Roy Keane: Bona Fide Box-Office

December 18, 2014 3:08 pm

Sometimes complicated, sometimes confusing, Roy Keane is no quiet man. To sports journalists he is a guaranteed headline. His latest tirade, aimed directly at the media that seem to feed on his outbursts, has once again deflected attention away from Martin O’Neill and his Irish team. As long as Roy is around, there will never be a dull moment.

Keane’s frustration can usually be seen these days simmering beneath a gruffly chin. This time, his disbelief at a particular reporter’s impertinence coaxing the beast from its nest. The Irishman has talked of his anger fondly in his autobiography. To him, it is a “useful trait” to be called upon in adverse circumstances. In his book, The Second Half, he describes his angry side as “that’s me defending myself”. There is no doubt that is how he saw it today. However, he also is quick to admit that when he is “backed in to a corner” and indulges in this “useful trait”, inevitably he is “going to be the loser”.

roy keane

Regardless of intentions, the former Manchester United captain has continually hogged the media glare during the international break through the release of his book, an altercation with a member of the public, his job offers and now with this outburst. No number two warrants this much attention in football. Martin O’Neill will, of course, state that it has no effect, no bearing, on his players or himself but how long can this go on. If it is not a factor now, how long before it becomes a factor?

As much as Keane may want to simply get on with the job, that it is a luxury he will never experience. Particularly when the FAI are all too willing to wheel him out to the expectant hoards, as if they are the ringmaster and he some circus act. There is no other assistant manager in league or international football that garners such scrutiny or consideration and they warrant some of the blame for putting him out there to be poked and prodded. They are too eager to play up to his persona.

Roy Keane, like most, cannot be defined by just one facet of his character. Yes there is anger, frustration and rage. There is a self-destructive streak. But he is also quick-witted with a dry sense of humour that verges, at times, on playful, he is a father and husband, a relentless competitor, a worker, a student and a teacher. He is honest and truthful, sometimes to his own detriment, intelligent, sharp and will be remembered, above all else, as a winner.

For now, his media appearances will continue to draw crowds hoping for home-truths, outbursts or something in between. No doubt, the Irishman will give us all plenty of reason to splash the page with ink and howl on about the complexity of his character as well as the looseness of his tongue. Roy Keane sells newspapers, he is box-office.

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