Books, Non-Fiction, Reviews, sports

BOOK REVIEW: The Second Half by Roy Keane

The Second Half by Roy Keane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Reading Keano’s memoir was like seeing through his mind and heart. Very candid.”

After reading a few autobiographies of players and staff associated with Manchester United, certainly the biggest premiership club in past two decades, now in turmoil, Roy Keane’s The Second Half is one of the most honest and straightforward memoir I have ever read.

For me and some might agree, keeping apart his big-mouth quality which I consider his trait as a part of being a leader, was not a “top, top player”. His peak would be the 1999 season, Champions League semi-final, scoring a header against Juventus and sending Manchester United straight to the finals. Other ups in his career, strong personality or pretended to be, supporting his players when needed, encouraging newcomers, fighting the battles on and off the pitch. Of course, I am not going to talk about his downs, for that you have to read them in his own words in which he justifies his course of actions and regret on being such a big-mouth. We all live with ghost of our pasts called ‘regrets’. He is indifferent.

The book straight starts with Keane’s incident on Alf Halaand, which Keane believes that he still accuses him of ruining his playing career. Moving forward, the main attraction, as media claims, should be when Manchester United tore up his contract after Keane lambasted his teammates in an interview with the club’s television channel. On reading, a reader will be able to judge by his own conscience.

The main focus of this memoir, was what happened to Roy Keane after his playing career got over by a battle-worn hip and how ended up on being appointed as a manager of Sunderland F.C., bringing them from Championship to Premier League, Ipswich Town, and finally as an assistant manager of Aston Villa currently. Reading on, it is more of an aftermath of later half of his life. Talking about regrets, Keane goes on explaining the difference between a person’s anger and a person’s frustration. Anger can be understood as an emotion, can be used as a driving force but frustration is an outburst. In any case it must be avoided, if not the outcome will vary from injuring an opponent to wrecking your own career. And that is what Keane’s memoir is all about. Along with his mental sufferings, unsophisticated mind, and living in a conundrum of his own, he observes the difference between the two and accepts them. Moved on, did the same mistake. Moved on hoping for a betterment. That’s life, but one must be waken enough to determine the difference between the two– anger and frustration, and should be clear on whom to avoid and when. Sport’s is that profession in which the practice of the aforementioned subjects can be easily determined and are segments of every sport.

For Roy Keane, it’s quite hard to consume the fact that football is mostly business. Technically, it’s wrong for any sport and every sport must be considered as a ‘sport’, but to earn and put food on the table for your family, for sportsmen it’s a job and any job is the part of a business.

Overall, the memoir is well written purely in ‘Keano’ style and I will recommend it to any football fan.

View all my reviews

Tell me about your favorite memoirs of a Sporting Personality?

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