“Imagine if Jon won a trophy. He talks a good game.”
Roy Keane has finally had his say on his exit from the Republic of Ireland set-up and his disputes with Jon Walters, Harry Arter and Stephen Ward that occured in the months before he and Martin O’Neill left their posts.
Keane did not hold back when discussing the Irish trio, all of whom were involved in controversial incidents with the former Manchester United captain.
Keane and Arter argued in June 2018 after the player opted to sit out a training session following advice from the FAI medical staff. Keane and Walters also had a heated dispute during the Ireland training camp. Ward documented the incidents in a now-infamous WhatsApp clip that was leaked.
The former Ireland assistant manager hasn’t patched things up with any of them. At an event with Off The Ball in Dublin on Wednesday evening, Keane broke his silence on the incidents and did not hold back when speaking about his former colleagues.
“Martin’s a good guy. There’s not many in football,” he said, in quotes transcribed by the Irish Sun where he also hit out at sections of the Irish media whom he felt were “nasty” towards him and O’Neill. He labelled WhatsApp, where the leaked audio about the incidents was recorded, “Ratsapp.”
I spoke to Gary Neville for this today. He talked about Roy Keane as a manager, his own coaching career, why he'd never go back to coaching and what makes a great pundit.https://t.co/e77JLCQGAu
— Robert Redmond (@RobRedmond10) September 4, 2019
“I’ll give you an example. Jon Walters, the last two or three years… Jon does a lot of talking, it’s amazing. Harry Arter, he went to Cardiff on loan, got relegated. Wardy can’t get in the Stoke team at the moment, (they are) bottom of the league.
“Imagine if Jon won a trophy. He talks a good game. He goes on the TV, on about how he was harshly treated by me. Not kicking a ball for Burnley for two or three years.
Keane then referenced Walters’ recent appearance on the Late Late Show on RTÉ where he spoke about the tragic passing of his brother and mother.
The former Sunderland manager, who worked with Walters when he was Ipswich Town coach a decade ago, also dismissed Walters’ playing career.
“On TV, crying about his family situation. You know, how about lying low for a while, taking it easy? Have a look at his medals. Wouldn’t take long. Ironically, two or three years ago when his career was coming to the end, he went to Ipswich on loan. I was laughing my head off.
“When we were beaten by Wales, he didn’t have a good game. Wardy didn’t have a good game. They need to go back and watch how bad they were.”
Keane also said he wants to return to management but admitted that his “image” is “hard to shake off.”
“Have I made mistakes? Of course. Certain aspects of my management skills, I will probably make lots of mistakes. I definitely want to have another crack. (But) I don’t think Real Madrid will be calling me.”