Roy Keane says that the people of Ireland deserve to know the truth. Memo from Irish people all over the world to Roy Keane: the truth can wait.
Roy, after the World Cup you can talk until the cows come home about how mean Mick McCarthy has been to you and how bad the pitch and the heat was in Saipan. You can write a book about it, howl to the moon about it, but for God’s sake put a sock in it and pack some of same in a bag and catch the next flight to Japan.
Think about it, Roy. Next Saturday morning you’re going to be going stir crazy if the Irish team makes a balls of it against Cameroon. And if the side wins, you’re going to be frustrated as hell that you’ll not be part of the celebration.
Even if you don’t publicly admit to these sentiments, we know that you will be feeling them. That’s because you’re a 100 percenter, when you’re playing and when you’re not.
Think about it: Years from now you’ll barely remember the details of your beef with Mick McCarthy. And if you do, God help you, because that sort of hangover will eat away at all those other magnificent memories that have made your career to date arguably the greatest in Irish soccer history.
And if none of these suggestions swing it for you, think of all the little Roy Keanes out there being told by their hard-pressed parents to take the slings and arrows of sporting misfortune like a man long before they are grown men, or women.
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And as for you, Mick McCarthy. That you didn’t nip this one in the bud long ago is a sign that you might have been a bit distracted by other matters, admittedly matters as weighty as getting the entire Irish team, and not just Roy Keane, into the World Cup finals.
Fair play to you on your success so far. But if it turns out that this sorry business might have been handled more adroitly, you might as well be getting dressed in a Cameroon shirt.
OK, managing a bunch of overpaid prima donnas isn’t easy. But holding a team together, its sense of spirit and singular purpose, for the greatest days of its collective life, has to be the greatest and most difficult task facing any manager.
Roy Keane may be difficult, but his very career would indicate that he is not impossible. Ireland winning the World Cup might be viewed by most as being impossible. But you do dream about winning it anyway.
Well, Mick, pull Roy Keane back into that dream. And by any means necessary.
The two of you can sort this out later when the dream of an entire nation is no longer at stake.