Matt Keane was over in his second home, “sleepy Suffolk” last week checking up on the Irish contingent at Ipswich Town. His namesake has dismissed talk of him (Roy not Matt) taking over the reins at Celtic, saying his performance at Portman Road doesn’t merit him even being considered.
Our intrepid reporter took in a particularly special game, namely the visit of Plymouth, who are now managed by former Ipswich hero Paul Mariner. The ex-England striker helped Bobby Robson’s men win the 1978 FA Cup and the UEFA Cup three years later, scoring 96 goals in 260 appearances before he joined Arsenal in ’84. He was one of a team of top ‘Townies’ like John Wark, Alan Brazil, and the Dutch duo, Frans Thijssen and Arnold Muhren.
Though on a long unbeaten home run, with the Tractor Boys winning three on their own turf in March, Ipswich remain in the bottom half of the Championship table, with a now record-equalling 18 draws largely to blame, heaping pressure on the manager, though he insists that with a good family at home (and multi-millions in the bank) he’s not losing any sleep.
Matt wasn’t oblivious to the fact that in the pubs and on the walk down Sir Alf Ramsey Way the Corkman isn’t exactly flavour of the month — and the majority of the 20,000 who turned up to witness that Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat by Argyle weren’t feeling any more affectionate towards him afterwards.
Two dreadful mistakes by Ireland players did the damage on the night: “Damien Delaney hung Brian Murphy out to dry for the first and Republic U21 skipper Owen Garvan did likewise for the second,” Matt lamented (you can read his catch-up with the Waterford Murphs, Brian and Daryl next week), “but in many ways Paul Mariner clinched victory for the visitors beforehand”, he says.
See The Munster Express newspaper for full story.