Irish Soccer Stand-off Continues

Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane may have gone their separate ways in Japan, but how will they work together in the future.

By Irish America Staff
August / September 2002
By Irish America Staff
August / September 2002

You may have thought that the World Cup and the Roy Keane saga was over, but a series of new books on Ireland’s soccer greats threatens to reopen the wounds and will undoubtedly lead to new conflict between the warring factions in Irish soccer.

Four explosive tell-all books are due for release in the coming weeks, starting with a Roy Keane biography penned by controversial soccer pundit Eamon Dunphy.

Keane, Ireland’s greatest soccer player, has vowed to hold nothing back when he recounts how he was sent packing from Japan by manager Mick McCarthy.

McCarthy also has a book coming out, which will outline what he has already described as the worst time in his life.

And if that wasn’t enough, sports journalist Paul Howard is due to publish a book outlining the long and tangled history between the manager and his star player.

Publication coincides with an independent investigation into how the Football Association of Ireland handled the whole sorry tale. It is widely predicted that heads will roll in the FAI as a result of the probe, and what effect that will have on the team and its manager remains to be seen.

Soccer commentator Liam Mackey expects the Irish manager to be under extreme pressure in the coming months. “The big question that remains to be answered is whether Roy Keane and Mick McCarthy can co-exist. At the moment all the evidence suggests that they can’t. If Keane decides not to return to the Irish squad then the road ahead is clearer for McCarthy. If he decides to come back then that will create difficulties.”

He believes that the book war, which is due to kick off at the end of August, will exacerbate the problem. “It will resurrect the mad civil war that we had in the run up to the World Cup.

“If there is too much grief, Mick McCarthy may well walk,” he says. ♦

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