Soapbox: Keano – a man spurned


Pete Sixsmith shares some thoughts on Roy Keane sharing his thoughts …

Once again, Roy has been letting the world (or The East Anglian Daily Press) in on his views on Sunderland AFC. His revelation that Andy Reid is a little overweight and struggles to complete a full game is about as earth shattering as the Which? report that made the staggering revelation that motorway service areas are a little more expensive than ordinary shops, restaurants, and filling stations.

So, why is Roy doing this?

My belief is that he is a typical male who is finding rejection hard to cope with (a situation I can fully empathise with). Like Professor Higgins in Pygmalion, he has taken a down at heel object with no specific identity and has attempted to model it in his fashion. And like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman, he has lavished money on it (not his own) and has turned it from a dowdy and deeply unsexy club into something that attracts the eye of passing US millionaires.

As the club (woman) gains more confidence and other people become interested in her, the original progenitor becomes disillusioned and begins to act in a bizarre manner. He buys her the footballing equivalent of exciting but impracticable lingerie (Diouf) and loads gifts on her that she will never use (Healy), having previously bought her useless household objects that have been spurned within days (Halford, Anderson). One special gift, all the way from the South of France, is loved for its exoticism at first, but is seen to be expensive and not very reliable (Cisse).

The relationship begins to disintegrate and he looks for a way out of it. What he thought was love has turned out to be a lengthy and now flawed infatuation and he has the perfect excuse to break it off when a few pertinent questions were asked about the nature of his relationship; why did you buy me all these useless Irish
trinkets? Stokes, O’Donovan), where are you living? Cheshire, Croxdale? Eventually he can take no more and following an afternoon of misery and soul searching featuring Bolton Wanderers, he leaves her and heads home.

The relationship is over, but hopefully both have come out of it stronger. His spurned lover is looked after by an acquaintance of his and at first, she comes out of her depression and things look up. Unfortunately, there is a relapse and a spell of hospitalisation in a lower level may well be on the cards.

Meanwhile, Roy heads back to his family home and ponders on what went wrong. He can see that all the major problems were caused by her and not him. Sure, his failure to put the toilet seat down has contributed, but it wasn’t his fault that things went wrong. He remains silent and then meets another attractive woman from a rural community and is tempted back into the relationship game.

He moves in with her (she lives in a much smaller house than his spurned lover) and when he is talking to her friends, he offers up reasons why the previous relationship went sour. Nothing about his new partner, all about the old one and his mother, Alex, in Manchester, indicating that he has a fixation with both. As he settles in East Anglia, he realises that for all the perceived weaknesses of his ex, she had class, style and lots of friends. This new one is perfectly pleasant, but Roy knows that he has lost the best chance he ever had of happiness, post mother. He lashes out at the one he has walked out on, but most know that the relationship failed because of his suspect temperament.

Next week: why Ricky Sbragia should buy Phil Bardsley a basque and stockings to spice up the dressing room.

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2 thoughts on “Soapbox: Keano – a man spurned”

  1. Diouf: the footballing equivalent of exciting but impracticable lingerie — brilliant analogy!
    Whatever Keane turned out to be or not to be, it’s important to remember that he was the right man in the right place at the right time when Sunderland needed him most. As Pete says, “he took an ailing club loitering at the foot of the championship into the Premiership in 9 months…..”
    Without that initial burst of inspired energy, Sunderland might still be languishing in the championship.

  2. Absolutely wonderful piece from Sixer again.All very true as well.
    I wonder if RK has ever heard of the saying ‘when in a hole stop digging’.All we have heard from him about our great club since his departure are negative vibes and critisism of the boardroom and players associated with a club who gave him his first opportunity in club management.
    So what gives the worlds biggest dummy thrower the right to critisize us.I may be in the minority but I don’t feel he will ever be remembered as a great Sunderland manager of my generation.
    He took an ailing club loitering at the foot of the championship into the Premiership in 9 months, all be it with a reasonable transfer budget but he bought sensibly and well.The result was promotion and the belief the we had unearthed a gem of a manager.
    Sadly his tenure during the Premiership years saw a number of woeful performances indispersed with the occasional moment of inspiration.His dealings in the transfer market have generally been disasterous and only the master of disaster himself, Graeme Souness can match some of the complete wastes of money he purchased.
    He spent an astonishing

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