Soapbox: end of a (short) era

Soapbox

Pete Sixsmith gives a swift assessment of today’s momentous event: the departure of Roy Keane as manager of Sunderland AFC..

At the end, it didn’t come as a real surprise. I had received a text from someone who does not spread tittle tattle saying that he was going and although I didn’t want to believe it, deep down I knew it was right and that he had decided that he had gone as far as he could.

So, we say goodbye to another manager who was going to lead us to the promised land of 10th in the Premier League. There will be lots to come out in the next few days about why he went. New villains will be created and those who had always had doubts about Keane’s ability as a manager will be in the ascendancy. Many questions will be posed and many answers will be given, but one thing is for sure, we will never really have a clear picture of what went wrong these last few months.

Malcolm Dawson suggested to me that he betrayed all the signs of a man in the grip of clinical depression – hiding behind a progressively bushier beard, slumped body language, picking arguments with gobshite railway workers. The symptoms add up, and if he is suffering, then no job is worth the misery and pain that depression causes. If you don’t believe me, read Marcus Trescothick’s book – he knows all about it.

So, where to now? Allardyce and Curbishley are available, Owen Coyle has done a great job at Burnley, Sven is no longer the big fajita in Mexico. Niall Quinn, John Hays and, most importantly, Ellis Short have no margin of error as they seek to make an appointment that will keep our better players at the club and keep us in the Premier League.

Aer Arran flights will be emptier, The Terminus pub will no longer be Keano’s and the Drumaville consortium will no longer be the toast of Wearside, Dublin and Cork.

On a cold, snowy day in County Durham, the future of our club once again lies in the balance.

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