Tony Cascarino acknowledged that from what he had heard, Roy Keane was a good coach at Villa. He even reported that the players liked him and his training sessions. There the praise ends.
In his London Times article at the weekend, he said that Keane receives special treatment - that his flounces and loss of temper would see him castigated if he wasn't Roy Keane, but instead it's a 'pat on the back and thanks for your trouble.'
He accused Keane of abandoning Villa at a time when they most need him - pointing out that Ireland don't have a game until March.
If his decision is to be taken at face value — that he felt he could not commit fully to his roles at Villa Park, with the Ireland team, and at ITV — then he has walked out on his club when they need him most, at a time when his country hardly need him at all. Ireland do not play again until March.
He lamented that Keane keeps having opportunities falling into his lap when there are 'hundreds of coaches toiling away at all levels of game who would be desperate for the opportunities he has had... Doors that remain closed to the vast majority of people seem to open, as if by magic, for Keane, despite what is at best a mixed record as a manager.'
He delivers possibly his toughest line in the penultimate paragraph. Association football is not usually a game that frets about it's popularity or how it comes across to the world, but Cascarino says the fact that Keane keeps getting job offers is embarrassing.
That he continues to be given chance after chance simply on the strength of his name eventually becomes embarrassing for the sport, as though it is completely in thrall to his reputation.