Sunday 16 June 2019

Leslie Ann Horgan: Keane or Keating... choose your top angry Irishman

Roy Keane. Photo: Sportsfile
Roy Keane. Photo: Sportsfile
Leslie Ann Horgan

Leslie Ann Horgan

Was there, I wonder, a red weather warning issued in Wroclaw this week prior to the arrival of the thundering and frosty Hurricane Roy? On Tuesday night, the Irish soccer team took on Poland, with the 1-1 result somewhat helping to soothe the sting of previous defeats. The match may have been a friendly, but it attracted plenty of attention due to the less than cordial situation in the Ireland camp.

Though manager Martin O'Neill has said that reports of furious bust-ups between his assistant manager and two squad members earlier this summer "doesn't tally" with what Keane told him, there's no denying the Corkman is in possession of a legendary temper.

Also in the news last week was another angry Irishman. Ronan Keating was left blustering after he and wife Storm were skipped on the red carpet at the GQ Awards. Though very put out by the actions of the actress who had walked past the queue, Ronan was too polite to reveal her name. Instead, using the mammy's favourite knockout blow, he simply said how very disappointed he was: "We wanted to really like her, but we don't anymore."

Ronan Keating. Photo: Getty Images
Ronan Keating. Photo: Getty Images

The stark differences between these two styles of confrontation got me thinking what would happen if the two RKs were ever to face off. In the epic battle of Ireland's Good Boy versus Ireland's Bad Boy, who would have the edge? Let's take a look at the contenders - Top Trumps style.

Talent

While some would debate Ronan Keating's singing talent, it's hard to deny that he's been successful. The shhh-inger sold 27 million records with Boyzone, followed by a solo career which saw his debut album hit No 1 in the British charts and go four times platinum. In 2003, he was voted Rear of the Year.

Known for his competitive play, Roy Keane is a legend of the game, who captained Manchester United, won 19 major trophies, including the Champions League, and represented his country for 14 years. In 2005, there was a musical written about him.

Winner: Tie

Temperament

Roy criticised his Man U teammates for notions of superstardom, dismissed the corporate box occupants of Old Trafford as the "prawn sandwich brigade", and then there was that little matter of tearing both the squad and the country apart in Saipan…

Elsewhere, I personally bore witness to Ronan charm a group of blokes who were baying at him by posing for photos with them and dolling out 'God blesses' all round.

Winner: Keating

Looks

Blonde, blue-eyed Ronan may have melted hearts across the globe in his boyband years, but today, at 41, he remains resolutely babyfaced. More 'aww' then 'ooh-er'. Roy, on the other hand, has grown an impressive beard that brings out his rugged side, not to mention those steely eyes.

Winner: Keane

Versatility

When his playing days ended, Roy moved into management, with stints at Sunderland and Ipswich Town yielding mixed results. In 2013, he made waves when he put aside his differences with the FAI to become assistant Ireland manager. He's an occasional pundit for ITV.

While still a recording artist, and with a Boyzone reunion tour on the way, Ronan has also expanded into broadcasting. He was a judge on the Australian X Factor and presents a show on Magic Radio.

Winner: Keating

Pets

While Ronan is exactly the sort of man you'd expect to own a pug called Aussie (and give her a hashtag), Roy's love for his dearly departed Labrador retriever hinted at a softness behind his granite facade. RIP Triggs.

Winner: Keane

National treasure factor

This category would be a slam dunk for Good Boy Keating, were it not for the fact that his first marriage ended after he had an affair with a Boyzone backing dancer. On the other hand, Bad Boy Keane somewhat redeems the fact that he essentially caused a second civil war with his Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind charity work.

Winner: Tie

Irish Independent

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