Roy Keane had an appropriate response when asked if he was jealous of England
Well handled by the former Ireland captain.
At a heaving Wembley Stadium, Roy Keane was often carrying the look of a man invited to the wedding of his ex.
Putting on a brave face, saying all the right things and even dancing with the tipsy aunt, but doing his best to hold his tongue on a tempestuous past.
The Cork native has been in top form, all Euro 2020, as an ITV pundit - mixing humour and analysis with good anecdotes, personal insights and sticking the boot in, on occasion [poor Joao Felix].
He had been critical of England, early in the tournament, as they slowly went up through the gears. As they did improve, from the Czech Republic game on, though, Keane has praised Gareth Southgate and his side... all the while warning that the winning run will only mean something if England win the tournament.
Keane was back in a raucous Wembley, this evening, as England prepared for their first major tournament final in 55 years. As the game against Italy neared, the place was hoping and even Ian Wright [perhaps unsurprisingly] got involved with each 'Sweet Caroline' chorus.
Keane doing his best to hold it together as Ian Wright joins in the 'Sweet Caroline' chorus 😅 pic.twitter.com/P2sierzRDf
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) July 11, 2021
Keane backed Gareth Southgate on his team selection, including Kieran Trippier coming in for Bukayo Saka in a slightly altered England line-up, and argued that the manager had proven, thus far, that he should be trusted.
As the closing ceremony ramped up and the ITV crew got in an excited tizzy, host Mark Pougatch pushed his luck somewhat with the following question - "Are you a bit jealous?"
Pougatch has done a fine job of handling his pundits and asking tough questions during the tournament. He has condemned the laser-aiming fan at the England vs. Denmark game, and the ticketless fans that tried to storm Wembley before the final. He even coaxed a great USA 94 story out of Keane back at the 2018 World Cup.
On this occasion, it was a needless question to a guy that only played in one major tournament [and missed the 2002 World Cup after his clash with Mick McCarthy]. Keane, for his part, had an appropriate response.
"No, I'm not jealous. I was always proud to play for my home country, Ireland."
We will put this one down to Pougatch getting carried away in the giddy anticipation of the match at hand.
Well handled by Keane, though.