Handy Read: Texts, chunky Brazil nuts & Ted Hughes

You might not have noticed, but Roy Keane has left Sunderland.

Predictably, plenty of paper acres have been devoted to discussion of it this morning. Unusually, much of the result is readable. 

First, the hard news. The Telegraph's Rob Stewart says, with perhaps a touch too much glee, that Keano quit by text message , wouldn't return Niall Quinn's calls and hasn't seen the players face-to-face to explain his decision – not that they're bothered, with the usual "source close to the squad" barely able to be heard over the popping of champagne corks.

"Wrong Keane, Niall" 

Amid much dark muttering about Ellis Short, Sunderland's new American majority shareholder and benefactor, several writers pour sympathetic praise on the gentlemanly way in which Niall Quinn is trying to run the club.

Meanwhile George Caulkin reports that Sam Allardyce, who has thrown his name into the hat to replace Keane, was interviewed for the job in August 2006 – which may come as a shock to the board and supporters of Bolton Wanderers, where Allardyce was then employed.

In a thoughtful piece, The Guardian's Tom Humphries thinks Keane will be back, despite his increasing despair at the modern game; his colleague Rob Smyth thinks that would be a bad idea, given that few truly great players succeed as managers.

In The Times Matt Dickinson – who also doubts the Cork boy will bob back up to the surface – thinks Keane suffered from being unapproachable, if not deliberately confrontational (a feeling echoed in The Guardian by Paul Doyle).

Keano's fellow former Ferg-enforcer Paul "Incey" Ince is also in trouble, according to The Guardian's man in the north-west. Daniel Taylor (who writes with the measured gravitas of a fifty-year-old despite looking like a fifteen-year-old) says the Ewood board are "reluctantly" meeting to discuss Ince's future after those Blackburn fans who bothered to make the 20-mile journey to Old Trafford in midweek spent most of the match calling for the manager's head. Good news for restless agitators everywhere, perhaps.

"If you're gonna go..." 

Meanwhile, more Ronaldo news. No, not him, the other one: the chunky Brazilian. The Independent's Glenn Moore sympathetically looks at what might have been and what might yet be for the man whose nickname went from Il Fenomeno to "the fat Ronaldo".

Finally, some fun. If you want light relief, Harry Pearson's always a good bet. The man could make an amusing read out of an unspectacular family holiday in Belgium – no, really, it's called A Tall Man In A Low Land – so you can imagine what he's like with the comic gold that is Sir Alex Ferguson defending the thin Ronaldo's derby handball by saying the ball was about to hit him in the face. Poetry fans will love the Mark Hughes/Ted Hughes comparison.

Any suggestions for the next round-up? Please send them to FourFourTwo.com editor Gary.Parkinson@haymarket.com


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