Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday November 18 2005
Tony Cascarino has been on the radio in Ireland today saying that Villa are the likely Premiership destination for Roy Keane. Almost by a process of elimination, Cascarino says that Keane wouldn't play for Chelsea or Arsenal, and that Liverpool are a no go as well. Newcastle don't need him, so that leaves Villa apparently. Also, Cascarino says that Keane and O'Leary have a long standing relationship and this is the reason why he is so confident.
Cascarino is right in what he says...
I've been saying it for MONTHS and the more and more I think about it, the more it seems plausible.
Here are the facts.
When Keane was first brought into the Republic of Ireland squad he was between agents and didn't know what to do. On the advice of David O'Leary, Keane contacted Michael Kennedy (O'Leary's agent) and Kennedy shortly afterwards became Keane's solicitor and agent. That's almost 14 years ago. To this day, Kennedy has never once billed Keane for the services he has provided. Not a penny. In his autobiography, Keane says that approaching Kennedy was the most important decision he has ever made in his career. And he says that he owes an immense debt of gratitude to David O'Leary.
O'Leary was one of the first on the phone to Keane when RK was thrown out of the Republic of Ireland squad before the World Cup in 2002. Remember this, Keane initially decided to leave the squad and to do so quietly but was asked to stay by McCarthy. The following day, McCarthy called a squad meeting and humiliated Keane in this meeting. It was this humiliation that led Keane to say to McCarthy 'You were a c*** in 1990 and a c*** in 1994. You were a c*** as a player and now you're a c*** as a manager. Does this mean I'm out of the squad.' When McCarthy said yes, Keane responded 'Stick your World Cup up your b*****.'
O'Leary tried to act as a mediator following this but McCarthy and some other squad members said Keane was not welcome back. Two of those squad members were Niall Quinn (who yesterday said that O'Leary sometimes rubs people up the wrong way. Exactly who, Niall?) and Steve Staunton (who was quickly moved on once O'Leary came to Villa, you'll remember).
The way I see it is this. If Keane wants to stay in the Premiership, he'll stay for footballing reasons and possibly for 6 or 18 months. He won't stay for money, he's more than enough of that now. He doesn't want to move to Glasgow because of the disruption it would cause his family. I would be VERY VERY VERY surprised if DOL hasn't had the conversation with Keane many times already, so if it happens it will happen quickly and easily. If there is any slow painful process, its not a goer.
That's just my tuppence worth anyway...
Date:Friday November 18 2005
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