And suddenly, it’s not so much of a son of Clough, son of Fergie kind of tale. That never worked for me anyway. As if playing for them was like touching saints’ relics and the ancient DNA rubbing off onto your fingers.
When you have to shave, it can be hard not to interpret not shaving as a distress signal. Early December’s combo of Keane musing on resignation and his great black shovel of a beard added up for me and yesterday was the logical conclusion.
I still think I was wrong about him though. I thought Sunderland was the wrong job for him. I had in mind the Martin O’Neill management scrapbook with its cuttings from Grantham and Wycombe and Birmingham: clubs desparate enough to let an intelligent man who’d learned his trade do what he wanted. Sunderland didn’t seem to need Keane enough, and he hadn’t paid his management dues.
But he got them up and kept them up and leaves them with a squad with a mix of ages and talent. Some are complaining that the talent is too chippy by half, but no one’s managed to get eleven Charltons in their team and even Arsene Wenger has his troublemakers it seems.
Something happened. It looks like it happened in the last six weeks or so. We’re going to have to wait on a book to find out what, I suspect. In the meantime, here’s the Sunderland school song. Getting out of date: