Roy Keane Sees An Unkind Correlation For His Countrymen

Roy Keane, currently coaching Ipswich in the English second division (the Championship), has never been politically correct, though today’s comments about his country’s players (and their affinity for the drink) are destined to spark a backlash.

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The former captain of the Ireland national team notices the following correlation, as published in The Guardian:

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“Living in Ireland, the drink is going to be there all the time,” said Keane. "When I come back I get a bit of a buzz for two or three days. I think it’s embedded in us. This thing, ’let’s get out, there’s something on here and there’. Drink. It’s in the air. Especially when you stop playing and you are getting up for the day and there is no buzz, you need it.

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“It’s a problem. It’s there, especially in the Irish players, I notice. In my short time in management I notice that just about every incident we have had to deal with that is drink-related, it is Irish lads. It’s an issue with Irish players. Always.”

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If Keane-o is a bit biting with his criticisms, he’s always introspective:

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“When I was having my own escapades I hope I was being young and raw and stupid. I went too far sometimes, but my social life in that way had a short life-span. Burned out. The penny dropped a few years ago for a number of reasons. Thank God.”

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Being neither Irish nor a former member of the Irish national team, I’ll have to take Keane’s word for it, though it’s important to note which way he’s drawing the relationship. When he’s seeing alcohol-related problems, “just about every incident” points to “Irish players,” and we shouldn’t take his words too literally.

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He is not saying that every Irish player has alcohol problems.

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If that softens the blow at all.

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