Written by John Conroy.
God bless Roy Keane. He’s as mad as four small spaniels, but he can always be counted on to stir up a good row.
WAGs, dithering transfer-targets, lazy teammates, the Irish FA, and even blameless prawn sandwiches are but a small sample of the entities who have fallen foul of his wrath. And that’s off the pitch. As we all know, the guy was a frothing lunatic when he was actually playing.
As good as he was at football (and as good as he seems to be at management), the man is genuinely precocious at pissing people off, particularly his peers in football.
On Saturday he outdid himself once again.
In a wide-ranging rant preperatory to the meeting with his old mates at Arsenal, he declared:
“I believe that there are lots of players in the game these days who who do not love football. You’re going to say ‘That’s amazing’, but it’s true… when average players are getting a fortune and driving a big car without having done anything, you have to start asking questions.”
That is amazing, I think… that Keane would have the nerve to bash professional footballers for being mercenary. This is the guy who had verbally promised to join Kenny Dalgleish at Blackburn, only to go back on his word and sign for Manchester United just hours later. He was also renowned as the hardest negotiator of all the players at United (along with his agent/solicitor Michael Kennedy), and was the first footballer to earn £60,000 a week.
Nonetheless, fair is fair. If anyone was worth that kind of money, Keane was.
And he does make a fair point, even if perhaps he should have kept his mouth shut. A lot of these guys are obviously just in it for the paycheque.
Some are high-profile. Shevchenko… who wanders around the pitch morosely, doing nothing in particular. £125,000 p/w. Michael Ballack. A talented footballer who does nothing, and earns £120,000 a week basic.
More of them are more obscure, for obvious reasons. Sticking with Chelsea, let’s remember again Winston Bogarde, who joined on a 4-year deal in 2002, earning a measly £45,000 a week. Ever see him play? I doubt it: he went straight onto the McDonalds and Stringfellows diet, and the management eventually offered him a free transfer to get him off their books. Did he take it? No chance… who else was going to pay this muppet that much money?
So he stayed, going to training, year after year, not gettting within a camel’s roar of the first team, just putting in an occasional appearance with the reserves. What a monumental waste of talent. Had he an ounce of integrity, he’d have made a good player for a lower tier Premiership/Primera League team. And made just a little less money.
But it’s not just Chelsea. These guys are everywhere. Look at the squad for this season on your team’s website. There will be the regulars, the nearly regulars, the good-but-always-fucking-injur ed brigade, the hopeful youngsters… and a couple of guys there that you can vaguely remember signing in the distant past… but that you can’t remember actually seeing play in a long time.
What’s he still doing there? Sucking up gate receipts, that’s what, on a long-term contract that some dimwit at board level sanctioned.
God bless Keano. He’s mental, don’t you know. But he’s usually not far off the mark.
This article was first published on Orble.com.