Captain of Irish World Cup squad Keane sent home
May 23, 2002 6:12 AM   Subscribe

Captain of Irish World Cup squad Keane sent home
This is big news here in Ireland. He's our best player - he keeps the team together on the pitch. But after some incidents in the past couple of days, and some prima donna style behaviour (something he's always been known for), he's been told to feck off. I think the manager did the right thing, but I can't help thinking that our chances of getting out of our group have been diminished...
posted by tomcosgrave (27 comments total)
This is a huge blow for Ireland, and a blow for the world cup generally. Keane is one of the best midfielders in the world. Without him, Ireland will struggle to progress out of their group.
posted by salmacis at 6:19 AM on May 23, 2002

I guess you can possibly accept primadonna behavior if it comes from, let's say, a player like Maradona, or Platini, or maybe Ronaldo and Zidane. Awesome champions like them can really change a team's fortune because they bring the game to a different level

With all due respect for mr. Keane, well, he is not _that_ good. He's an effective player, not even in his prime. But he's no Zidane.

I'm not familiar with these accusations, but if they are true, then good riddance.
posted by matteo at 6:38 AM on May 23, 2002

The likelihood of Ireland going further than England in the Word Cup is again decreased. I feel a bit more relieved now. Hopefully for Ireland the team will be stronger, rally round and produce some brave performances.
posted by nedrichards at 6:42 AM on May 23, 2002

The picture of him at the training session shows him holding the ball perfectly for Rugby League. He's got good cover over the ball so it won't pop out in the tackle but his arm is held such that he can slip the ball out behind him to that lad running in support whilst stepping in the opposite direction to draw the tackler.

He's a nutter as well isn't he? He'd be perfect. If he's got nothing on this summer, and it seems like he might not have, then our open-age side are looking for a good centre. Easy travelling distance from Manchester.
posted by vbfg at 6:43 AM on May 23, 2002 "Hills have lengthened Republic of Ireland's World Cup odds from 80/1 to 100/1 after Roy Keane was sent home."
posted by pracowity at 6:47 AM on May 23, 2002

matteo, I agree he's no Zidane (who is?), but I think he's a bit better than you give him credit for... I think he's one of the few midfielders that can can literally control his team, in the sense that he can single-handedly dictate the pace of play. Even though I agree his behavior has been wretched, I'd be curious to hear what isn't being reported, as I'd think if you were one of your team's best players you'd literally need to commit murder to be shown off...
posted by jalexei at 7:23 AM on May 23, 2002

I don't want to start an England-Ireland flame war here ( I couldn't care less for both teams ), but if England can play without Gerrard ( a better and younger midfielder than Keane, sorry) and with a one-legged Beckham, then Ireland can kick out Keane and not shed many tears
posted by matteo at 7:37 AM on May 23, 2002

It is interesting to note that Steve Staunton, the new captain has said Keanes behaviour was unacceptable and that he had never seen anything like it. It is also significant that Niall Quinn, another senior player was with Mcarthy and Staunton at the press conference.
I dont think his absence will have much effect on Irelands chances of qualifying from the group , which were slim anyway. The fact that the squad as a whole will be happier without having a malevolent psychopath in their midst might even benefit them. They will be pulling together and striving to prove a point.
Good article on Keane here
Life seems less than serendipitous in the Swedish camp too
posted by Fat Buddha at 7:41 AM on May 23, 2002

I dont think his absence will have much effect on Irelands chances of qualifying from the group , which were slim anyway.

I disagree, at least I did before Keane got the flick - we knocked Holland out of qualifying. We held off Portugal to draws. We beat the Danes in a friendly - the only other team in Europe to beat them were France, the world champions.

Out of the teams we have to beat to qualify -

We beat Iran to qualify for the finals, who beat Saudi Arabia to qualify.

Germany are not what they were and are sruck with lots of injuries.

Our only problem would be Cameroon.

But with Keane, who held the team together so well, gone out of the squad, who knows what'll happen.

Rumours are also starting to circulate about why Keane was acting like he did - allegedly (and I stress allegedly) there will be a tabloid publishing a story about him on Sunday, about how he got a girl pregnant...he's trying to get an injunction against it, and also his wife is meant to have told him not to bother coming home.
posted by tomcosgrave at 8:06 AM on May 23, 2002

Things mightn't be that bad, one of our opponents Cameroon are on strike till they are guaranteed their wages, but at this stage i reckon they could be worth putting a few pounds on.
As for Keane, i don't rate him that much at all, i reckon his head has got a tad too bloated by the heaps of praise showered on him by the press. Damien Duff will be the (irish) star of the world cup, and rightly so. Keane does have a strong work rate, but isn't much more than a square ball merchant, so good riddance to him.
On a lighter note (?) the Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has been quoted as saying Keane "should be shot" for his behaviour. Way to go Bertie...
posted by kev23f at 8:09 AM on May 23, 2002

Keane, well, he is not _that_ good. He's an effective player, not even in his prime.

With all due respect Matteo but your opinion is bollocks - Keane is the one of the most influential players around and could walk into just about any team in the world.

Trouble is he's a prick and a united Ireland team is far more important than one where Keane is the sole world-class player. I wonder how sly McCarthy has been, maybe he has 'played' Keane - built the tension up to breaking point chucked him out and left himself with a united (and relieved) team and a 'hate' figure to prove wrong. From what Staunton has been saying it appears the team can now get on with enjoying their world cup.
posted by niceness at 8:14 AM on May 23, 2002

Roy Keane runs his mouth, gets all hotheaded on the pitch, but he understands the game and can rally players very well. However, if he didn't do that, guarantee he'd only be noticed as much as your a little better-than-average midfielder, and in terms of skill I think he's pretty overrated.

I think given the circumstances Ireland will probably be better off in the long run -- it all depends on their performance in their first match without him.

Just my opinions.
posted by dopamine at 9:19 AM on May 23, 2002

(great nick, really ironic btw... :) )
The man is what, 31, 32?, has run 100,000 miles in his career, and he is difficult, too. Three years ago I would have tried to sign him, not now, no.
He's a very good player past his prime, just like Guardiola for Spain.
Look, Maldini was one of the world's greatest players. Nowadays, not one single important team would sign him. I wouldn't tear my hair out if Maldini missed some games. Vieri and Nesta are much more important.
Roberto Baggio is out of Italy team because he's been judged not fit enough. If Baggio's home, Keane can stay home too
posted by matteo at 9:33 AM on May 23, 2002

Baggio's like 36, big difference between him and Keane.. Look at Manchester United with and without Keane - thats the kind of difference Ireland will have with/without him I reckon.. Mind you, I still think they'll qualify - Germany lost to Wales for heaven's sake (!). Damien Duff will be their best player - unless robbie keane gets in some decent form.
posted by Mossy at 9:51 AM on May 23, 2002

Matteo I understand what you're saying but I think Keane is habitually underrated because for the last few years he has been recognised as a 'one-club' man and therefore never mentioned in terms of transfer fees - no doubt he wouldn't put up with a mouthy agent either. Of course he's also Irish which doesn't help on the world stage (especially now!).

If he had been available, Real, Juve, Inter and Barca would have been waving their (tens of) millions a long time ago - big clubs aren't worried by temperament they encourage it.

The facts are that United are a very good team without Keane and a top-team with him. He's has continuously been one of maybe five European players who mean the difference between success and failure - a worldbeater. Beckham is worth probably 50 million but ask a (genuine) United fan who they would rather have in the team. No coincidence incidentally that Vieira has found that same substance this year.

For the record: I'm no United fan but I wish he'd come back to Forest.
posted by niceness at 9:55 AM on May 23, 2002

If the big teams wanted him so badly they would have been tapping him up, and there would be endless speculation in the tabloids about his worth.
I may be wrong here but I think that without him Utd won the European cup and with him they got knocked out in the semi final.
posted by Fat Buddha at 10:30 AM on May 23, 2002

Keane is one of the most commanding players I've ever seen, and I hate Man Utd with a passion. He's also a twat, and it's good that sportsmanship has prevailed here. I've got a lot more respect for Mick McCarthy as a result of this.
posted by boneybaloney at 10:34 AM on May 23, 2002

If the big teams wanted him so badly they would have been tapping him up

I don't know if that's the case - whatever you think of him, Keane is his own man, clubs can't 'tap' people up if there is no one to do their bidding and I can't imagine Keane allowing someone else to tout his name around Europe's tabloids. It's not that he's necessarily more principled, I just don't think he wants to live the pop-star bullshit. He only appears in the paper when he's sent off (or back).

Further evidence - where are the clubs tapping-up Beckham or Scholes?
posted by niceness at 10:41 AM on May 23, 2002

I concede that point niceness.
At the risk of incurring everyones wrath, can I remind people that I have set up a metafilter group in the yahoo prediction league. Group I.D : 18561
Password : Metafilter
posted by Fat Buddha at 11:09 AM on May 23, 2002

boney - you like will self and hate man utd? we gotta hang out.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:12 AM on May 23, 2002

where are the clubs tapping-up Beckham or Scholes
Beckham -- until he signed another contract with Utd -- got
Inter Milan and Milan AC extremely interested, apparently his wife didn't mind to move to Milan because of all the fashion designers being here (I'm not kidding, apparently she can veto a transfer if she doesn't like the place -- I hope you guys know that Zidane is in Madrid because his wife got sick of life in Turin and wanted to live in Spain).
Juventus was interested in Scholes last year, actually they're selling Thuram to Manchester so there's a link with the club, and they need a midfielder now that Edgard Davids is moving (to Roma or Lazio probably).

The facts are that United are a very good team without Keane and a top-team with him. He's has continuously been one of maybe five European players who mean the difference between success and failure - a worldbeater
Man, Utd's problem is the defense and the goalkeeper, not midfield even without Keane. The defense this year sucked ass, Blanc's dead (I know, I saw him exhale his last breath here in Milan, used to be a great player, I love "le president" but his legs don't move anymore sorry), Barthez made some ridiculous mistakes (sometimes worse than Taibi and that's saying much, but at least he's not a Nazi like that Australian guy), Sylvestre is no Roberto Carlos (I saw him too in Milan, believe me)
posted by matteo at 11:46 AM on May 23, 2002

For what it's worth, an Irish Times interview with Keane from yesterday.
In parts it reads like a James Kelman novel, the guy seems to be in genuine despair.
Interestingly, on 2 occasions he states that he is doing it for the people of Ireland, himself, and his family, no mention of the team. Regardless of his ability, is that a good trait in a captain?
posted by Fat Buddha at 11:48 AM on May 23, 2002

Matteo: I'd agree with your United team run-down - they've got some rebuilding to do - but not your assessment of Scholes and Beckham. They're two of the few cases of players who play for the team they actually support - and mean it. Beckham is a lifelong cockney red and Scholes was brought up in the shadow of Old Trafford - nothing, short of a blatant, taken-for-granted, piss-take on their contracts by the club, was going to force them to move before they're old.
posted by niceness at 3:34 PM on May 23, 2002

Yes, Beckham and Scholes, I think they'll stay in Manchester as long as Utd is a reasonably good team, I agree. I also think that Beckham -- wonderful player -- is too expensive anyway, and is untested when it comes to playing 34 games against Italian defense, maybe he wouldnt be that good in Italy, a strange league we have (may I remind you about Ian Rush, huge in England but disaster in Juventus, Gascoigne so good in England a joke at Lazio, Robby Keane was cut after 10 games for Inter 2 yrs ago and transfered to Leeds), it's hard to predict if a player will adapt well to Italian constant pressing and very tough defense (even Lopez and Mendieta and Farinos, wonderful at Valencia, are failures in Italy, embarrassing, they'll come back to Spain in the next few weeks, and Portugal's Rui Costa and Sergio Conceicao had a terrible year, maybe Jardel in Italy would be crap too -- strange league I told you). Ince played well for Inter, Liam Brady in the less recent past, you never can tell
But since Thuram is expensive and Ferguson wants him there was talk of a trade. Lippi likes Scholes, but now it looks like Utd will have to pay cash for Thuram
posted by matteo at 4:29 PM on May 23, 2002

One thought: compare Keane as a young player under Clough, and Keane as a mature player under Ferguson. You couldn't come up with two more different man-managers, and I suspect that Ferguson has capitalised on Keane's agression and ego where Clough tried to tame it. What might have been, eh?
posted by riviera at 6:17 PM on May 23, 2002

Robbie Keane was a whippersnapper when he went to Italy and it was a massive gamble by Inter. Rush was so insular he has been quoted as saying that playing in Italy was like being in another country. Gascoinge was injured and mad.
Trevor Francis, Joe Jordan Graeme Souness have all had some success in Italy, not to mention Dennis Law, Jimmy Greaves and John Charles.
posted by Fat Buddha at 12:31 AM on May 24, 2002

I seem to remember Ian Rush complaining that he couldn't get the right type of bread for toast in Italy.
posted by niceness at 2:49 AM on May 24, 2002

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