The Second Half by Roy Keane, Roddy Doyle

Keane

The incendiary image of a remorseless Roy Keane, hovering over, and abusing a seriously injured Alfie Haland (the injury in itself courtesy, a Keane tackle) not only left a bitter taste in the mouths of millions of football fans across the globe, but also had the undesirable effect of casting the former Manchester United midfielder and Irish Captain in an absolutely fiendish light.

A footballer with a short fuse, pugnacious style and a never-say-die attitude, Roy Keane was the bedrock of the Manchester United midfield and the engineer of many an audacious moves. In this new quasi-autobiography, penned in tandem with Roddy Doyle (Of “Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha” fame), Keane adopts a style of narrative none too different from his playing style. Not holding back anything, using liberal self deprecation and hindsight, Keane introspects on both what happened and what could have happened. The result is a delectable mixture laced with expletives, loaded with acrimony all layered over with a sense of cordial amicability.

What sets this book apart from others of its ilk is the truthful account of Keane’s triumph’s and travails during his stint as a Manager at both Sunderland and Ipswich. While a few incidents such as holding down an opponents coaching staff by his head on a table, while trying to tear away his tie at the same time, will leave the reader thinking Keane to be an incorrigible brat, stuff such as refusing to talk to Robbie Savage over a potential deal after hearing a message on his voice mail, is sure to leave one in splits!

The Ferguson fracas gets a nice side step, although the Gaffer has his share of publicity (both positive and negative). Brian Clough garners the greatest respect,while the contender for the most hated opponent is, as could be even a blind bat’s guess – the unfortunate Alfie Haland. His trysts with TV Punditry and assistant to Paul Lambert at Aston Villa makes for some revealing reading.

On the whole this book, its simplistic, fundamental and rustic style of writing makes its mark and strikes at the heart of human emotions and feelings – that very act which it’s author excelled at as a player!

“The Second Half” – A full time entertainer!

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