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All Things Footie | Friday, August 16 | Jordan

Not So Keane

How predictable. A rant against Roy Keane.

Firstly I refuse to base my opinion of this situation on a few (possibly misquoted) comments in The Sun. That said, it is perfectly believable that Roy Keane intended to cause Alf-Inge Haaland harm when he scythed the poor lad down a couple of years ago.

I won't point out the fact that — seeing as it was in fouling Haaland that Keane became injured in the first place — it wasn't even the Norwegian's fault — oops I just did. I will however say that if Keane did go out to hurt Haaland; the book, bookcase and all related fixtures and fittings should be thrown at the thug. The spineless yes-men at the FA will not punish Keane with anything other than a paltry fine and his club will probably not even acknowledge he's done anything wrong.

I remember the last time a United player said something controversial in a book and whatever you think, Jaap Stam was a crucial to the team's cause as Roy Keane is. If Ferguson has the bottle to stand up for the integrity of the game as a whole and take severe action against Keane, I will say on record that my respect for him will increase exponentially. I do doubt it very much though.

Sticking with United, it looks like more trouble at the back. With Wes Brown out for a few weeks at the least, United now have a first choice back five consisting of… Carroll, P Neville, O'Shea, Blanc and Silvestre …not one to instil great confidence in even the most stoical supporter. The signing of promising French full back Julien Escudé will have to be hurried through — and with the player refusing to train for his club Rennes, it looks like a forgone conclusion.

Wright Move?

Sunderland have completed the signing of Liverpool's Stephen Wright for a fee in the region of £1.5m (not, as widely reported £3m) with further cash payable on completion of a number of appearances for club and country. If I was a Liverpool supporter I would be interested to know why Gerard Houllier felt it necessary to get rid of the player, he seemed to be breaking in to the Reds' first team towards the end of last season and progressing well.

With only Abel Xavier and Jamie Carragher covering his position (and regarding the latter I would hardly count that as stiff opposition) it's not like Liverpool can't offer the England U21 international a chance at first team football. Maybe Houllier wasn't impressed with Wright's contribution last year? (I actually thought he did alright for a youngster). Or maybe it's because he looks like Luke Chadwick's long lost brother? (the better looking one). Only time will tell.

High? Lowe!

My hat goes off to Southampton chairman Rupert Lowe, who has effectively introduced a wage cap at the club. Refusing to be held to ransom over players' egotistical valuations of their services, he has applied a strict embargo on ‘sky high’ wages. Speaking of an unnamed 23-year-old that the club recently attempted to sign, Lowe expressed his feelings on the subject quite succinctly.

“The player had an unrealistic view of what he should be paid. If people don't accept our culture, it's better they play somewhere else.”

And if everyone was a sensible as that, no-one would cave in to the demands of self important players and football would make sense again. The only thing that's really surprising is that it's taken such a small club (no offence intended to Saints fans intended) to make the stand.

On practically the same subject, a club with a bit more money at its disposal has also made a similar decision. Arsenal have refused to pay desperately needed goalkeeper Fabian Carini's high wages and it looks as if the player will be on his way back to Juventus (‘I am not optimistic’ — Arsène Wenger). The Premiership champions desperately need a 'keeper to back up the ageing David Seaman and time is running short. Rüstü Recber (the Turkish international) has yet to make his post World Cup ‘big move’ but I doubt he'll be willing to play anyone's second fiddle. Which leaves the Gunners in a bit of a pickle.

Sticking with North London and Tottenham's latest bit of bad news; it's a shame to hear about Gus Poyet's knee injury. One of the game's few genuinely affable, honest and pleasant personalities — it would be sad if this latest injury (possibly to the same ligament that he injured a few seasons ago at Chelsea) ends his career. It sounds drastic but if it is as bad as some sources report it could go that far and if it does all things footie would like to wish Gus all the best.

TA — Be The Best

While I'm feeling all emotional (and old), goodbye and best wishes to the finest defender of his generation, the legend that is — Tony Adams.

After 20 years of dedicated service to one club, battling well documented personal problems and playing under just about every style of coach and manager; it's only fitting that Arsenal Football Club has retired his number 6 shirt . A trend popular with our American cousins (I heard of an ice-hockey team where the lowest shirt number available is 28) and in some parts of Europe, this is the first time an English club has bestowed this honour.

Never the most graceful or elegant of defenders, Adams was given enormous credit by all of his managers for his instinctive reading of the game and no nonsense style of defending. I can't bring to mind another player that has served 20 consecutive years at one football club, let alone spending 90% of that time as a guaranteed first team player. For that alone, the example of Tony Adams should not be forgotten — and certain young footballers could learn a hell of a lot from the way he's dealt with his personal problems.

Take it easy Tone.

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