It goes without saying that everyone at some time or another has wanted to inflict some serious pain on their boss. Even if my boss was, say, that girl on the internet that can swallow a cucumber whole, I reckon ultimately I would still get pretty annoyed with it all and just want to be left alone. Imagine then if your boss was Roy Keane, one of the most fearsome, aggressive and hard-to-please men in the business, not to mention an Irishman. He demands 100% effort all the time, hates losing, and certainly does not accept tame excuses about missing trains or being hungover. In other words, he’s the antithesis of a perfect boss.
However, when he joins in with training at Sunderland, he’s apparently fair game on the 5-a-side pitch. Craig Gordon told The Daily Mirror today how the Black Cats relish getting stuck into their manager on the odd occasion he takes part in the kickabouts, knowing that he wouldn’t dare risk retaliating and injuring one of his own players. It is their brief moment in the sun, before being screamed back into the underground incestuous dungeon that is the dressing room for the rest of eternity. Well, the rest of that week anyway.
Gordon candidly revealed the truth behind the curtain: “Most of the time the manager tends to stand back and watch training, but now and again he takes part in the five-a-sides. He tackles, and people put tackles in on him because they see it as a chance to kick the manager - and you don't get that chance very often!” He innocently continued: “It's a game of football and if the ball is there to be won, you go for it, no matter who you're tackling. I'm sure the manager would not expect anything else from the players.”
Keane has reportedly spent the summer picking up coaching tips from the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team so expect Sunderland to be a fiercer proposition next season as they look to build on their impressive first season back in the big time. Also don’t be surprised if he comes back with a facial tattoo, and opens each game with what appears to be an epileptic fit directed menacingly at the opposition.