There’s no doubt Aston Villa assistant manager Roy Keane has been a refreshing tonic for Villa fans this season. From his prowling touchline confrontations with officials and blanking of Mourinho, to his beard and book antics. It’s good to have characters at Villa Park and he’s also helped take a bit of pressure off Paul Lambert.
Of course, there was a concern in the past week that Keane was threatening to become something of a circus sideshow that was going to distract from his day-to-day at Villa, but the media excitement from his best-selling book ‘The Second Half’ conveniently fell during the international break (as did the shaving of his increasingly infamous beard), thus never distracting from his Villa duty.
Keane, as most Villans will know, was only ever going to be a temporary appointment in the context of what was a ‘up for sale’ limbo period for the club. As MOMS suggested before the appointment was made, it made a lot of sense.
While Keane has admitted to having a ‘soft spot’ for Villa, there’s no doubting his loyalty lies with the Ireland job .
“I feel that if I am taking my eye off the ball with Ireland, then I will leave Aston Villa,” said Keane, during the last international break.
“There is no doubt about that. I have told Paul Lambert that, told Martin that and told the FAI that.”
His job at Villa does by his own admission aid his Irish duty and is very much a hand-in-glove fit though.
“I’m still getting to games, I am on the training pitch at Villa, improving and am working with Irish lads like young Jack Grealish,” he said.
“At the moment, it is OK. If we lose three or four on the spin (with Ireland), then I will leave Villa.”
Ironically, if he felt the same way about Villa and his words were reversed, after Villa’s recent four losses on the trot, he would have quit his Irish job this week.
In his interview with the BBC done to promote his book, Keane said he only ever looked a week ahead at Villa. Hopefully, he’ll make it as Aston Villa assistant manager to the end of the season. Beyond that though? It’s anyone’s guess.