Paul Rowan of the Sunday Times bravely went where other journalists fear to thread and raked up all that Saipan stuff with Roy Keane for yesterday's paper. Keane insists that he did not apologise to Mick McCarthy for his own behaviour but rather for what went on in general.
I’ve apologised for loads of things. I apologised for a situation that happened but it doesn’t mean you apologise for your actions. You are sorry that something happens. I was sorry for what happened at the World Cup... I've no apologies for defending myself.
Keane is adamant Saipan would not have happened had he been a manager. He insists he would never question a 'senior' player in front of another group of players.
Not just the preparation, but criticising or questioning a senior player in front of a group of players. That would never happen.
Keane has often very publicly criticised other players on the field of play (most notably Phil Neville) and in his famous MUTV interview but he appears to be drawing a distinction between this and what McCarthy in the ill-fated team meeting.
In the interview, Keane also alluded to Cathal Dervan, the journalist who famously urged the Lansdowne Road crowd to boo Roy Keane during Ireland's World Cup qualifier with Iceland in late 1996. Keane was booed throughout his Man of the Match performance during that dreary 0 - 0 draw with Iceland. Keane noted with bemusement and a little bit of annoyance that Dervan was later to act as Mick McCarthy's ghostwriter for his World Cup diary in 2002.
I think two years previously a reporter, Cathal Dervan, told the fans to boo me against Iceland, and they booed me. A year or two later Mick wrote a book with Cathal. Small world isn’t it?
It’s like one of you lads before a World Cup saying everybody should boo Wayne Rooney. Boo him. And then a year or two later Roy Hodgson writes a book with somebody who said that about one of his players. Can I leave you on that one? Does that make sense to you?
The interview dragged on like we were stuck in a 2002 time-warp, he discussed his famous absence from Niall Quinn's feel-good testimonial. He reasserted that he was injured for the game but did wonder how the hell Quinny got a testimonial match.
And why does Niall Quinn get a testimonial? How many years do you need to get a testimonial with your club? Ten. And how many years did Niall Quinn play for Sunderland?
Keane eventually demanded in a somewhat irritated tone that they conversation move on to the 2014 World Cup.
Read the rest of the interview and Rowan's thoughts on it here.