Tuesday 23 October 2018

The Keane that is, and that might have been

Martin O’Neill looks on as Roy Keane greets his old Man Utd teammate and now Wales manager Ryan Giggs ahead of Ireland’s 4-1 defeat by Wales last week. Photo: AFP
Martin O’Neill looks on as Roy Keane greets his old Man Utd teammate and now Wales manager Ryan Giggs ahead of Ireland’s 4-1 defeat by Wales last week. Photo: AFP

Declan Lynch's Diary

You could say that this is the archetypal story of the innovator who eventually becomes the daft old geezer.

In this version, Roy Keane was once the man trying to shake Irish football out of its culture of mediocrity - until eventually he assumed a position of some authority himself, and could find no way to connect with the better nature of his young players, to lift them out of their ordinariness.

Yes, in the telling of this part of the Keane saga, he has become the kind of senior citizen that his younger self might have scorned - indulging in displays of belligerence which only drive away some of the half-decent players that we have. His "altercation" with Harry Arter sounds like the sort of thing which might have worked in olden days, and we are reminded of the idiosyncracies of Keane's and Martin O'Neill's old gaffer Brian Clough - with the slight difference that Cloughie was successful.

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