Euro 2012 Man of the Day: Roy Keane
Love him or loathe him, there are few people in the world of sport who grab a headline like our Keano. He was at it again on ITV last night, making him our McCoy’s Euro 2012 Man of the Day.
As ever, there’s no such thing as a black-and-white debate when it comes to Roy Keane.
To paraphrase Declan Lynch, the man who wrote Italian ’90 tome Days of Heaven a couple of years back: the real story of the reaction to Saipan wasn’t that Keane divided the nation. It was that he divided everyone within themselves. We woke up in the morning supporting Keane, and by lunchtime we were on Mick McCarthy’s side.
Once again with his comments on ITV last night, there is no solid ground. Was Keane criticising the Irish supporters for their “singsong” in the face of such a crushing defeat? Was he saying that this tournament for Ireland has been reduced to nothing but a singsong, and that we deserve a good deal more?
With a definite nod back to 2002, was he showing the hunger and desire required, not just in sport but all walks of life, to realise your ambitions, to upset the status quo and earn real, tangible achievements?
Or was he just being completely unrealistic in his expectations?
One thing that is certain, there’s no doubt that whether you love Roy Keane or loathe him, the one thing Irish men can’t be is indifferent to him.
In his present role, as a TV analyst, he is paid to make judgments and tell us about them. The routine modus operandi of football pundits in the UK for years has been cosy cronyism, guys being paid presumably hefty sums to chuckle and hug and sit on the fence in case they might offend some of their former friends and teammates.
Keane doesn’t do that. Never has and never does. Whether you agree with him or not, most should admire him for such forthrightness. Maybe, who knows, when the clock ticks on another couple of years he will be the overwhelming choice to replace Il Trap as Irish manager. And then we’ll really see what he’s capable of.
For what it’s worth, on the evidence of our Roy Keane poll this morning it would that more people support Keano this time around – at the time of writing around two-thirds of voters were coming down on his side.