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Roy Keane - Autobiography Contradictions
One thing that is striking about Roy Keane's autobiography is that it is riddled with some obvious contradictions. Also some things that he writes in his book have been subsequently contradicted by his words and deeds elsewhere. Admittedly Keane's autobiography was written several years ago and the passage of time can throw up apparent contradictions or anomalies. Notwithstanding the fact that a number of years have elapsed the contradictions listed below reveal, at best, confused thinking, or at worst, attempts to mislead.
Keane and Grudges
In a 1991 FA Cup tie match against Crystal Palace Roy Keane under hit a back pass to the Forest goalkeeper. John Salako of Palace latched on to it before the Forest keeper, Crossley, got to the ball. Salako scored the equaliser to snatch a 2-2 draw. Back in the dressing room the Nottingham Forest manager, Brian Clough, punched him in the face, decking him for the sloppy back-pass. Keane says that he was shocked but didn't react. Surprisingly for a man who detests bullies this was a surprising reaction and his subsequent attitude to the event, "Knowing the pressure he was under, I didn't hold this incident against him." [Page 38] was even more surprising.
A year later Roy Keane had a row with Jack Charlton in Boston 1992 when the drunk twenty year old Keane arrived back late for the team bus. Jack Charlton began to take Keane to task for keeping everyone else waiting. Keane says that he faced him down and the "...bully" Charlton "...backed off." Mick McCarthy, the team captain and senior pro, then became involved. Keane told McCarthy to, "Go and f**k yourself."[Page 61].
How is it possible that Roy Keane didn't hold any grudges against a man that punched him, because he made an error on the soccer pitch, yet he held a major grudge against Mick McCarthy for ten years because he justifiably took issue with Roy Keane because he arrived back drunk and late to the team bus?
In the early stages of his Nottingham Forest days Roy Keane said that he was disgusted by his fellow reserve players. They were whinging a lot of the time. "I...vowed never to become a whinger"[Page 26]. This is quite ironic because Keane's autobiography comes across as a one long whinge about the Republic of Ireland and the two managers of Ireland that he played for during his international career. In the latter part of his Manchester United his career was marked by significant bouts of whinging. The 'prawn sandwich' whine comes to mind and indeed the final straw for Sir Alex Ferguson was "...his MUTV rant..." [Manchester United: The Biography; Jim White Pages 395-397] where he complaint bitterly about his United team mates.
Team Meetings about Roy Keane
One of Roy Keane's greatest objections about the whole Saipan incident was that Mick McCarthy called a team meeting to thrash out the issues raised in the Tom Humphries interview. Keane felt that the Irish manager had called the meeting specifically about him and he resented that deeply. However this wasn't the first time that a manager had called a team meeting specifically about Keane.
In December 1997, three months into his recovery from the cruciate ligament injury, Roy Keane decided upon a "double celebration"[Page 176] during the Christmas party season at United. Having joined the reserves, and getting into a row with a barman, he was intent upon partying with the first team the next night. Alex Ferguson had heard about the row with the barman the previous night and called a team meeting, including Roy Keane. At the meeting he banned Keane from the first team party. Ferguson threatened to fine any player caught drinking with Keane two weeks wages. Keane was "Outraged. I looked around the dressing room for support. None was forthcoming. F***ing w***ers, I thought, before going to the manager's office to protest. The argument became very heated. I got no joy."[Page176-177]. Despite his manager's wishes Keane went on to totally disregard the "...the perfect manager for me...Personally, I owed him everything."[Page 215] and went out on a one-man Christmas party anyway.
Steepest Learning Curve in History?
Following yet another drunken brawl with some Manchester United fans from Dublin in 1997 Keane laments; "...I was on the steepest learning curve in history. When would I finally learn to avoid situations I clearly couldn't handle."[Page 177]. According to his own autobiography this steep learning curve began with a melee in his native Cork in 1991 and lasted until his arrest just before the FA Cup Final in 1999. By his own admission one in ten of his nights out ended up in "aggravation" [Page 201]. Presumably that adds up to a lot of difficult situations over an eight year period. An eight year learning curve is hardly steep.
Big Signings and Complacency
In an implicit criticism of Alex Ferguson, Keane states that United should have bought big in the transfer market after the victory in the 1999 Champions League final. He says that this would have "...freshened things up, attacked complacency..."[Page 231]. Perversely in his video; As I See It, Keane complains that, after United had invested heavily in bringing in Ruud van Nistelrooy, Laurent Blanc and Juan Sebastian Veron, the existing players became complacent and sat back expecting the new players to deliver for the team.
Keane: The Autobiography; Roy Keane with Eamon Dunphy (2002); Michael Joseph Ltd
Triggs - The Autobiography of Roy Keane's Dog
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