ROY Keane’s tenure at Ipswich Town has come to the end. The 39-year-old has parted ways with the Portman Road outfit following the 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest, their seventh loss in nine games.
The Tractor Boys are 19th in the Championship table but have flirted with the relegation zone for the past two seasons.
Keano will not lead the team into their FA Cup tie against Chelsea this weekend, nor the league cup semi-final with Arsenal next week.
Despite a spectacular start to his managerial career at Sunderland, leading them to the Premier League in his first season, Keane admitted that attracting players to Ipswich Town proved difficult.
Many will debate that the differences between been backed by a multi-million pound board at Sunderland and the more meagre resources at Ispwich undid Keano.
Others will point to his aggressive style of man-management, and suspect transfer activity.
While it would be easy to accuse him of displaying misjudgement over his signings, particularly over his hoovering up of Irish players, he deserves to be commended, at least on this side of the Irish Sea.
Keane liked footballers in his own image who were willing to work tirelessly for the team, and he associated this trait strongly with Irish players.
We shouldn’t dismiss the fact that he also gave Irish players their breaks, many at both the beginning and tail-end of their careers, out of his own experience as a young player coming over from Cork, and indeed his affection for his homeland.
Keane’s achievements at Sunderland will still make him an attractive option for many clubs. However, his ignominious exit from the Stadium of Light coupled with his struggles to repeat relative success at Ipswich will be a reality check for many, who assumed just because he was a great player, he would automatically make an exceptional manager.
It would be nice to think the game was that simple, but as Roy found out this week, he is just another victim of the perils of football management, as thousands were before and will be again.
The Corkman said it best himself;
“Even managers who win football matches lose their job, let alone managers who don’t.”