The Second Half
with Roddy Doyle
This is NOT an autobiography, don’t confuse it with one. It’s not a Roddy Doyle book, don’t confuse it with one. It is a series of anecdotes told by Roy Keane to Roddy Doyle about his life that he didn’t really get to put into his first book. It has some tales of life since that was released too.
It has been hailed as a masterpiece of the genre, which it could well be but it is not a masterpiece. It is an interesting collection of stories but deep down it all depends what side you are on with Roy Keane. Bizarrely enough I’m on both sides.
Autoboigraphical books can be a bit of a curse, people can come across as egotistical just because they talk aboout themselves. It’s really an Irish thing, we don’t congratulate sucess that well as a nation. Roy is a hugely acclaimed sportsman, extremely driven and sucessful yet we look for the downfalls. This book is not about his achievements it’s his stories of how he deals with people. Thankfully he does acknowledge mistakes, however it is all about the results and so your own personal viewpoint can’t help but be raised in reacting to his words. He speaks about hiding the fact that he hid crying for two hours after leavinbg Manchester United. His family role seems to be one of the tough guy too. This tough guy image is one he can’t shake off. Especially when he mentions that he ‘might have been grappling’ with a player during an exchange of opinions.
Of course I got fixated on items I could call contradictory – an Irishman from Cork talking about ‘Boxing Day’ for example. Or when he speaks of foriegn lads playing football. As a professional working in a different country to the one he was born in does that make him one of the ‘foreign’ lads. As manager of Sunderland he worked with a consortium of fellow Irish men, are these the foriegn lads he talks of? I’m pretty sure it’s not but why not?
All in all it is enjoyable getting an insight into his opinion on certain players and the odd remark about right backs lack of physicality leads me to think that the Neville household mightn’t be on his Christmas Card list. Keane has admiration for players that stand up for themselves but don’t push things too far against their manager. That is what he may be remembered by many for despite being on of Irelands most sucessful footballers.