Two men with strong ties to Irish football provided some valuable insight into the ongoing controversy within the Ireland camp.
It’s a rather unpleasant thing to hear but there appears to be some serious turmoil in the Irish camp.
After a leaked WhatsApp message that detailed a fiery rift between assistant manager Roy Keane and players Harry Arter and Jonathan Walters – the Irish footballing word has been sent into a frenzy given that this is one of the most heated fall-outs within the camp we’ve seen in some time.
O’Neill has since confirmed that it was Stephen Ward who was the voice behind the WhatsApp message.
Speaking on Virgin Media Sport, former-international Kevin Kilbane made it clear that once these spats start affecting the performances on the pitch – then they become a problem that is a concern to all who follow the country’s football team.
“It has to affect the players on the pitch and that’s what we’re judging the side off of. It was sub-standard against Wales the other night.
“I think Stephen Ward – and if he wasn’t there he heard it first-hand – I know it’s gone out to his friends and his friends have let him down badly with this. But, in general, it would have been first-hand information and it probably is what happened.
Kilbane, of course, knows Roy Keane and has done for a while – and as a result, is in a better position than most to comment on him as a person.
“I’ve known Roy to fly off the handle. I’ve seen him fly off the handle – quite famously in Saipan. I’ve seen things that have been said that are irreparable.
Brian Kerr, the former Ireland manager, then questioned Keane further – this time for him breaching the more traditional requirements of an assistant manager.
“What is the role of the assistant manager? It’s certainly not to be giving players stick who are not training. The role is to assist the manager and give an opinion when you’re asked.
“It’s not, in my view, to be challenging players on why they’re not training, challenging players as to why they’re getting treatment for injuries.
“The amount of times that Martin O’Neill goes back to his playing career and the management style of Brian Clough, at this stage it’s farcical. It was 40 years ago and it has very little relevance to the current requirements of modern management, in my opinion.
“Referring to Brian Clough and how he did his business at half-time and spoke to the players – the game has moved on and I don’t think that it’s at all relevant to this situation.”
Both men’s take on the ongoing saga can be watched in full below:
10 minutes long. Settle in and watch.
Brian Kerr & Kevin Kilbane discuss the issues around the Ireland camp.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) September 10, 2018
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena