By now, you all have heard, read, and discussed about Roy Keane’s second autobiography, The Second Half, which will be released on Thursday. Already we have got a glimpse of what to expect from the book; Keane has been heavily critical about Sir Alex Ferguson and some of his former team-mates.
As a player, Keane was an inspirational leader who wanted demanded relentless effort from his team mates. It is his winning mentality that coincided with his manager at United, Sir Alex Ferguson and gave birth to strong relationship between the two. The problem with Keane is, he went too far at times that makes him “one of the most complex, fascinating, unfathomable characters in Premier League history.”
There is a tinge of madness in most of his actions. He knows that, yet he lives a life with a “self-destruct button” and stands as an unreconstructed recidivist. There is a typical non-sensical pattern with what Keane does – shoots himself in the foot and makes life difficult for himself.
“Anger is a useful trait. But when I’m backed into a corner, when I get into situations, professional or personal, I know deep down that when I lose my rag, and I might be in the right – it doesn’t matter – I know I’m going to be the loser,” he says.
“I will lose out. Saipan and the World Cup – ultimately I lost. Or when I left United, when I could have stayed a bit longer if it had been handled differently. I was the one who lost; I know that. That’s the madness of me. When I’m going off on one, even when I might be right, there’s a voice in my head going: ‘You’ll pay for this.’
“That’s the self-destruct button. I don’t know if it’s low self-esteem. Things might be going really well, and I don’t trust it: ‘It’s not going to last,’ or ‘Why am I getting this? Why are things going so well? I’ll fuck things up a little bit, then feel better myself.’ I might be buying a car: ‘Who do you think you are buying a new car?’ And I’ll fuck it up. I’ll drag things down around me.”
He was so consumed with the thought of revenge, of being thrown out of United that he never really got out of it. With every dig at his old employers, he smells like a victory. He probably doesn’t understand that he will always be respected as a hero and worshipped as an icon at Manchester United, and likewise Sir Alex Ferguson will always remain as a god-father figure at this iconic club. Or may be he doesn’t care at all.
Mere lashing at his former employers, using incessant F words, won’t grant him any victory. It won’t alter his or Ferguson’s position at the club. It is simply his anger which he projects as a revenge, and in the process only hampers his own reputation, status and career.
Tony Evans, The Times Editor notes: “He showed little patience with the modern professional footballer. This is not unusual. Many former players resent the present generation, but it is mainly for their wealth. With Keane, it was never about money. It is about attitude.”
Having failed to establish as a good Premier League manager in these five years, the Ireland and Villa assistant job gives him a sense of purpose. But, he could lose this opportunity as well. The attention immediately diverts on to him when he should have stayed aloof from controversies and devote more time on learning the trades of modern day football management. He could have saved this for a time when he had established himself as a good manager. But, we probably should have known by now that Roy Keane is still an irrevocably and irredeemably Roy Keane.