Big John's weekend bets
13:02, 04 May 2012
“I had waited long enough. I hit him f**king hard. Take that you c**t and don’t ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries again.” One can imagine most of Roy Keane’s life as a series of moments building up to outbursts such as this. There is a streak in Roy that drives him against the tide. That’s why when people say, Never work with children or animals, Roy would much prefer to work with children and animals. Children and animals are not what pisses him off. Grown-ups piss Roy off.
During a questions and answers session on a visit to promote the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind’s Shades campaign yesterday, it didn’t take much cajoling to set him off. Talking about Darron Gibson and what the midfielder might have done to turn the game against Liverpool, he wondered to what level the questioner had played. He then said it is hard to explain to someone who hasn't played at the highest level how a professional footballer gets “a sense of the game” and knows what needs to be done to change it. Incidentally, the answer was pretty much “plough through one of the opposition and get the referee to stop the game”. Which, really, most people understand without having had to play first-team Premier League football. In fact, one only needs to have played five-a-side on a rainy Tuesday night to have a grasp on the theory.
But it was an insight into the potential problems facing Roy in his punditry role: explaining these things to people who he thinks can’t possibly understand them; or explaining things to people who should already know. It is strange then some have suggested he needs more time than the four seconds ITV give him to analyse games. That, like Gary Neville, for example, he should be given 14 minutes
to talk to us about diving. More time is exactly what Roy doesn’t need when he could look at Ashley Young and simply say: “Muppet”. We’d all know what Roy means and there would be no need for what Brian Clough termed “lecturing the audience”.
Roy is in dangerous territory, and he knows it. In an interview with John Motson, Clough claimed the BBC’s football coverage was “dogmatic, overbearing and boring”. He said: “I’ve worked in your industry as a layman. I looked at one of your machines 24 times and still couldn’t get it (a referee’s decision) right.” Clough ended the interview by saying what we all think whenever Mark Lawrenson opens his mouth: “Shut-up and show more football.”
The machine Sky Sports use is like an extension of Neville’s very being. Although he is obviously intelligent, it must have taken time for him to learn what all the different buttons are for and how to perfect that slidey motion to get the picture on the main screen. It is amusing to imagine Neville sitting down with his notebook and pen while some bumbling intern explains to him how to use it. One could never imagine Roy sitting there patiently until the intern says: “Okay now Roy, why don’t you have a go.” I had waited long enough. I hit him f**king hard. Take that you c**t.....
Later on yesterday, in an interview with Newstalk, it was put to him that maybe being accused of injury isn’t such a bad thing and certainly not a good enough reason to miss out on the Greatest Show on Earth. There followed a period of dead air when most listeners were probably screaming at the journalist to get the hell out of there. After about two seconds, Roy expressed his disbelief that such a question could have been asked. He would have knitted those eyebrows too in that way he always does when adults piss
him off; when his eyes dart around the room trying to find a reasonable explanation as to why people aren’t fulfilling straightforward expectations.
He did that to Gary Breen as they both walked from the pitch with Ireland two-nil up at half-time away to Cyprus when Roy was still demanding more. He did it to Quinn and Staunton and to Ferguson when he felt his boss didn’t appreciate how much his players did to help him win all those titles.
Roy has said he wants to get back into management but the problem there is that football clubs are mostly populated by adults and football club boards are almost always populated by adults. Roy should stick to the kids
and animals. He once said he liked dogs because they don’t talk bullshit. It was pointed out at the time that dogs don’t talk sense either but Roy would have said they don’t have to because they make
sense and one could never question their motives or loyalty.
He got emotional yesterday when he revealed his dog, Triggs, passed away a number of weeks back. He might get a replacement but, for now, he goes for walks with his German Shepherd and says that, with five kids as well, he has plenty to keep him busy. So, when he considers his next move he should remember his own code: Never work with grown-ups.
Chelsea to beat Liverpool 7/5
Manchester City to beat Newcastle United 4/6
Derry City and St Patrick’s Athletic to draw 9/5
Blackpool to beat Birmingham City 11/8
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