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'Bad, bad cop' finds himself back in spotlight

As soon as Roy Keane was revealed as Republic of Ireland assistant manager, fireworks were predicted.

Rightly or wrongly, those prophecies have now come to pass.

The Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links possibly won't gain the same notoriety as the Hyatt Hotel in Saipan, but - for the second time in his Irish career - Keane's involvement in an altercation has put matters on the pitch very much in the shade.

The build-up to the crunch European qualifier with Scotland at Celtic Park has been overshadowed by comments surrounding Scottish-born pair Aiden McGeady and James McCarthy, who are expected to face a hostile reception in Glasgow.

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Roy Keane on Republic of Ireland  debut against Chile at Lansdowne Road, in 1991

Roy Keane on Republic of Ireland debut against Chile at Lansdowne Road, in 1991

28 April 1993; Roy Keane, Republic of Ireland in action against John Jensen, Denmark, World Cup Qualifier, Republic of Ireland v Denmark, Soccer, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; David Maher/SPORTSFILE

28 April 1993; Roy Keane, Republic of Ireland in action against John Jensen, Denmark, World Cup Qualifier, Republic of Ireland v Denmark, Soccer, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; David Maher/SPORTSFILE

28 June 1994; From left Denis Irwin, Roy Keane, Ray Houghton and John Sheridan pictured during the World Cup USA. Picture credit; David Maher/SPORTSFILE

28 June 1994; From left Denis Irwin, Roy Keane, Ray Houghton and John Sheridan pictured during the World Cup USA. Picture credit; David Maher/SPORTSFILE

28 June 1994; Roy Keane and Phil Babb, Republic of Ireland, Look over the Celtic view newspaper. Soccer. Picture credit; David Maher/SPORTSFILE

28 June 1994; Roy Keane and Phil Babb, Republic of Ireland, Look over the Celtic view newspaper. Soccer. Picture credit; David Maher/SPORTSFILE

6 September 1995; Republic of Ireland's Roy Keane in action during the match. Austria v Republic of Ireland, European Championship Qualifier, Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna, Austria. Soccer. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSFILE

6 September 1995; Republic of Ireland's Roy Keane in action during the match. Austria v Republic of Ireland, European Championship Qualifier, Ernst Happel Stadium, Vienna, Austria. Soccer. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSFILE

9 November 1996;  Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy tackles Roy Keane during a squad training session at Lansdowne Road.  Soccer. Picture credit; Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE

9 November 1996; Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy tackles Roy Keane during a squad training session at Lansdowne Road. Soccer. Picture credit; Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE

Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

20 August 1997; Roy Keane, Republic of Ireland, in action against Lithuania. Republic of Ireland v Lithuania, World Cup qualifier, Group X, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

20 August 1997; Roy Keane, Republic of Ireland, in action against Lithuania. Republic of Ireland v Lithuania, World Cup qualifier, Group X, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

18 November 1998. Irish captain Roy Keane leaves the pitch with Charlie O'Leary, equipment officer after the game. European Championship Qualifier, Yugoslavia v Rep of Ireland, Red Star Stadium, Belgrade. Picture Credit: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE.

18 November 1998. Irish captain Roy Keane leaves the pitch with Charlie O'Leary, equipment officer after the game. European Championship Qualifier, Yugoslavia v Rep of Ireland, Red Star Stadium, Belgrade. Picture Credit: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE.

17 November 1999. Republic of Ireland's Roy Keane argues with referee G.Veisseire,  Turkey v Ireland, European Championship soccer, Qualifier Play-off, second leg,  Ataturk Stadium, Bursa, Turkey. Picture credit; David Maher/SPORTSFILE

17 November 1999. Republic of Ireland's Roy Keane argues with referee G.Veisseire, Turkey v Ireland, European Championship soccer, Qualifier Play-off, second leg, Ataturk Stadium, Bursa, Turkey. Picture credit; David Maher/SPORTSFILE

11 October 2000; Ireland's Roy Keane in action against Estonia's Erko Saviauk. Ireland v Estonia, World Cup Qualifier, Lansdowne Rd, Dublin. Soccer. Picture credit; Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

11 October 2000; Ireland's Roy Keane in action against Estonia's Erko Saviauk. Ireland v Estonia, World Cup Qualifier, Lansdowne Rd, Dublin. Soccer. Picture credit; Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

8 November 2001; Roy Keane, under the watchful eye of manager Mick McCarthy, at the Republic of Ireland squad training session, ahead of the World Cup Play-off with Iran.  John Hyland Park, Baldonnell, Co. Dublin. Soccer. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE *EDI*

8 November 2001; Roy Keane, under the watchful eye of manager Mick McCarthy, at the Republic of Ireland squad training session, ahead of the World Cup Play-off with Iran. John Hyland Park, Baldonnell, Co. Dublin. Soccer. Picture credit; Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE *EDI*

24 May 2002; The former Republic of Ireland captain Roy Keane departs Saipan International Airport. Soccer. Cup2002. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSILE *EDI*

24 May 2002; The former Republic of Ireland captain Roy Keane departs Saipan International Airport. Soccer. Cup2002. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSILE *EDI*

13 October 2004; Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr shakes hand with Roy Keane at the end of the game. FIFA 2006 World Cup Qualifier, Republic of Ireland v Faroe Islands, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSFILE

13 October 2004; Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr shakes hand with Roy Keane at the end of the game. FIFA 2006 World Cup Qualifier, Republic of Ireland v Faroe Islands, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

7 September 2005; Roy Keane, Republic of Ireland, remonstrates with referee Herbert Fandel. FIFA 2006 World Cup Qualifier, Group 4, Republic of Ireland v France, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSFILE

7 September 2005; Roy Keane, Republic of Ireland, remonstrates with referee Herbert Fandel. FIFA 2006 World Cup Qualifier, Group 4, Republic of Ireland v France, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; David Maher / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

7 September 2005; Roy Keane, 6, Republic of Ireland, is shown a yellow card by referee Herbert Fandel. FIFA 2006 World Cup Qualifier, Group 4, Republic of Ireland v France, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

7 September 2005; Roy Keane, 6, Republic of Ireland, is shown a yellow card by referee Herbert Fandel. FIFA 2006 World Cup Qualifier, Group 4, Republic of Ireland v France, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit; Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

19 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during the pre-match warm up. Friendly International, Poland v Republic of Ireland, Municipal Stadium, Poznan, Poland. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

19 November 2013; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane during the pre-match warm up. Friendly International, Poland v Republic of Ireland, Municipal Stadium, Poznan, Poland. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

15 November 2013; Republic of Ireland  manager Martin O'Neill and assistant manager  Roy Keane. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Latvia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

15 November 2013; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill and assistant manager Roy Keane. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v Latvia, Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

11 November 2014; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill with assistant manager Roy Keane, during squad training ahead of their UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifer, Group D, match against Scotland on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

11 November 2014; Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill with assistant manager Roy Keane, during squad training ahead of their UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifer, Group D, match against Scotland on Friday. Republic of Ireland Squad Training, Gannon Park, Malahide, Co. Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

22 October 2014; Pictured is legendary former professional football player and current Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane who marked the launch of his new book 'The Second Half' at an exclusive Eason event in the RDS. Joined on stage with co-author of the book, Roddy Doyle, Keane treated fans to some great insights into his life and achievements. Keanes book, The Second Half, is currently on sale in Eason stores nationwide and online at www.easons.com. RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

22 October 2014; Pictured is legendary former professional football player and current Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane who marked the launch of his new book 'The Second Half' at an exclusive Eason event in the RDS. Joined on stage with co-author of the book, Roddy Doyle, Keane treated fans to some great insights into his life and achievements. Keanes book, The Second Half, is currently on sale in Eason stores nationwide and online at www.easons.com. RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

14 October 2014; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane, left, and Marc Wilson arrive at the stadium ahead of the game. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifer, Group D, Germany v Republic of Ireland, Veltins Stadium, Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

14 October 2014; Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane, left, and Marc Wilson arrive at the stadium ahead of the game. UEFA EURO 2016 Championship Qualifer, Group D, Germany v Republic of Ireland, Veltins Stadium, Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

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Roy Keane on Republic of Ireland debut against Chile at Lansdowne Road, in 1991

Beneath the surface, the fixture has been simmering - Shay Given this week described some of the scathing Scottish comments as "personal" and "over the top" - but this latest episode will ensure further deflection from the fixture and cast the spotlight very much on Keane yet again.

The full details are yet to fully emerge, but one can only wonder what Martin O'Neill will be thinking on the journey to Glasgow.

"I want Roy Keane essentially the way he is," the softly-spoken man from the North insisted when dismissing notions that Keane's presence could have a negative effect.

O'Neill joked that his sidekick would be the "bad, bad cop" and few would disagree with that statement.

Keane, of course, has had a number of public and physical fall-outs during his playing and managerial career.

His recent autobiography revealed a head-butting incident with Peter Schmeichel during his time at Old Trafford and told how he physically tangled with an irate player, Liam Lawrence, in his office while manager of Sunderland.

"I think I might have grabbed him - there might have been a bit of grappling when he started to leave the office," he wrote in 'The Second Half'.

In 1999 a woman accused the United captain of assaulting her in a bar as he was celebrating their Premier League title success.

Keane always maintained his innocence and was released on bail when Alex Ferguson called to the police station the next morning. Ultimately no charges were made.

Such incidents have helped shape the caricature of an angry and fearsome operator, but since answering O'Neill's call last November all indications have been that the former national team captain has been nothing but a positive influence on the group.

He has spoken of how the role of assistant manager has allowed him to become more hands on, taking him away from the intensity of being the main man.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has said that the club was reaping the benefits from his similar role at club level.

The release of his autobiography in the lead-up to the qualifying double-header against Gibraltar was criticised in some quarters for creating an unnecessary distraction for the players with points at stake. Any interruption that may have caused is likely to pale into insignificance in light of last night's events at the team hotel.

Irish Independent