Roy Keane, the antichrist, and Sunderland AFC

Sunday, August 27, 2006 23:11 | Filed in Oddities, Sport

Okay, this isn’t going to make me popular with any Sunderland AFC fans out there, and I’m sure that one or two do read this site, even if it’s just to tell me to mind my own bleeding business at times, and call me a skunk and so on. But basically, Sunderland and Roy Keane have agreed that Roy Keane will take over as manager of Sunderland after monday night’s game with West Brom.

Bear with me, even as a Newcastle fan, I’m speaking from experience.

Now, let’s just think. What qualities are we looking at here:

  • World-class midfield general as a player
  • Highly respected club and international captain
  • Determined to win and doesn’t suffer fools gladly
  • Is prepared to publicly stand out when he feels something needs saying
  • Has a reputation for sometimes being abrasive

Roy Keane? Sorry, I was miles away. I was thinking of that Graeme Souness chap we had until earlier this year. Hmm … now that you mention it, I can see some similarities between the two.

I’ve got to admit that there are about eight parts of me wanting Roy Keane to fail, against only one part success. This is because he’s going to be Sunderland manager, for goodness sake, so that’s obviously a vote against. But the other seven votes against come from the likes of this…

Despite the fact that at his peak he was probably the best midfielder in the world (as opposed to being probably the best lager), he always seemed to me to be a bit of a vicious bugger. There was the whole Alf-Inge Haaland thing, where Keane deliberately injured a fellow professional and ended his career, for example. Not nice at all. There’s the fact he was sent home from the world cup for hurling abuse at his manager. At the world cup; with the opportunity to try and do your best to help the national team do as well as it can, Keane decides rather than bottle it in and go out and try and do the best for his country, it’s more important to be able to tell the manager exactly what he thinks of him, so sod you Mr McCarthy, sod you team mates, and sod you fans of the Republic of Ireland, ‘cos I’m off home.

And there was the whole Man Utd thing as well. Imagine the scene: you’re the club captain, so you have a role where you’re expected to support the team and help represent other members of the team; you’ve missed a game through injury, the team didn’t do so well, and you’re asked to analyse how the game went. Do you:

  1. Suggest that the referee gave some poor decisions against you
  2. Suggest that your team mates were unlucky
  3. Suggest that your team mates played badly, but they will improve in future games
  4. Suggest that your team mates played badly, that several specifically named team mates aren’t good enough and don’t have the right attitude to play for the club?

You can probably hazard a guess as to the Roy Keane School Of Diplomacy option.

That’s why I’m not so keen on him. I’m also puzzled why Sunderland, who’ve not started the season well to be fair, and seem to be regarded as not having players of sufficient skill and quality would want to take on a rookie manager who gives the impression that his way of making people better is to shout at them until they play better. Do you not think sometimes an arm around the shoulder… ?

On the flip side, he was such a good player, part of me would like him to succeed because it would be a shame to see the undoubted talent and knowledge of the game disappear from the football entirely. But until I’m convinced he’s changed his personality somewhat, I think it would be a greater shame to see him stay in the game.

Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast; for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six

King James Bible, Book of Revelations, ch 13 v18

Interestingly enough, if you take the characters in ROY M KEANE, add up the ASCII values of those characters, and then take off seventeen (the number of years in his player career — from 1989 to 2006), you get six hundred and sixty six.

Is Roy Keane really the antichrist? You decide…

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20 Comments to Roy Keane, the antichrist, and Sunderland AFC

  1. Mike says:

    September 4th, 2006 at 1:50 pm

    The Roy Keane/ASCII bit at the end frightens me a bit…
    Did you work it out yourself, and how long did it take ?

  2. JackP says:

    September 4th, 2006 at 6:49 pm

    To be honest, I worked out what “ROY KEANE” came to and then just buggered about until I got numbers to fit. That’s the best thing about numerology, you can pretty much prove everyone is the antichrist, provided you’re willing to put the time in.

  3. Anonymous says:

    February 4th, 2007 at 3:59 am

    I have to say when the news broke about ‘Keano’ taking the helm at the ‘SOL’ I quietly thought the potential could be awesome – there is something special about that man. However as you pointed out there is a dark side to him and a dark corner of my mind shared your misgivings. Since then I have just closely watched, read, and discussed. Now I know I’m biased but over the years as a Sunderland fan I have witnessed so many false starts, lows and almosts that I should be addicted to antidepressants, but I’m now convinced that Roy keane will emerge as one of the most outstanding next generation managers. In my opinion Sunderland’s promotion struggle will be solved – only to be replaced with a new one….. Holding onto him. Whether I’m right or wrong only time will tell but believe me I know all the ingredients are there, just watch the Sunderland soufflé rise, Pete

  4. peter sunderland says:

    April 28th, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    hello me again as above ‘told you so’

  5. JackP says:

    April 28th, 2007 at 11:56 pm

    I can’t deny he’s been doing a damn good job as Sunderland manager so far. I still can’t quite get over the Alf Inge Haaland thing, but he’s certainly had a good three-quarters of a season.

    That’s not to say he’ll automatically continue to be a success next season: Stuart Pearce / Glenn Roeder have all gone hero to just-about-zero between one season and the next.

  6. peter sunderland says:

    May 1st, 2007 at 10:25 am

    Correct, it could be argued he’s only done the easy bit. What makes me optimistic are the factors: the reveue generated from promotion (estimated at 65 million pounds) Roy’s pedigree will enable him to attract better profile players – who have previously regarded SAFC an unfashionable club. It seems Quinn & Keano deeply care about all aspects of Sunderland AFC (not just winning a match on a Saturday I wrote in February “the ingredients are correct” I believe Roy keane has proved he’s a good cook who In my opinion knows he’s got the best kitchen staff and with funds to buy special ingeredients he’s going to be a Master Chef. Either way they are back where they should be and in the words of a very old showman called Al Jolson “you ain’t seen nothing yet.” As for Stuart Pearce: A heart on sleeve honest manager who I admire, but needs to take control of team like Leeds. I could have seen him lead them up and out of the championship ( bit late now).
    As for Glen (train spotter) Roeder… well words fail me. He’s probably a nice man but what were Newcastle thinking?. And don’t give me injury’s etc As a Sunderland fan I fear the worst – Sam Alladyce should be in place soon. He’s the man to bring home the bacon for you – he could enter magpie folklore

  7. Lee says:

    August 10th, 2007 at 10:12 pm

    Na Na Na Naaaaaaaaaaaahhhh Keeaaannnnnnnnnnnnooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

  8. fred says:

    September 10th, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    my grandfather was the great jim montgomery i was brought up in vauxs brewery where he looked after the dray horses although i now live in kent i still come the stadium to watch the best team . keano will do a good job hes the best manager weve had since reid got sacked
    by the way i still rtemember the old roker park and i have seats for sale.

  9. karl aisbitt says:

    April 17th, 2008 at 11:02 am

    well lads here we are in april 2008 and it looks like roy has proved everyone wrong ,,, what i really like is the way the sunderland board kept its nerve through the dark times when sunderland was struggling unlike some other teams who sacked their manager in a flash.. i may be proven very wrong by roy in years to come but i can honestly see great things coming from the sol in 5-10 years if the same infrastructure is still in place.. well done nial and co and of course mr keano…

  10. JackP says:

    April 18th, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    I would disagree with “Roy has proved everyone wrong”. He’s kept Sunderland up — barring a probability breakdown — but I think he’s not done anything to indicate he’s a managerial great.

    Winning a trophy — as McLaren did at Boro is a measure of success, and top 4 finishes (as Keegan, Robson, Dalglish achieved) are measures of a degree of success.

    But that’s not to say I think Keane’s no good: on the contrary, I’m very impressed with him and I think the way he has handled himself as a manager has shown respect for opponents and refs that was sadly lacking as a player. I think he may go far… but he’s not there yet.

    And as for the sacking the manager thing… you have Allardyce, then, if you think he’s that good!

    Roll on Sunday, eh?

  11. Peter Sunderland says:

    June 19th, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Hi again JackP

    Nice to read that you’re slowly coming round to my way of thinking :)

    Mind you I was a bit off the mark with the ill- fated Alladyce fiasco :(

    What are your thoughts on the messiah returning?

    PS.. by the way top ten finish for the black cats in 2009

  12. JackP says:

    December 5th, 2008 at 1:09 pm

    I have to admit I’m a little surprised Keane has gone so quickly; yes, I know Sunderland are in a slump, but every manager will go through that from time to time. The difference between an average manager and a good one is determined by how they get their team out of it.

    I continue to be impressed with the way Keane has handled himself in public with the media, refs and so on, but am now wondering whether there was something behind the scenes that we don’t know about.

    PS Peter, if you’ve got any sense, don’t go for Allardyce, ‘kay?

  13. karl aisbitt says:

    June 22nd, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    well thats me fecked !!! looks like roy has threw a strop a walked out on sunderland and joined ipswich!! last time i defend that hoor………. ahhhh welll could be worse

  14. JackP says:

    June 22nd, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    …talking of ‘could be worse’, have you seen Newcastle’s away kit? We’re going to spend half of next season looking like giant Soleros…

  15. Peter Sunderland says:

    June 30th, 2009 at 4:51 am

    Hi Jack P, long time no speak. My how fortunes change so quickly in football. I’m not here to gloat.. well maybe just a little bit. Seriously though Newcastle are in deep pooh mate, how do you see the immediate future panning out for your lads in black and white?

    I fear it could get much worse before it gets better – your thoughts Jack!

  16. JackP says:

    June 30th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    …black and white? I’ll settle for anything in black and white. As long as it’s not that hideous Solero-gone-wrong away strip.

    Nah, and then you’ve got hearing this morning that Freddie Shep might be buying the club back. It’s like seeing a light at the end of the tunnel only to spot it’s the express train heading straight for you…

    Ah, it’s not good at the moment, but we’ll be back eventually (although I can imagine it might take a few years to put right)

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