Only a Game? - Too Keane to offer his opinion...

editorial image

I flicked through a newspaper on Tuesday and within the space of four sports pages Roy was having a go at Gary Neville and on the back page he suggested that Aiden McGeady didn’t have what was required to be part of Giovanni Trapattoni’s starting XI for the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine next month.

I’m all for debate and difference of opinion but if Roy continues offering his every whip about he’s in severe danger of becoming a total caricature of himself.

In preparation for this week’s column I had to check something about Roy on the Internet. I logged on to Google, typed ‘Roy Keane’ and the first articles to appear were titled ‘Roy Keane warns Hodgson to be aware of Rooney boredom at Euros’ and ‘Roy Keane: England don’t have unity or spirit to succeed’.

I would regard myself as a very opinionated person and as many will testify I enjoy a good argument. I don’t always win but I am always right. But Roy Keane takes expressing one’s opinions to a whole new level.

What’ll it be next Roy? ‘Keane slams ILEX’, ‘Peace Bridge a bad idea says Keane’ or ‘Roy Keane says Greece should leave the Euro-zone’.

Keane always hinted that he would like to try his hand at football management when he retired. He took over as manager of Sunderland in 2006 and managed to lead the Black Cats to the Premiership but after poor results he was sacked in 2008.

Roy got a second bite at the football management cherry when he replaced Jim Magilton as manager of Ipswich Town in 2009 but he was sacked in January of last year.

Roy has been out of football management for over a year and has now taken to being a football pundit - something he turned his nose up at when he was a player.

Instead of utilising his natural leadership skills and ability to inspire it would appear that Roy has fallen in love with the sound of his own voice and his opinions. It’s almost as if he can’t rest unless he is annoying someone.

In 14 days’ time Ireland will take on Croatia in Poznan in their opening fixture of the European Championships.

It’s almost inevitable that Roy will say something controversial about the team. Don’t get me wrong, Keane is as entitled to his opinion as much as the next man but the team and the management have done so well to reach the finals so why even think about knocking them?

On Thursday past, it was 10 years to the very day that Roy Keane and then Ireland manager Mick McCarthy had the infamous argument in Saipan. Everyone knows the story. Keane left the squad and returned to Manchester and Ireland went on to reach the second round of the tournament where they were beaten by Spain on penalties.

Roy is still as divisive as he was back then. It pains me to say it but I was in Keane’s camp when he left the squad and to a certain extent, I still am, but having a go at players like Aiden McGeady just weeks before a tournament makes absolutely no sense.

I am sure Roy regards himself as a Republic of Ireland fan. So if he’s as passionate as the rest of us and wants the team to do well perhaps he should leave team selection to Giovanni Trapattoni, relax and remember what it really feels like to be fan by listening to Christy Moore’s ‘Joxter Goes to Stuttgart’. C’mon Roy, you know you want to...