Last updated : 05 January 2003 By Editor

From The Sunday Times:

So how exactly do you go about getting “inside the mind of Roy Keane”? Channel 4 believed they had the formula. Commission an award-winning production team, give them a generous budget and sufficient time to trawl the length of Britain and Ireland unearthing the most incisive and informed sources. Sit back and wait for next year’s Bafta awards ceremony.

You could understand their confidence. Wark Clements, the makers of Inside the Mind of Roy Keane, which will be screened at 10pm on Tuesday, are one of Britain’s leading programme makers with a string of successes to their name.

Ross Wilson, the director, was responsible for ITV’s After Lockerbie which won a Bafta in 1999. Few would have been better qualified to probe the complexities of Keane’s mind.

“We contacted some 120 players who have played with Keane and nearly all of them said no,” says the producer, Paul Murray. “We knew none of the present bunch would speak to us but we thought guys like Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister, who helped us on the Ferguson programme, would be okay. Neither of them wanted to know.”

So blind were the alleys they travelled down that Murray doesn’t dismiss the notion that an unspoken omerta was in place. Both in Cork and among the Irish international set-up, they repeatedly ran into dead ends. “It was like a complete wall of silence went up,” says Murray. “Which was a shame really because many of these people would probably have had good things to say.”

It left them with an almost impossible task. While there are good contributions from Phil Starbuck, a former Nottingham Forest player, and Alan Hill, a former Forest coach, it isn’t enough to lift the programme above the mundane. The central device of dissecting seven games, covering key incidents in Keane’s career, which worked with Ferguson, fails dismally.

They hired two psychologists to pass supposedly expert comments on Keane’s mindset during the games. Keane, they tell us, has a “terrible fear of failure” and the Haaland tackle was “revenge that’s been building for some time”.

Inside The Mind Of Roy Keane, C4, Tuesday, 10pm

Ed. I always wanted to know what he is like at Forest