I would usually tend to steer well clear of most autobiographies, particularly if they’re written by people from the world of sport. They’re generally poorly written and full of dreary stories about training or passion for playing video games. This book is a different story and one I was really keen on when I heard of the involvement of Roddy Doyle. Roy was always going have an interesting spin on events, and it was sure to be very readable with Roddy putting the story across.
The Second Half starts with the scandal and court case that followed the first book. There’s a fair bit of chat about the way the media took what they wanted out the of the book and didn’t really present the full story, something that’s been replicated with this book. There’s been a number of things lifted from it that have made it out like he’s had big fallouts with people when they book actually shows he made it up with them and has a healthy ongoing relationship with them.
Roy is actually full of praise for many throughout the book, particularly for Ronaldo, expressing great pleasure at him coming good on his early promise. He shows great respect for other players, even those he’s had clashes with him the past. He feels Brian Clough was the best manager he’s ever known in his time in the game, ahead of Alex Ferguson who seems to have really rubbed him up the wrong way in more ways than one. He loved his time at Manchester United and felt there was an extra pressure involved in playing for that particular club.
Some of the best parts of the book are those that outline his departure from United. It certainly seems like a very cold exit and Roy ponders some of the reasons why he may have been dealt with in such a harsh fashion after so many great years with the club, not least some choice words with Carlos Queiroz. It certainly seemed like an extremely hurtful departure and Roy was in tears afterward and lost a lot of love for that game at that point.
Roy’s not one for living in the past and doesn’t really want to be answering questions about incidents from years ago and has to have challenges to keep interested. He found his feet in management at Sunderland with great success at the club in the early stages of its regeneration. Things didn’t go so well at Ipswich and he reckons he maybe had the wrong attitude at times, feeling he was the big man with all the experience and success.
He’s been a pretty good pundit, but he felt it was an easy gig. It’s great to see him involved in the Republic of Ireland side and he’s got a lot of his passion for the game back again. Working alongside Martin O’Neill and Paul Lambert can only be a good thing and I’m sure he’ll return to management stronger than ever.
I rattled through this book really quickly and found it gloriously entertaining. He comes across as a really funny guy and certainly not the headcase the media like to portray him as. I don’t know if there’ll be a further book but he’d be wise to get Roddy onboard again to deliver another work of this quality.