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Raving Roy on borrowed time?

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Robbo Robson | 12:29 UK time, Monday, 5 October 2009

Can you see it coming?

The faint growth of beard; the hands twitching in the pockets and reaching for the dogs' leashes; the post-match stonewalling of the awkward questions; start the car, Mr Clegg, 'cos Keano could be on his way.

The most obvious signs that Ipswich are going to need a new manager for Christmas was the little interview on Saturday evening. When Keane says 'I refuse to answer that question' the eyes go so cold and clinical that I fear he's re-imagining the reporter's head as the leg of Alf-Inge Haaland.

It's chilling. It makes Hannibal Lecter look like a puppy wrapped in bog roll. Roy should jack in the manager's job 'cos I'm sure the Cybermen would have a vacancy for him.
Roy Keane Be afraid...
The Ipswich board are four-square behind him - which is better than being in front of him when he's in that sort of mood - but Clegg and co are bound to be after all the song-and-dance last April when they hired the Cork clogger. It all stank of the big 'I am' then and nowt's changed.

Anyone who saw the final weeks of his tenure at Sunderland wouldn't have been convinced by the ode to Roy. The man openly doubted himself and looked not unlike Robinson Crusoe after finding a case of White Lightning washed up on his island.

He's got a track record of bailing out in a huff and so for Suffolk's sake he shouldn't be getting all narky when a reporter dares to wonder if he's going to hang around. "I refuse to answer that question" is not exactly affirmative. "Yes" would, I think, be the most affirmative thing to say, Roy.

He may be getting a bit of stick, but I reckon the dogs will be fetching a lot more come January.

At least he's not one for too many excuses, Keane. He'll tell you if the players have been rubbish. His mentor is quite another kettle of pish.

Fergie's latest outburst was so outrageous the ale went up the back of me throat and came out me nose. There wasn't enough injury-time, he bleated. Well flip me, Alex, if you gave back the extra minutes that Old Trafford has acquired over the years we'd be celebrating the start of the 22nd century at the end of the week!

Worse still was the dig at Alan Wiley over his fitness. He should see some of the blokes that officiate in our league. Hellfire! Not only do they stay in the centre-circle for 90 minutes, they bloody well fill it.

Big Nige is a lovely fella but next time he refs us we're thinking of putting a Lazy Susan on the centre spot so it's even easier for the great lump.

Even if Fergie did have a point about Wiley, the fact is that the Glasgow Beetroot only ever refers to such stuff when his team has failed. It's downright shoddy. Anything to distract the attention away from a dismal performance by his players.

Why Nani's still at the club is beyond the understanding of every right-thinking person in the country. We use the word Nani in the Bell now. Like if you get a slice of lime in your lager, or a sprig of parsley on your battered cod, or a crappity flower in a tiny vase on your table - that's a Nani. It's sort of decorative but has absolutely no impact on the experience.

Wiley to my mind is a good ref, and he was certainly popular on the touchline the other week when Michael 'My groins get pulled more often than Katie Price' Owen got the winner against Citeh.

I'm sure Drogba will enter the vocabulary soon 'n' all. He's already a template for a certain type of player up front: muscular, unstoppable, lethal. The way he brushed past the increasingly decrepit Jamie Carragher was most impressive.

All of which makes you wonder why he still thinks it's acceptable to plunge face down like a hissy-fitting toddler when he's touched.

Even Chelsea fans, a pretty shameless bunch on the whole, are getting embarrassed by it. The Chelsea physio keeps his head down. Ancelotti raises that Pavarotti eyebrow and ignores him. There's a wobbly bar-stool in the Blue Bell. It takes very little to knock it over so we've dubbed it Drogba.
Steven gerrard and Xabi Alonso
Hands up if you miss Xabi
It seems a petty thing to bang on about, but in the light of a match-winning performance - in a really, really drab game - you'd think Didier would stay on his feet, where let's be fair he does his best work. In fact, on the occasion when for once he had good cause to go down, the striker set up the second goal.

Meanwhile it's becoming clear who the Big Four's signing of the summer is. Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal fans will tell you. Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid. Great result for them all. Putting Lucas Leiva in his place is like replacing Arlene Phillips with Lynda Bellingham.

Gooners might argue the case for Thomas Vermaelen, the famous Belgian. (He must be THE famous Belgian). Thirteen years for Wenger and his team are brighter than ever.
There's a kind of knee-jerk uppityness you get from Gooners if you criticize Wenger. The man is sometimes revered like some Gallic Oracle when it comes to football purity. What you can't deny is that year after year his team turns out some of the most sublime stuff imaginable.

The six on Saturday were all little works of art. So while I haven't built an altar to St Arsene in me front room, I'll be the first to admit that Wenger has improved the life of the average football-watcher in the country many times over. Merci, monsieur.


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