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Armchair Reporter: You can rely on Roy for joy-sucking diagnosis of world football

The display of brotherly love by the Pogbas failed to impress Roy Keane
Paul McConville

THERE are some absolute certainties in sport – Arsenal’s late winter collapse, Serena Williams winning grand slams and Mayo, well, being Mayo.

Something else you can also rely on is Roy Keane to be on hand to offer a sobering, joy-sucking assessment of what’s going on in the world football.

On ITV’s Champions League highlights show, he held up Kieran Gibbs wearing the Arsenal armband as an example of the Gunners’ perennial slide into mediocrity.

I would add that Keane has professed to being Spurs fan in his youth, but it’s not hard to see how the red and white half of north London would draw the Cork man’s ire regardless.

The following night, when poring over the best of the Europe League action, he was in blunt form again, tearing strips off the Pogba clan for turning Man United’s tie with St Etienne into a family reunion.

Roy was less then impressed with Paul and Florentin’s displays of family affection before and after the 3-0 win for the Red Devils.

“The boy Pogba seems a bit of free spirit and a bit of a character, but I think that was a little bit over the top tonight, before the game, half-time…

“They’ve spoke to each other more tonight than I think I have spoken to any of my brothers in the last five years.”

It was hard to escape the Pogbas to be fair, with BT Sport’s coverage of the match featuring more shots of Maman Pogba than Les Verts had on the United goal.

Host Jake Humphreys was edging towards the Keane camp, hinting at his unease at the displays of brotherly love at the end. Florentin just looked too happy for a guy whose team had just lost 3-0 he mused.

It was the only time, according to Matt Smith who helmed the channel’s highlights show, when half-and-half shirts were acceptable as the Pogba matriarch split her loyalties in the form of a half red, half green shirt.

BT’s round-up was a much more sedate affair than ITV, due in no small part to the presence of the ‘Arry Redknapp. The former Spurs boss offered the startling assessment that Tottenham were in the Europa League because they hadn't done well in the Champions League. Insight.

He was joined by Jermaine Jenas who has shown himself to be a sound pundit on BT Sport and BBC, so it was left for the former Newcastle and Tottenham midfielder to do the legwork.

Both were confident enough that Spurs could overturn their 1-0 deficit to Gent in the second leg.

But it didn't stop Gent manager Hein Vanhaezebrouck, who looked like the sort of guy who had participated in a bit of sheep worrying with Fargo Boyle back in the day, expressing his delight at the result.

“It was the cherry on the cake,” beamed a jolly Hein.

“And if you give me the cherry on the cake, I’m going to eat it.”

Well, he does look like he’s no stranger to a gateau or two (or whatever the Flemish word for cake is).


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