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The Second Half Hardcover – 9 Oct 2014
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Roy Keane's book is a masterpiece: The Second Half gives a startling account of his colourful career and reveals the hard-man midfielder's long-hidden good points... Keane's book, ghost-written by Roddy Doyle, is an endlessly absorbing piece of work. It may well be the finest, most incisive deconstruction of football management that the game has ever produced (Patrick Collins THE MAIL ON SUNDAY)
There is much in Roy Keane's new book that is thoughtful and self-mocking, insightful and funny (George Caulkin THE TIMES)
Keane's book - ghosted by Roddy Doyle - is brutal, amusing and self-deprecating, often at the same time (Des Kelly EVENING STANDARD)
Roddy Doyle's works, mostly set in a fictional Dublin suburb, often star quietly frustrated everymen, and it's this book's achievement to make you see its mighty subject in that light (Anthony Cummins THE TELEGRAPH)
It is the dearth of integrity that makes Pietersen such a peevish, trifling character, and the surfeit that makes Keane so entrancingly epic... the personification of honest to a fault... he is as close as sport can offer to an Old Testament prophet. Heroically unconcerned with being loved, almost insanely devoted to telling what he regards as the plain truth, he may not always be engaging. But... he stands out as utterly and irreducibly true to himself (Matthew Norman THE INDEPENDENT)
The best things are the small things: regretting joining Ipswich when he discovered the training kit was blue; refusing to sign Robbie Savage because his answerphone message was rubbish; being appalled that his side had listened to an Abba song before playing football. The irrational, blistering intolerance is delicious. Keane famously detested yes-men; he created himself as the ultimate no-man. And he's still here (Dan Jones EVENING STANDARD)
I've just got my copy of The Second Half and although I'm only a couple of chapters into it, it has not disappointed. People have their own opinions of Roy and some would be fearful of him, given how outspoken he can be. I have always judged people how I find them and I can honestly say I have never found a fault in him... He had a fabulous career and I know I'm going to enjoy reading about it (Jamie Carragher DAILY MAIL)
When Keane says anything, listening is usually the best option. He's scarily extreme, dangerously provocative, oxy-acetylene forthright... and hugely entertaining... Self-desctruction, self-pity, self-laceration - his latest unburdening has all this and more. His book reveals more flaws and admits to more mistakes than Sir Alex Ferguson did in his last literary effort - and Keane's is much funnier (Aidan Smith SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)
I'm surprised how much Roy Keane's second autobiography made me laugh... More importantly the book told me that Keane should be the next Manchester United manager. The more I read what he had to say, and his reflections on his two jobs as boss, the more I realised how perfect he would be at Old Trafford (Adrian Durham MAIL ONLINE)
A book that offers great insight into the modern manager's job... The book does not attempt to deflect the mistakes Keane made but it adds a dimension to the man. Especially in his reflections on small details of behaviour, and there are scores of them... Keane must hope that the decision-makers in football take the trouble to read the book itself (Sam Wallace i NEWSPAPER)
Memoir by one of the greatest of modern footballers, and former captain of Manchester United and Ireland, Roy Keane - co-written in a unique collaboration with Man Booker Prize-winner Roddy Doyle.See all Product description
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On occasion Roy Keane is introspective. But his thoughts are portrayed with skill and meaning. He is a powerful and moody man who benefits from the solace and assurance of a religious faith. He is clearly not an easy man but he comes across as honest, sincere and willing to admit his mistakes. And he's straightforward too. He quotes Brian Clough as saying, "that's the trouble with football - there's too much tactics" and continues that, "my job [as a pundit] was to keep it simple". That he does, to great effect. He and Roddy Doyle have done a very good job in that respect.
The real story, however, is in the second half of the book. There have been good books on managing teams, and many manager autobiographies, but very few on what it really *feels* like to be a manager. Keane and Roddy Doyle's engaging storytelling make his time at Sunderland in particular some of the most eye-opening, and candid chapters I've read in any non-fiction book. The feeling of losing, the constant agonising over his decisions, the importance of good characters in the dressing room, his relationships with not just the football staff but all the people who make up a football club, the awkward, occasionally hilarious post-match drinks with opposing managers, his worries over how he is perceived, and the ridiculous world of football transfer negotiations are all laid bare in outstanding detail. The anecdotes in this period are brilliant, my favourite being his interactions with the club masseuse, showing just how many things a Premier League manager must handle in this modern era. The Ipswich chapters are a bit different, more analytical, going through where he went wrong, be it his mishandling of Jon Walters or the infamous sale of Jordan Rhodes. This doesn't mean that they're any less revealing though, with Keane incredibly writing that not once during his time there did the chief executive, owner, and himself meet in the same room. Some of the things that aren't thought about by the general football fan when it comes to managers - for instance whether Keane and his wife can easily find a Catholic School for the kids in Ipswich - are mentioned here, and the manager chapters are illuminating for this reason.
Throughout the book, Keane makes clear he has unfinished business in management, with the jobs as assistant at Villa and Ireland acting as a stepping stone back into the game which he says he has rekindled a love for. While out of the game, he did punditry, which he says himself is a job he has little respect for, but acknowledges how it kept him busy, and crucially, put him back into contact with ex-pros who he regards as friends, and working with Martin O'Neill on TV indirectly led to the Ireland job. The often lonely world of pro football is contrasted with how much fun he has on away trips to cover the Champions League on ITV, enjoying the company of Chiles and Dixon (despite what it looks like on screen) doing things he would never do as a player, like sightseeing.
Unlike most players, Keane is a complex character, clearly a man of intelligence, but often too obsessed with feelings of pride and loyalty to make rational decisions. He talks emotionally and honestly about his anger and rage, about his status as a celebrity, the reputation he has as a 'madman', which although he resents, is forced to admit has worked in his favour sometimes. Keane's opinions on the modern game are fascinating and there are plenty across the book. The anecdotes are numerous and reveal a lot, for example, Mikael Silvestre implying to Keane that Zidane, Thuram and Makelele only came out of retirement for France in the 2006 qualifiers as a result of huge financial incentives from the French FA. Credit must go to Roddy Doyle, for although Keane is fascinating, it takes a skilful ghost-writer to coax something so brilliant for what is essentially a football autobiography. But as we all know, Keane is no average footballer. The book is not just a brutally honest account of the last decade from one of the best players of his generation, it almost breaks new ground for the genre.
Always engaging, tremendously honest, and occasionally funny, a superb book by a captivating figure in British and Irish sport.
Throughout, Keane's contrarian nature is to the fore and at times it just read - to me anyway - as an exercise in grinding self- indulgence and introspection. Hope the guy finds some peace within himself one day soon but I wouldn't bank on it.
Would have been nice to learn a little about Keane behind the eyes and particularly between the ears. Family hardly mentioned.
I've never been a fan of any of the team's Keane has played for or managed but he is no doubt one of the best Premiership players I've ever seen. The night in Turin against Juventus was one of the greatest individual performances I've seen from footballer and will live long in my memory.
It definitely feels like a part two, in part due to the speed it can be read in and also how it very much focuses on his managerial career and Keane 's last days at Manchester United. For fans of Keane, United or even Sunderland this is an enjoyable insight into Roy Keane 's footballing life.
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