Sunderland’s WAG-free zone
Who knew that Roy Keane had so much in common with Albert Reynolds? One of the former Taoiseach’s more embarrasing gaffes came during a Dail exchange many years ago when, replying to heckles from Fine Gael’s Nora Owens, he retorted …
Who knew that Roy Keane had so much in common with Albert Reynolds? One of the former Taoiseach’s more embarrasing gaffes came during a Dail exchange many years ago when, replying to heckles from Fine Gael’s Nora Owens, he retorted “there’s women for you now”.
Keane’s comments on why players aren’t interested in coming to Sunderland to ply their trade will probably be viewed in a similar light. They’re certainly as good as his prawn sandwiches outburst from a few years ago.
“If a player doesn’t want to come to Sunderland then all well and good,” said the former Manchester United captain and Ireland midfielder. “But if he decides he doesn’t want to come because his wife wants to go shopping in London, then it’s a sad state of affairs. It’s not a football move, it’s a lifestyle move. It tells me the player is weak and his wife runs his life.
“The idea of women running the show concerns me and worries me, but the players we’re talking about are soft. Priorities have changed in footballers and they are being dictated to by their wives.”
It gets better (or worse, depending on how you view these things)
“I could name three or four big players now, and clearly their wives are running their lives,” he claimed. “They’ve started doing photoshoots – and they’re getting dragged in by their partners.
“You can see quite clearly now with one or two of the big players that their wives and girlfriends are running their lives and that’s a bad sign. I might have to start persuading players that Sunderland’s closer to London than it really is. The player won’t say it but you know what they’re thinking because they say: ‘I need to speak to my wife’. “
Keane himself once nearly ended up playing in Italy. Not for the shopping, mind.
“A couple of years ago I nearly went to Juve. People spoke to me about Turin, and said it is this and it is that, but Milan would be nice. I said ‘I’m not going for the bloody shops; I’m going because it’s Juventus.’ You have to sign for footballing reasons. If you retire at 35 you can bloody well live wherever you want to then.
“Your football has to be your priority and you don’t have to live in London or Monaco to be happy. You don’t need to be surrounded by expensive shops or fancy cafes.”
You have to wonder what his chairman makes of all this. And the season isn’t even a week old yet.