Eggshells: Roy Keane at Ipswich Town 2009-2011
by Ian Oxborrow
Roy Keane was controversial as a player, but was undeniably a great one. He was controversial as a manager, and might yet become a great one. He had already touched the heights and the depths in charge at Sunderland. He then arrived at Ipswich Town, a family club, taking on the role once filled by Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson. The next 20 months became pure theatre for the clubs supporters and the media both local and national. The spotlight was fierce and relentless. This was Roy Keanes Ipswich Town. Having targeted immediate promotion, Keane instead found his side wallowing at the foot of the table, winless until the 15th game, on the last day of October. The club broke unwanted records and the hearts of fans yearning for a return to the glory days. And with the struggles came the confrontations. The club seemed gripped by fear. There was talk of eggshells, with players too scared to perform, and journalists - young and old - too scared to speak when eye-balled by Keanes icy glare. The fans also incurred his wrath. But Keanes honest approach also earned him many admirers in Suffolk. His turbulent spell in charge will live long in the memory. Was he the wrong man for the wrong club, or the right man sacked too soon? Judge for yourself. Author Ian Oxborrow is a sports journalist with The Daily Telegraph who has been watching Ipswich Town for more than 20 years.
- Desert Island Books, October 2012
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