Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Sad" Roy Keane Urged To Move on by FAI Chief John Delaney

On Friday afternoon Roy Keane's outburst about Ireland's loss to France surprised everyone. His constant use of the phrase "get over it" has now come back at him as FAI Chief, John Delaney has hit back at the "sad" Keane and told him to "get over Saipan."

It was a strangely aggressive Keane that took to the press conference podium at Portman Road. His body language was simmering even before any questions were asked.
He seemed like a lion, waiting to ambush, before he gets ambushed himself.
When asked if he had any words on Ireland's defeat after Thierry Henry's handball he had this to say:
"Ireland had chances at Croke Park and in Paris but didn't take them," he said. "France were there for the taking but Ireland never grabbed it–as usual ." 
"They were afraid of that next step and were mentally not strong enough ." 
"They can complain all they want. That is not going to change anything. France are going to the World Cup–get over it . They want sympathy as usual. It is the usual carry on and it is boring. Get over it. " 
"It is the usual FAI reaction -'we've been robbed,' 'the honesty of the game' but there was one of the group matches [Georgia] when Ireland got a penalty for a handball and no one had appealed for it."
"It was one of the worst decisions I have ever seen and it changed the game and the group. Robbie Keane scored the penalty and Ireland went on to win but I don't remember the FAI saying 'You know what? The referee made a howler, let's give them a replay.' It is the same principle." 
"It [Henry's handball to set up William Gallas's decisive goal] was instinct for Henry. Would I call him a cheat? No I wouldn't think so. Did he bend the rule a little? Maybe. You see cheating going on all the time. Nobody wants a cheat. I wouldn't agree that Henry is a cheat. He is a top, top player who took advantage of the situation."
"I don't feel the game has been damaged one bit. Ireland had the chances. They never took the chance in the first game. They never performed. I heard an interview after the first game when the manager said none of the players got booked–maybe that was the problem, maybe the players should have got booked because they stood off France. In the second game we had opportunities and didn't take them."
While Keane did make some valid points during his statement on Ireland, the vitriol in which he went about it was there for all to see.
Keane obviously still has some pent up anger towards the FAI, most likely about Saipan in 2006, where he left the Irish World Cup squad after a massive argument with Mick McCarthy.
It was also very strange to hear Keane try to direct his rage towards Shay Given, who made his 102nd appearance for Ireland on Wednesday.
But he reserved special attention for John Delaney.
"He talks about the honesty and integrity of the game but I would not take any notice of that man," Keane said. 
"People forget what went on in the World Cup in 2002 and that man talks about honesty. I have been involved with Ireland since I was 15 years but he didn't have the decency to even make a phone call–and he goes on about the honesty of the game."
The manner in which Keane made these statements on Friday were strange to say the least. He directed the press conference towards the Irish game, and then appeared to get something off his chest by attacking the FAI and Delaney in particular.
In truth, Keane came off like a struggling individual. A worrying case for all those who idolized him and who have backed him through thick and thin.
One would almost think that he is on the verge of becoming a caricature of himself, a David Brent of football, if he is not too careful.
On Sunday night, FAI Chief John Delaney urged Keane to let go of Saipan, turning the Corkman's words on himself by telling him that he should be the one to let it go.
"It's just a side-show." 
"We've all moved on from Saipan-Niall Quinn, Mick McCarthy, the FAI and all the players- but it seems to me that he (Keane) hasn't." 
"It's time for him now, in my opinion, to learn from the past-not live with it." 
"I really thought the images shown around the world on Friday were very sad-it's sad to see a great former player reflected in the manner as he did." 
"It's time to forget about Saipan and move on-because everyone else has."
In this respect, John Delaney is right.
Saipan was seven years ago, everyone has moved on, it's time to let it go.
Paul McGrath, a friend of Keane wrote on Sunday that he was looking at the press conference screaming at Roy on the TV to "stop" and to "shut up", wondering what he was doing.
The giant Irishman is one of a select few who know the full story of what happened in Saipan, and is a known backer of Keane. But even he saw the impending breakdown that is looming on the horizon for the ex-Manchester United player.
For his own sake, Keane needs to let go, and to learn how to deal with these situations in a better manner. His future as a manager and as a person, depends on it.

Follow Premier League Report on Twitter: twitter / PremLgeReport