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It could happen to a bishop, but it only ever happens to Roy

A "soccer coaching Kardashian"? Hmm, even the most devoted of Mick McCarthy fans might pause before suggesting Roy Keane has anything in common with the biggest a**e on the internet.

But that's exactly what GAA pundit Joe Brolly did this week, citing a lack of "emotional intelligence" and a "constant craving for publicity" as reasons why poor Keano is always landing himself on the front of the papers.

Roy says it's nothing to do with him. He's as charming and publicity shy as the late Diana Spencer - it's not his fault if the media are fixated on his every word and deed, is it?

But Keane has always been the boy who likes to play it both ways.

He attracts attention as much for his inability to keep his temper under control as for his sublime footballing skills.

Having Roy around is always going to mean that sparks fly, tempers are lost and there would be lots of headlines, many unrelated to events on the pitch.

The Corkman has even admitted that he often "played up to his angry reputation", that it was "part of his DNA".

Poor Roy, held captive by emotions he can't control.

Don't get me wrong, like most of the rest of the country I have a bit of a soft spot for Keane.


He's fabulously entertaining. When you see him plonk himself down at a press conference, fold his arms across his chest as if he's getting ready to protect himself from a barrage of enemy gunfire and fix "that stare" on the hapless members of the fourth estate, you know there will be blood.

As the man said, it's in his DNA. You can practically hear him egging the journalists on: 'I dare ye, ask me something you know I won't like and watch me explode'.

On the one hand he's great fun and his ire can be genuinely hilarious - my favourite instance being his anger at hearing Abba blaring in the Sunderland dressing room before the team lined out for a match.

And he's never, ever afraid to say exactly what he thinks. But his inability to control his emotions, or quite bluntly, put a sock in it, is also a huge failing.

He's like a child who has never quite learned to discipline himself.

This is, I know, a bit of a contradiction when one considers the extraordinary discipline needed to become the great athlete he was.

But physical discipline is not emotional discipline. And Roy needs to learn that sometimes rough honesty is not always the best policy if you're assistant manager of a national team and have other people to take into consideration.

We'll never really know how much the shenanigans at the team hotel last week affected the Irish squad in the match against Scotland.


The book, the fan, the ambulance and gardai being called, the inevitable media attention...it could, as they say, happen to a bishop. But it doesn't. It just seems to happen to Roy.

And when you look at the way he fixed the Serbian official Milorad Mazic with 'the look' at last Friday's game while very aggressively chewing his gum in the man's face, it's not hard to see why it always happens to Roy. He asks for it.

But when the team then lost, Roy couldn't accept the suggestion that - perhaps - his own antics had been a "distraction" and he lashed out at a couple of journalists who dared to ask him if perhaps Manager Martin O'Neill had had enough of "those distractions".

It was a classic case of the man protesting too much. He knows it was a distraction.

He knows O'Neill knows. Problem is, it will happen again. Why? Because Keane will always attract those sort of "distractions".

As the man said, It's in his DNA.