Roy Keane loves a scrap – Mick McCarthy, Alf-Inge Haaland and Sir Alex Ferguson could vouch for that. His latest adversary is a female pilates instructor named Lisa, who landed the most telling blow on the former Manchester United midfielder since Brian Clough.
The Lisa in question is of course the wife of Michael Carrick, who Keane had accused of giving a "flat" interview after Manchester United had come Acropolis (sorry) at Olympiakos on Tuesday night. As if being telegenic in the tunnel is an essential part of being a professional footballer. Carrick had, as any one of his team-mates would have done, evaded the interviewer Gabriel Clarke's repeated attempts to get him to blame someone for the 2-0 defeat by saying United are still in the tie.
Keane blew his top, big time. He could barely get his words out, so flecked with spittle were his lips. This in turn incurred the wrath of Carrick's wife. She sent the following tweet on Tuesday night, which she then hastily deleted, once cyberspace had gone berserk: "Roy Keane what a **** says anything to provoke a reaction..That's all..Done.." (By the way, we haven't gone all prudish, she tweeted the asterisks – who knows what she actually meant.)
While part of a pundit's role is to provoke debate, Mrs Carrick was right to take Keane down a peg over his criticism of her other half's interview presence. If being charming in front of a camera was a pre-requisite to working in the Premier League, Paul Lambert would have been out of a job long ago.
And a quick YouTube trawl through Keane's interviews as a player reveal him to be a monosyllabic half-smiler who constantly gives a condescending look as if he knows a lot more than he is letting on. Riveting.
To give Carrick his due, he did well to even front up to face Clarke's tenacious questioning.
Oh, that other blow, courtesy of Clough? The then-Nottingham Forest manager asked Keane whether he had ever been punched really hard, after the midfielder's backpass had cost his side two points. "No," was the answer. Clough landed one in his midriff, leaving Keane doubled up on the dressing-room floor. "You have now," said Clough. Now Lisa's whack makes it two.
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