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Keano gives FAI a right good bash March 22, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.

Roy Keane gave quite a frank interview when visiting Ireland to support the very worthy Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind’s “Shades” 2007 campaign yesterday. His mistrust and dislike of the F.A.I. and the way the organisation is run was clear to see.

When Saipan happened, I was annoyed with Keane for walking away (out?) from the World Cup but quickly realised that the things he had to say about the F.A.I. et al. was something we couldn’t ignore forever. Nowadays, I am a great admirer of Keane for the way he will speak his mind about these issues – it seems to me that a lot of what he says and a lot of his footballing opinions are based on common sense. When you compare this common sense approach to the current mess the Irish team faces, you get a clearer picture of the bag of shite job the F.A.I. are currently doing.

As Keane said, it all comes down to attitude. With no managerial experience, he himself has brought Sunderland from relegation candidates to promotion probables with the space of half a season. His team are playing with confidence and look likely to be successful in their efforts to return to the Premiership. You can be sure he takes no shit !

Contrast this with Stan “world class manager” Staunton and Bobby “nobody knows what he actually does” Robson, who since taking over the Irish team’s management has seen the side plummet in the rankings to 54th, below such football giants as Uzbekistan, Guinea and Cuba, of all places ! Not only have we a snowball’s chance in hell of qualifying for the next umpteen tournaments but we have now fallen to the depths of struggling to beat a team like San Marino and celebrating wildly when we do so in the last, gasp, lucky minute …

I remember thinking to myself as to what had gone wrong. Ireland had basically become a bad team overnight ! and continue to get worse. Just a couple of years ago we were in with a chance of qualifying for the World Cup but now the depths of seeding group 4 (or even 5 !) await … and as Roy Keane said “It’ll do !”. Fingers must be pointed at the manager in the immediate term and the parent organisation in the long term.

The points Keane makes are plainly obvious to the ordinary football savvy punter who will fill the stands on Saturday with false expectations of a huge upturn in our national team’s fortunes … the reality is very different – Staunton’s job must be on the line. The decisions he makes with regard to selection are verging on the ridiculous and the once “decent” players who played (and scored) in World Cup finals for Ireland have fallen away to struggling journeyman professionals with less than ambitious clubs.

Time for everyone to wake up and smell the re-hydrating decaffeinated isotonic sports drinks …

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1. laurie - March 22, 2007

we were in ireland when the whole roy keane and world cup thing exploded. it was amazing–we got as caught up in it as anyone else and we’d never even heard of him before we landed in dublin a week before.

we grew to quickly love him, though, for his intelligence and his passion. when we were having breakfast in ventry one morning our landlady popped her head around the doorway to tell us the sad news: John B. Keane had died overnight in Listowel, at the height of the writers festial.

and for a few panicked seconds, everyone at our table thought she was talking about roy….

2. laurie - March 22, 2007

ps i have to say how impressed i was that the irish times gave john b. two full pages inside after his death. i can’t think of a single writer in america who would warrant such treatment from, say, the new york times. or any newspaper.

3. bohsnews - March 22, 2007

You’re smelling the wrong sports drinks.
Ireland deserves its lowly world ranking in football, because we have made no effort to develop the game beyond schoolboy level in our country, and because most Irish people support British teams, to the exclusion of the domestic game.
We got away with it for a couple of decades, because we had a clutch of brilliant players, like Keane, or John Giles or Liam Brady, at the top of the world’s greatest league. Those days are over. Now, that league has gone global, and our lads have been displaced and we are left with a few mid-table figures surrounded by England A.
Keane is right about motivation, from a player and management point of view, but that is only part of the story. It’s all very well to talk about winning, but you have to do the hard work first.
When the FAI, the Sports Council and the other powers that be start putting the same resources into football as our competitors, and we still fail, then we will have a right to complain about our manager.

4. Rambling Man - March 22, 2007

i agree with you bohsnews – but the manager we have now, despite what may or may not happen at grass roots level – is an eejit. i dont think he inspires confidence. how do you get the fai to take notice of what everyone thinks when something like genesis didn’t get the treatment it deserved.

5. Rambling Man - March 22, 2007

thanks for the comments laurie – i added the 3 dog blog (great name!) to my blogroll …

6. Laurie - March 22, 2007

wow, thanks!

7. bohsnews - March 24, 2007

Too much respect given to Genesis, IMO. What do you do when you don’t want to do anything? Get the consultants in. And if you read Genesis, some of the rationale is wafer-thin.
It’s easy to knock the manager and the players. I’m not convinced by Staunton, but he certainly is not the source of our woes. Our problem is with our fundamental approach to the game, starting with our starry-eyed, constant focus on football elsewhere and our foolish sense of entitlement to be ranked, sans input or effort, as one of the world’s great footballing nations.

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