after the interview with Kimmage Roy Keane in an angry outburst during the Saipan incident team meeting Keane said, "You're a f***ing w***er. I didn't rate you as a player, I don't rate you as a manager, and I don't rate you as a person...I've got no respect for you."[Page 267]. Clearly Keane gave Kimmage a diplomatic answer (or else he felt "dislike" understated his feelings towards McCarthy) but what it does mean is that we cannot always take Keane's public pronouncements entirely at face value.
In the same Sunday Independent interview Kimmage also asked Keane did he play for Ireland on his own terms. Keane answered, "No, probably not." All the available evidence suggests the contrary. Going all the way back to when Keane declined a call up to the Irish soccer squad, despite a threat that he would never playing for Ireland if he didn't join the squad. He chose to play in a relatively unimportant Zenith Data Systems Cup tie instead.
On average Keane played just one international friendly for each year that Mick McCarthy was manager of the Republic of Ireland. That was slightly more than one in three friendlies played by Ireland during the McCarthy era. Of the friendlies that he did play only one was away from home, and that was in Cardiff against Wales.
According to Mick McCarthy during his tirade at the infamous Saipan affair team meeting Roy Keane admitted that he deliberately missed friendly matches. "Roy says he missed friendlies because he didn't want to play for me."[Mick McCarthy: Ireland's World Cup 2002; Page 176].
Further into the interview Keane revealed that he hadn't watched the Republic of Ireland play Iran in the World Cup qualifier in Tehran and that it was no big deal that Ireland had qualified. "So there was no sense of elation?" Kimmage asked. Keane replied, "No. I remember in '94 going bloody berserk and I remember all the scenes but this was completely different." According to Keane's autobiography he didn't quite go "berserk". He described his reaction as follows, "We were through to USA '94. I was pleased, of course...but as the champagne flowed...I felt slightly detached from the mood around me."[Page 103].
It appears that Roy Keane adheres steadfastly to his views and principles until it is no longer convenient for him. His opinions on people or circumstances can be jettisoned or modified if it is expedient to do so or if the mood takes him.
NOTE: Unless stated otherwise all
quotations are from:
Triggs - The Autobiography of Roy Keane's Dog
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