Keane goes on the attack against Arsenal over one word!

By Tony Attwood

In the UK, as indeed in America and some West European countries, we tend to hold our opinions in very high regard.  We take our opinion or view as an ultimate reality.  I see it this way, I think my view is right, and so I am right!

Extend this one step, and if you hear someone espouse the opposite view, then that person is an idiot.  It is self-evidently so, because one’s own view is right, and the other person can’t see it.

Out of this comes “fake news”.  A person in the USA hears a report that says that America has had more deaths from coronavirus than any other country and simply denounces it as “fake news”, without any enquiry into the facts, is delivering the standard “I’m right you are wrong, I don’t need to know anything else,” view.

Roy Keane did this on Sky Sports, after hearing Aubameyang call his manager “Mikel”.   Keane said on Sky Sports, “They didn’t show him respect when they called him by his name Mikel. He is the manager, the boss, the gaffer. That’s respect. Not ‘Mikel’.”

There’s no evidence presented, no background, no nothing.  Just a statement.  Keane is saying, “I am right, this is definitive, trust me I know.”  And the notion that respect can be defined through the use of one word is a very narrow measure.  For most people I think respect comes from much deeper than that.

The trouble with this approach is that first, the asserted statement could be wrong, and so would be misleading.  But there’s no time to establish that because already we are onto another false statement and another and another.

Take the case of Elneny, which we have looked at a few times already.   A number of people said he was useless.  The only reason I could see given was that he didn’t pass the ball forward.  I then remembered Gilberto who was known for sideways passes.  Not a bad model.

But supposing Elneny’s job was to break up attacks, to intercept, to do quick tackles if necessary, and then pass the ball to an accurate long-distance passer.

Now we really are back to Gilberto Silva.   When he first came to Arsenal he got negative publicity, first because most people didn’t understand the “invisible wall” concept, and second because Gilberto was adjusting to Arsenal and his fellow players.   But fortunately Wenger knew how to shield his players from the immediate statements and conclusions that poured out from the media and fanbase, and Gilberto’s confidence grew.

I am not saying that Elneny is Gilberto, but I am saying that he is the sort of player whose value to the team can be missed by people like the Keane chap, who love to make immediate points.  Keane might have been a great player but he is not a great at understanding other people and helping them develop, which might explain why he has been so awful as a manager.  With Sunderland he had a win rate of 42% while at Ipswich he had a win rate of 34.6%.

Mikel Arteta after 40 games has a win rate of 57.5%.  Unai Emery after 78 games had a win percentage of 55.13%.   Arsene Wenger after 1,235 games had a win rate of 57.25%.  Even Bruce Rioch who is not generally held in high regard as a manager of Arsenal had a win rate of 46.81% from his 47 games and so was better than Keane.  But it is Keane’s voice that is heard.

I’m not saying someone like Keane should not be paid for his opinions, but it would be good if TV and radio could balance that with the opinions of someone who has been successful in football.

But the media seems to like opinion, because facts are very inconvenient.

5 Replies to “Keane goes on the attack against Arsenal over one word!”

  1. Talking of SKY pundits, what about Tim Cahill? What a breath of fresh air. Clear, concise, knowledgable and what’s more he doesn’t appear to have an agenda against Arsenal, in fact he gave the most positive assessment of us I’ve heard in a long time, and boy did it upset Keane, which actually made it all the more enjoyable 😀

    Unfortunately that will probably be the last we see of Cahill with that sort of attitude 🤣

  2. Tim Cahill clearly has a high regard for Mikel Arteta. I presume that this dates from their time at Everton.

    His positive comments about Arsenal reflect this.

    Tony, you are right to remind people of Roy Keane’s record of failure as a manager. This is, of course, a common feature of pundits who are quick to criticise any manager of Arsenal. In no particular order the names Shearer, Souness, Sherwood, Scholes and Neville come to mind. (although Neville is homest enough to admit that he was useless in Spain).

    Perhaps the bottom of the barrel in this area has been reached with Pulis appearing on Sky. He did have some achievement as a manager, but only in destroying football as a spectacle and in effectively putting opponents out of the game.

  3. The thing is John these guys seem to have absolutely no self awareness whatsoever. Take this from Souness the other day talking about Pickfords challange on Van Dyke:

    “Graeme Souness has branded Jordan Pickford’s horror challenge on Virgil van Dijk ‘an assault’, and expressed his amazement that the Everton goalkeeper escaped punishment”.

    That from the man responsible for this little lot:

    Honestly it beggars belief that he can sit there and say that with a straight face.

  4. Nitram – add the Keane book where he admits GBH and didn’t get put away. These evil exponents of the dirty side of the game are given the glory to comment on the exponents of the beautiful game.

  5. Would anyone pay good money to hear the crap these managerial failures espouse ? They were (mostly) good players , but am sure that their then respective managers did not discuss team tactics or selection options with them before setting up the teams !

    We can still ask SAF this , and watch his face turn red as a beetroot ! As I remember Keane was shown the exit door at Old Trafford for negative comments against some of his the team mates , and probably on the failure of tactics. And that too on their own in house programme .

    The money could be better spent on children’s breakfast , or Covid 19 test kits , or on unemployed dinosaurs !

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