May 25, 2024

Saipan – Roy Keane Interview with Tom Humphries – Irish Times

Continued from Roy Keane Saipan Interview 1

This Interview First Appeared in the Irish Times on Thursday 23 May 2002

Tom Humphries: Being on your own on these trips, does it make you lower?

Roy Keane: If I did want to room with somebody, maybe. On the whole, I prefer rooming on my own. We do it at United, pre-season we’d be away 10, 12 days. I know club level is different, the bonds are different but you can’t have everything. I prefer to be on my own as regards using the telephone, getting up, reading, using the bath, whatever you might want. I could do something about it but I do accept I’m on my own. I’ve nobody to bounce things off or have a laugh with. That’s the downside.

Tom Humphries: So you spoke to Theresa his wife, to Alex Ferguson and Michael Kennedy. Was there anyone from the team coming up to your room by this stage?

Roy Keane: No. To be fair, I’d made my mind up. They were giving me breathing space. I didn’t want to speak to anyone else. I spoke to Theresa and she said Michael was under pressure. It had been out on the news in Ireland. I don’t know how that happened, only one or two people knew, but a ticket was booked for me, so maybe that way things got out. It’s no good trying to blame any one person, it’s a combination of things and myself. Enough was enough. I spoke to Michael, he said the manager Ferguson had been on. He was on holidays but he’d seen the news. I had a good chat with him. He’s someone I respect. In football, he’s the only person I would listen to. We spoke about my family. I knew what he was saying but it helps when you get other people saying it. We’d discussed it before because of my injuries curtailing my international football. He said hang in there because of my family.

Tom Humphries: What impact has it all had on the lads on the team?

Roy Keane: Not sure, to be honest. I think when you are away things happen. To me it’s gone now, what happened. I need to get my head down for two or three weeks. Get my head down for the country, enjoy it and leave with my head held high.

Tom Humphries: How have you dealt with it in terms of your relationship with the team?

Roy Keane: It’s gone now. Me and Kells Alan Kelly spoke, we even had a laugh. We are grown men. I’ve had hundreds of thousands of those heated discussions. Every day in training at United. Really. I had lunch with Kells on the day it happened and – this is funny – were saying how we were both the sort of people who fly off the handle easily and how we had to learn to control that. Then three hours later we had that row. Then today at lunch we were saying ‘remember that discussion we had yesterday!’ It’s forgotten about. We want what’s best for each other. I’ll get my head down for the next three weeks. I want to do well for the people of Ireland, for my family and for me personally.

Tom Humphries: Do you think though that you exist as an island apart from the team? Take the Iran game, the players were baffled that you left the morning after the first leg without saying anything?

Roy Keane: It was straightforward. Sunday morning, the manager Ferguson spoke to Mick McCarthy. I hadn’t played for three weeks before that game. After the match I was feeling my knee, especially in the last 20 minutes. We were 2-0 up having not played that well. I felt the job was done. So, it was Sunday and the manager rang me. Mick Byrne and Mick McCarthy were there. It was agreed I’d go home. I just couldn’t see us losing 3-0, but I probably would have taken the blame for it anyway if we did! The lads were having a warm-down, they were all in the rooms. It’s not my scene. If I passed somebody in the corridor, I’d say goodbye. I didn’t go round door to door. Even here, if I was leaving I wouldn’t have gone door to door. That’s not my scene.

Tom Humphries: Do you know anyone else who gets as intense about football and getting it right?

Roy Keane: Our manager, Alex Ferguson. Look, I just want what’s best. Realistically, I didn’t expect to come over here and find Highbury or Anfield waiting but I expected the pitch to be at least watered. We’ve had two injuries. Players are tired, fatigued after a long hard season and it would be softer out there on the hotel car park. If there is something wrong with wanting that, then what chance have we got? All the players feel the same. They react differently. Some people accept it easier. Maybe that’s why some of our players are playing where they are. You have to want the best. You need to prepare. It’s hard enough as it is, playing Cameroon next Saturday it’s going to be so bloody hard. We could be in for a shock. Everybody could be in for a shock.

Tom Humphries: Apart from facilities, is it too laid-back here for you?

Roy Keane: To be fair, the hotel is nice, the sun is nice but it’s a long way to come for that. That’s my opinion. I think we’ve come to train hard, to get ready for the World Cup. Look at the facilities. We need to be taking it easy a little bit, I know. To be fair, I don’t see anything wrong with the golf or the night out but, when we are working hard, can we not work for three hours solid on a good pitch? Instead, we’ve done three one-hour sessions.

Tom Humphries: Why are the highs higher for you and the lows lower?

Roy Keane: I try not to be like that, believe it or not. I’m trying to get level pegging. I don’t want that, the highs and lows. I react. That’s the way I am. That’s what’s made me what I am, good and bad, but I like me. I do like me. I don’t think I’m a bad person. In my life, I’m trying to get things level. When I was younger I was up and down like a rollercoaster. I was up, out and in headlines, injured and winning trophies. High up, low down. I’m trying to get things down, accepting things, but there’s only so much you can accept.

© The Irish Times Limited 2002
Soccer-Ireland.Com thanks the Irish Times for permission to reproduce this interview here.

Continued on Tom Humphries Roy Keane Interview 3 : Back to Roy Keane Saipan Interview 1

Back to Saipan Affair Table of Contents – Irish Football

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Saipan Table of Contents Roy Keane & Eamon Dunphy
Saipan Introduction Roy Keane & Cork
Methodology Keane’s Aversion to Being Away From Home
Saipan Conclusions Roy Keane’s Relationship with Ireland
Roy Keane – Mick McCarthy Relationship Roy Keane – Zenith Data Systems Cup
Roy Keane Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Jack Charlton Relationship
Mick McCarthy Version of Saipan Incident 1 Roy Keane’s Flawed Character
Mick McCarthy Version of Saipan Incident 2 Roy Keane’s Good Character
Niall Quinn Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Footballer
Jason McAteer Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Team Captain
Matt Holland Version of Saipan Incident Roy Keane – Family Man
Roy Keane & Saipan – The Backdrop Roy Keane & Faking Injury
Roy Keane & Saipan – The Issues Roy Keane – Bad Boy
Keane / McCarthy Boston Row 1992 Roy Keane – Career Lows
Keane Misses Iran Playoff Game Roy Keane – Red Cards etc
Keane Misses Niall Quinn Testimonial Roy Keane – Cruciate Injury
Countdown to Saipan Incident Roy Keane & Alf-Inge Haaland
Roy Keane Saipan Tirade at Mick McCarthy Roy Keane & Gareth Southgate Red Card
Roy Keane / Tom Humphries Saipan Interview 1 Roy Keane & Alan Shearer Red Card
Keane / Humphries Saipan Interview 2 Roy Keane / Alex Ferguson Relationship 1
Roy Keane / Irish Times Saipan Interview 3 Roy Keane & Sir Alex Ferguson 2
Roy Keane / Paul Kimmage Saipan Interview 1 Roy Keane & Charity
Keane / Kimmage Saipan Interview 2 Roy Keane & Autobiography Contradictions 1
Roy Keane / Sunday Independent Saipan Interview 3 Roy Keane & Contradictions 2
Roy Keane / Tommie Gorman Interview 1 Roy Keane – Integrity
Roy Keane / Tommy Gorman Interview 2 Roy Keane – International Matches
Roy Keane / RTE Interview 3 Roy Keane – Football Record
FAI Involvement in Saipan Affair Roy Keane & Sandwiches
Saipan Reaction of Irish Players Roy Keane – Walker
Mick McCarthy – ‘crap player, crap manager’ Saipan – Pacific Island
Roy Keane / Mick McCarthy Playing Record I Keano – The Musical
Colin Healy – Forgotten Man of Saipan Roy Keane – Football Manager
Saipan Ten Years Later Roy Keane’s Dog Triggs
Roy Keane’s Autobiography Saipan Bibiliography


Roy Keane – View Seven Years After Saipan
Football Quotes about Saipan


Triggs – The Autobiography of Roy Keane’s Dog
Ireland at 2002 World Cup Finals – Irish 2002 World Cup Squad – Irish Group Matches
Ireland V Cameroon – Ireland V Germany – Ireland V Saudi Arabia – Ireland V Spain