Anorak News | Roy’s Rows: Part 1098765b

Roy’s Rows: Part 1098765b

by | 6th, September 2002

”’THE Oval (first day of five: England won toss).” It’s heartening that in among the ardent professionalism of modern sport, cricket still possesses the language of the Pathe newsreel. Readers can imagine such a line appearing on a screen in grainy black and white, followed by some shots of cricketers scurrying around the field.

Well, you didn’t really want another picture of Roy Keane, did you?

As it is, the message comes at the top of the Times’ despatch from cricket’s frontline, where England are holding off the Indian challenge. As the rest of the message reads: ”England have scored 336 runs for two wickets against India.” Michael Vaughan is seen celebrating his fourth Test hundred of the summer, going on to score 182 not out before stumps. But as the first line of the report says, the individual is not as important as the team, and cricket is a team game.

Which is what football should be but rarely is – at least not off the field. Because football means Roy Keane. And loath as we are to mention the disgraced one’s name, we are merely acting as messengers, relaying the news from football land.

And the news is that Roy Keane appears to have got himself a media savvy agent. Where once he picked fights with a few targets – Alf Inge Haaland, Mick McCarthy – Roy now starts rows with everyone.

It’s as if he’s been told that if he ”tells it like it is”, ”gives it straight from the lip”, or engages in any of a million other newspaper euphemisms for having a big mouth, he will become ”The Hardest Voice In Soccer”.

And to prove that no target is too remote, Roy has turned his maniacal gaze on Team England. According to the man who ran home, England were more interested in swapping shirts with Brazil in the World Cup quarter-final that they were in winning the game. England, to quote the language of ”The Hardest Voice In Soccer”, ”bottled” it.

Michael Owen spends too much time telling the Mirror that Roy is talking nonsense. But in responding to the rantings of the injured one, Owen plays the game. Keane might be looking for a media career, it’s just that he should start one when his playing days are over and not before.

Posted: 6th, September 2002 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink