Friday, November 20, 2009

Keane's views on disputed "hand of Henry" goal will lead to further questions about his managerial style...

Even the most die-hard Roy Keane supporter will surely have been left dismayed following the Ipswich Town manager's rant over France's midweek winner in that World Club qualifying second-leg play-off.

The infamous "hand of Henry" goal led to Ireland's elimination and not surprisingly comparisons have been made with Maradona's 1986 "hand of god" goal. The manner of France's winning goal and Ireland's exit has left the world of football debating what should happen next. To his credit, the villain of the piece Thierry Henry has admitted the fairest outcome would be a replay. FIFA have yet to make a decision, though many expect the result to stand.

Former Republic of Ireland skipper Roy Keane has given his twopenneth and controversially he says the goal scored by William Gallas should stand, but the Manchester United legend didn't stop there; when asked for his views Keane said if he had been manager instead of blaming Henry he would have blamed his defenders and goalkeeper for allowing the ball to bounce in the area.

It is by no means the first time Keane will have dismayed his supporters and countrymen; in 2002 the Manchester United skipper fell out with the then Republic of Ireland manager at the World Cup when he made an alleged vicious foul-mouthed personal attack on Mick McCarthy.

Keane has had plenty to say about the Republic of Ireland setup and the FAI, some of his comments led to positive changes and no doubting players both past and present have benefited from improvements ranging from travelling first-class to training facilities; the point being, we should not forget Keane's positive contribution both on and off the field where he was quite simply magnificent.

However, on this occasion you have to wonder whether Keane's latest comments are tongue in cheek - the worrying alternative is he actually believes what he said about France's winning goal.

Ipswich Town supporters will also be concerned about Keane's comments, especially if their manager actually believes the Irish defenders and goalkeeper should have dealt with that bouncing ball, because Henry not only blatantly cheated when first controlling the ball with his hand, but he then used it a second time. There was also a suspicion of off-side. Keane says the Republic of Ireland players' missed their chances to score in both legs, which is another point of view, but no matter they did not deserve to be on the wrong end of such a travesty.

While to some degree it is refreshing to hear a manager not blaming the officials, it doesn't alter the fact that France won that hugely important fixture courtesy of blatant cheating and yes poor officiating, especially by the linesman who had a clear view of the second Henry handball.

Supporters and pundits alike have been left wondering about Keane and his managerial style, because if he genuinely would have blamed the likes of Richard Dunne and Shay Given it is really quite worrying. Players need the support of their manager when it is deserved and no one, not even Roy Keane could question the Republic of Ireland's commitment, defending, technique and organisation against France in midweek.

4 comments:

  1. course he's right what kind of defending was that so late in the game, should have done better and ireland didn't play that much better than france as they should have finished their chances.

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  2. As a Tractor Boy, I'm just embarrassed by his behaviour. He seems intent on trying to be bigger than the club at the moment (which I know isn't hard) which is disrespectful to those that held the post previous to him, including Sir Bobby.

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  3. Tony,

    I don't know about him being disrespectful to your club, but like I posted in the blog he is way off beam with his comments, but if he genuinely believes what he said about that French goal then it is very worrying because he was completely and utterly wrong.

    A manager has to know when to support his players and when to give them a dressing down - it comes down to man management and judgement and as far as I'm concerned it appears at least from his comments he is very poor on both fronts. Some of his former Sunderland players have questioned Keane on several levels and his latest outburst IMO add further weight to those claims.

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