a presenter on newstalk declared yesterday that love or hate roy keane, you have to admit he's a good manager. this blogger would have thought it was too early to make that pronouncement, but on the love/hate issue, after being a former vitriolic critic, i'm beginning to respect the man.
to backtrack, keane didn't get my back up because of all that "traitor" guff. it was more that the public impression of him, even amongst many of his detectors, seemed skewed. there is a curious
habit in our society to link outspokenness and truthfulness. as if, just because you shout your mouth off about everything under the sun, you couldn't also be telling porkies intermittently. to my eyes keane was a quasi prima donna, who wanted everything his own way and desired everyone to be a clone of him, and who threatened to throw his toys out of the pram if he didn't get his way. now in management keane seems a much more placid figure, understanding of others, ( particularly referees ) and newly endowed, by way of a sun holiday on a road near damascus, that there's more than one way to skin a cat. his behaviour can be seen in stark contrast to his former master alex ferguson & arsene wenger who give the disturbing instruction to formative minds, that an essential part of success is to roar and bawl like man-children at anyone who deigns to cross you.
irish journalist joe humphries has recently published a book in which he laments how seriously sport is viewed in the modern world. after reading some of the reviews some of his criticisms seem a tad po-faced and hyperbolic. however for those of us, in this culture, who have our media choc a bloc with the immature ravings of successful football managers, it's best to pause occasionally and wonder does it have to be this way, and does joe humphries have a point?