Monday, July 18, 2005

Keane: The Autobiography

I've been boring everyone I know half blind with my love for this book, but hell, the whole purpose of a blog as far as I can see is to fully hammer to death ideas that people would otherwise stop me talking about because I was boring them. I have really been enjoying Roy Keane's autobiography. It's very well written. The tone of his writing is good. Exciting. Short sentences as punchy as the man himself. He is introspective and broody, but tries to get away from the idea that he is a loner. He likes a drink as much as the next man. Sometimes too much. The season was tough. He is tougher. He owes it to the gafer. To the bosses who have shown faith in him. To Clough. To Ferguson. He is a pro. And he admires pros. There are too many players out there who thinnk that the game owes them a living. But not Keane.

(Sorry, it's quite addictive.)

Anyway, what I was going to say (and this is true of all autobiographies), is that you initially want to flick to the parts of the book that contain either the repudiation or the admission of the myths and rumours that have grown up around the celebrity. For Keane, these are his run-ins with Alfie Inge Haaland, (Leeds/Man City player who was never the same again after a Keane tackle) and his run-ins with Mick McCarthy (which legend has it that he quit the Irish team in the 2002 World Cup with the words 'Stick it up your bollocks. You're not even Irish you English cunt'). And in order to get this out of the way before you launch into reading the book proper, if indeed you ever do, you need a proper thematic index. I offer you here the thematic index to Keane: The Autobiography.

Cantona, Eric: aloofness of, 69; allrightness of in private, 71; unexpected talent for swearing, 72-8

Charlton, “Big Jackie” Jack: undeserved reputation as halfway able manager of, 86-90; truisms spouted by, 88; crapness of, 85-100; increased crapness of sidekick, see Setters, Maurice

Dalgliesh, Kenny: self-considered non-fuckability with of, 88; is fucked with, 89

Drinking: proficiency in, 12-13, 25, 32, 67-9, 78-82, 134, 176; fondness for, 13, 65, 79; retrospective regret for, 236

Facilities: annoyance at lack of, see Wembley, Landsowne Rd, USA, Etc.

Ferguson, Alex: drooling testimonials to the greatness of, 96-108, 110-301; powers of omnipotence attributed to, 265; overuse of the word ‘manage’ in relation to, 242; ability of to be one step ahead of the game, 183

Gladhandling: dislike of, 34, 37, 89, 190

Haaland, Alfie: tackles against, 99, 178; grievances nursed against, 100-176

Ireland, Republic of: woeful preparations, administration, facilities and management of, 13-23, 45, 78; the above in comparison to Nottingham Forest and Manchester United, 79, 101, 106-7

Late tackles: approval of, 52, 78; ability to commit, 49, 88

Living: dislike of players who consider the game owes them a, 15-18, 98-105

Neville, Gary: sinister assertion that he was never a kid, 154

Pearce, Stuart: idolisation of, 35-46, 48-9, 101, 134; professionalism of, 35-46, 48-9, 101, 134; hardness of 35-46, 48-9, 101, 134

Professionalism: approval of, 1-15, 17-60, 65-80, 98-253

Robson, Bryan: Steve Bruce almost as good as, 182

Schmeichel, Peter: dislike of, 109, 120-1; posing of, 115

Setters, Maurice: sound of an axe being ground against, 92-3, 147-9, 201

Small-talk: dislike of, 56, 82-3, 99, 103-4, 203

Solskjaer, Ole Gunnar: assertion that he is a baby-faced assassin, 153; literal assertion that both baby-faced and an assassin, 153; unspellability of, 153

Swearing: talent of Eric Cantona for, see Cantona, Eric; author’s gratuitous uses of, 1-156, 158-301

Third person: self referred to in, 2, 5, 8-25, 34, 44, 56-79, 92-100, 108-156, 180, 182, 223-256, 258-300

Tracksuits: incorrect size of in RoI training, 84

Violence: justifications for, 22, 35, 46-8, 66, 84, 91-3, 110-2, 115, 118, 164

Wembley: on failing to be turned on by, 170

And that's quite enough of that, except to sum up the book in the style of its author:

Blows were exchanged. I gave as good as I got.


  1. It's probably time for you to change your football team again, Jimpo ;-)

  2. Oi! You don't want to anger someone who's just read Keane: The Autobiography. I'm likely to scowl, swear, bear a grudge and then come in for a high-footed tackle late on in the game. Like Alan Shearer, he's not a fan of bullshitters. But then again, who is? I've looked, and a google search on "bullshit appreciation society" brings up this page which is a masterful stroke on google's part. Well done Google. Good dog.

  3. Sorry, like Alan Sugar he's not a fan of bullshitters. Alan Shearer, as we all know, is a terrible terrible stain on the trousers of humanity, and is more than likely a bullshitter supreme.