Roy Keane's ability to fill an entire news cycle ahead of an Irish qualifier remains unabated. He gave a single press briefing this week - on Tuesday, fully three days before the critical game against Moldova. His comments on the reality of concussion flew about the world, launching debates across a range of media outlets including TV3's new late-night current affairs show.
And later that week, Keane made headlines once again when Rory McIlroy revealed that Keane left him jilted as a young autograph-hunter.
Eamon Dunphy has today launched A Verbal Attack™ on Keane, writing in his Irish Daily Star column that the assistant manager has become a "cabaret act" in his time with Ireland, as Dunphy continued his postmodern crusade of Writing Headlines About Keane's Courting Headlines in his press briefings.
In virtually all of these briefings, Keane has shot his mouth off. His job seems to be to do a press conference during the week of internationals - presumably to give the manager a break. Picking needless fights. Causing pointless controversies. Distracting from what really matters.
Keane has become a cabaret act. He's a parody of the great player and leader that he was in his playing days. Now he's just about cheap shots and easy headlines. Within minutes of his press briefings starting, Keane is trending on Twitter. Maybe that's his job. To help the FAI's social media profile.
Keane craves the headlines, worships the soundbites. His presence in the set-up is pointless.
Dunphy's full column is in today's paper ahead of kick-off against Moldova. Martin O'Neill (and presumably Keane) have named the starting line-up, with David Meyler captaining a very attacking side featuring David Meyler as captain, Wes Hoolahan, Callum O'Dowda, Jeff Hendrick, Shane Long, Daryl Murphy. Not starting is another of Dunphy's favourites, Glenn Whelan.