How Keane Might Just Do It!

The Guardian’s Rob Smyth blogs on about Keano at Sunderland: “Roy Keane could well become the most intriguing manager in English football since Brian Clough…”
The part that got to me was this:
Keane likes his footballers cool and clinical. This devil is obsessed with the detail, the minutiae of football matches. “They say God is in the detail; in football that’s true,” he wrote in his autobiography. “Sometimes games are won by a magical goal – that’s what people remember. But the essence of the game is more mundane. Detail. Wearing down the opposition. Winning the psychological battles – man on man – from the moment the ref blows the whistle for the first time.” To many Keane is a law unto himself, but to him all that matters is what he calls the Law Of Cumulation. “First tackle, first pass, first touch, everything counts. A lot of little things add up to the thing that matters: breaking the opposition’s hearts – but first their minds, their collective mind.”
It was Clough who taught Keane these principles. “If you weren’t doing your stuff, Clough would spot it,” he said. “A seemingly innocuous mistake that resulted in a goal conceded three or four minutes later, a tackle missed, or a failure to make the right run, or pass, would be correctly identified as the cause of the goal. It was no use pointing the finger at someone else – which is second nature to most players. He knew; you knew he knew. Every football match consists of a thousand little things which, added together, amount the final score. The game is full of bluffers, banging on about ‘rolling your sleeves up’, ‘having the right attitude’ and ‘taking some pride in the shirt’. Brian Clough dealt in facts, specific incidents, and invariably he got it right.”

It is all in the details. And if Keano is going to focus on the little things, big things will happen. Can’t wait!

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