This morning, Roy Keane announced he’s leaving his coaching role at Aston Villa to concentrate on the Republic of Ireland’s campaign to qualify for the European Championships. “My roles with Villa and Ireland and combining my commitment to these have become too much,” Keane said.
It’s easy to understand why Keane feels overcommitted. Since August, he has juggled managerial jobs in two different countries, promoted a best-selling autobiography laden with gratuitous sniping, and cultivated what I do not hesitate to call the scariest beard in football (sorry, Tim Howard). But earlier this month, when an Irish journalist asked Keane whether his book tour, which recently led to a fistfight with an autograph-seeker, and his Premier League job had become “distracting,” Keane responded with a polite, reasoned objection: “You think I’ve got to justify all that to you? Who the hell do you think you are?”
So today’s announcement marks an unusual moment in football history. Believe it or not, Roy Keane just admitted he was wrong.