Ireland and Middlesbrough assistant manager Robbie Keane, doesn’t appear to be overly keen on chatting about anecdotes from his playing career.
The former Spurs striker spent 21 years in the game, playing for the London club as well as stints with Liverpool, Celtic, and LA Galaxy to name but a few, before turning his hand to coaching.
Keane was named the assistant to new Irish boss Mick McCarthy towards the end of last year and was recently installed as Jonathan Woodgate’s right-hand man at Middlesbrough ahead of the new Championship season.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Keane was asked a series of anecdotal questions about his playing career, all of which he shot down in double quick fashion, referring to the journalists queries as “crap questions.”
“What the f***?” said Keane, when quizzed about previously entertaining his teammates with a song. “I’m not a clown. I’m not here to entertain people. What’s singing got to do with me being a coach?
“I like a laugh and joke,’ he said. ‘We don’t want people coming in here as miserable f***s. We want them to be happy, but for it to be done properly. It’s a serious job we’re doing.”
Keane was also asked about an infamous Christmas party during his time as Spurs captain where he reportedly hired a private jet to take the squad to Dublin without informing then manager Harry Redknapp.
A story Keane was less than eager to get into.
“I’m not answering these stupid questions, if you want to talk about me being here, no problem. But I’m not getting into c**p questions like that.
“I’m not interested. Why talk about that? This isn’t about that. It’s about me being at Middlesbrough.”
The new Boro assistant manager did get into some of the serious stuff in the interview, chatting about the development of young players in the game today and outlining that in modern society he fears children spend more time in front of screens as opposed to being outside focusing on football.
“They don’t play in the street any more.
“And that’s all of them, with their PlayStations. I would certainly encourage young kids to get out, between 10 and 14 especially.
“They should be getting 500 touches a week on the ball. They don’t need parents or friends to do that. Get out and play with the football, kick it against the wall, keeping it up, trying tricks.
“I won’t have my boy on the PlayStation for hours and hours, no chance. I want him out on the road with his friends, even without playing football, just go out and have fun.
“You need to be around your friends at that age, getting to know different characters, building your own personality.
“But if you want to be a footballer it just doesn’t come, you have to practise. You have to be that kid on the road kicking it against the wall 300 times. They are the kids who will make it, not the ones sitting on the PlayStation.”
Ireland’s record goalscorer also spoke about how he feels he’ll do as a manager as well as his largely unsuccesful spell at Liverpool in an all-encompassing interview, however he would not be drawn on his opinion of the fallout between Mick McCarthy and Roy Keane in Saipan in 2002, shooting down the question immediately.
“Don’t even think about trying to get me sucked into talking about that, because I’m not.”