A little simplistic patriotism always was a dangerous thing, wasn't it? Some might say that Ireland (well, the North, anyway) is a living example (on both sides) of how so-called "patriotism" corrupts. You might argue that Keane's actions in the far east this summer were in and of themselves extremely patriotic. What's wrong with pointing out the truth, for example? What's wrong with demanding higher standards when those of your own country fall far below par? What's wrong with pointing out a shambles when all around you IS a shambles? And what's wrong with expecting Ireland, which is not after all a third world, Mickey Mouse country, to provide Manchester United type facilities? Every other leading European nation manages it for their national teams, and I rather think that Ireland fancies itself as a leading football nation, notwithstanding it's apparent determination to shoot itself in the foot through poor administrative management. Keane, of course, went about making his point in an unproductive way and he deserves to be censured for that, but the root of his criticisms are entirely reasonable. And, as Keane's love of his country seems to me to be beyond doubt, since when did the ability to be self-critical make you unpatriotic? Do you think that demanding something better and refusing to settle for second best when it's the result of nothing more than laziness and arrogance on the part of the administrators somehow means that you don't have any pride in the crest? Bollocks. Keane is probably a far prouder Irishman than anyone you know, but he wants Ireland to take pride in itself which, it is clear, is not the case. The recent report from the Irish FA now makes the point that they concur with him. They have effectively admitted that their efforts at organising the World Cup trip were a shambles, and have agreed to make changes. How sad that the price they had to pay to reach this obvious conclusion was the loss of their best player from the national team. You can take your grandstanding, pulp patriotism and shove it. I suspect that if the next generation of Irish footballers exceed the performance of their predecessors in part because they are enabled to do so by improvements that benefit their ability to play the game, then they will be thanking Roy Keane for taking the stand he did, and in a few years time we'll be saying that his actions were selfless, that only by making himself the scapegoat did Irish football join the twenty first century.