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Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK
Case for and against Keane


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The Roy Keane situation was more like a soap opera.

But the bottom line was this: if you or I talked to our boss the way Keane spoke to Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy we would have been sacked on the spot.

It was such a tirade of personal abuse that I just didn't see any way back for Keane.

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The whole thing is daft - absolutely daft
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I mean, how on earth could McCarthy let Keane back in the squad for the World Cup?

I think that McCarthy would have had to resign if Keane reappeared.

Despite all this talk of an apology from the player to patch things up, I never thought it was possible.

After all, the squad said they didn't want him back - though to be honest, if I was a player I would have kept my own counsel and said nothing about it.

Maybe if Keane had apologised during his television interview on Monday, things might have been different - but he didn't even do that.

Keane is back in England
Keane should have kept a lid on his feelings

Which makes me wonder why he did the interview - was he trying to repair his image?

Keane and McCarthy have not exactly seen eye to eye for about eight years - but the midfielder has managed to keep a lid on his feelings for all this time.

The whole thing is daft, absolutely daft.

The Republic lose their best player and Keane misses the World Cup.

Blown his chance

World Cups come around every four years and Keane will probably not get another chance.

He may have had a point about the facilities, travel arrangements, pitches etc - but so would every other Republic of Ireland player in the last 25 years.

The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) is not the most efficiently run organisation in the world - but let's not forget they administer a part-time league.

We've all had it - Aldridge, Houghton, Whelan, O'Leary, Moran and numerous others.

McCarthy has been banging his head against the wall about the FAI for years but he hasn't been able to change it - and Jack Charlton was unable to do so either.

What it should never do is stop you from playing for the Republic.




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Let me say at the start that I do not condone Roy Keane's abusive and personal attack on Mick McCarthy.

Every right-minded person would agree that he was out of order.

But knowing that Keane was livid about poor training facilities, why did the manager invite his captain to explain himself in front of the rest of the squad and staff?

The situation should have been handled in private.

Manager Mick McCarthy
McCarthy chose to confront Keane in front of the team

Mick McCarthy and the FAI shouldn't have allowed the simmering tension reach Saipan.

In McCarthy's defence, his plan to spend a few days relaxing after a long hard season sounded well founded.

But for Roy Keane, R&R means rant and rave, not rest and relaxation.

I suspect that many people who condemn Roy Keane do so because of preconceived notions about what sort of person he is.

He comes from a rough part of Cork, has a poor disciplinary record on the field and, in the early part of his career, was involved in several unsavoury incidents in nightclubs.

But as captain of the team, Roy Keane is entitled to air his views on how things are done.

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As an Irishman, I'm proud of how he's represented me while wearing the green jersey
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What's more, the FAI should pay good money for his advice.

If only the rest of the players would think a little bit more about what's going on around them.

Roy Keane is a maverick. I like his individuality. I admire his honesty. I respect his opinions.

As an Irishman, I'm proud of how he's represented me while wearing the green jersey. My hope is that he'll manage Ireland one day.

Perhaps he'll lead us to the World Cup in Germany in 2006?

And for speaking his mind on vital issues, he's got my support. No questions asked.


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Mark Lawrenson
"How could McCarthy let him back after such an outburst?"
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