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Graeme Souness calls out Martin Keown on national radio over Liverpool jibe

Graeme Souness

“I nearly crashed my car, Martin, after what you said!”

Liverpool legend Graeme Souness has hit out at former Arsenal defender Martin Keown for his comments against the Reds on national radio.

Souness admitted to nearly crashing his car after listening to Keown’s on-air statements and proceeded to ring the station in question and have a heated conversation with Keown.

Graeme Souness

Keown on backpass rule.

Keown appeared on talkSPORT and discussed the recent rule amendments in football, including that of the recently changed handball law.

Keown then moved on to discussing the backpass rule, which prevents goalkeepers from handling the ball if it has been passed back to them by a teammate. The rule was introduced in order to limit teams wasting time.

However, it was Keown’s comments during the said discussion that angered Souness and caused him to ring up the station and argue with the former Gunners man.

Liverpool 1981. Graeme Souness Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen with the European Cup. © INPHO

Keown highlighted Souness’ former teammates Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson specifically during the conversation, something the former Reds midfielder didn’t appreciate.

“The backpass rule changed the game massively. Think about Liverpool and Hansen and Lawrenson just rolling it back to the keeper,” Keown said.

“He just kept picking it up, [Bruce] Grobbelaar, the goalkeeper would just pick it up every time you got near it.”

5/1983. Mark Lawrenson of Liverpool. ©INPHO/Allsport

Souness hits back at Keown.

Souness, having tuned in to the conversation from his car, was incensed and rang the show to voice his displeasure regarding Martin’s comments.

“I nearly crashed my car, Martin, after what you said,” the 67-year-old retorted.

“I understand there have been improvements to the game, without a shadow of a doubt, but I totally disagree with you in terms of Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson.

“You could’ve picked any other partnership that was playing football at that time and called them out on what they would do by going back to the goalkeeper at every opportunity when put under pressure.”

Keown later clarified his comments, saying he didn’t intend to demean Hansen and Lawrenson as they were some of the best ball-playing defenders of their generation.

Mark Lawrenson
Pre-season friendly 22/8/1981.  Liverpool. Mark Lawrenson. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO

Souness agreed with the former Arsenal man’s statement, saying:

“Well, you should’ve said that,” he added.

“You made it sound, for somebody who’s not seen them play, like they couldn’t play. That’s how it sounded. You could not have picked a worse two to give an example of.”

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