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'I know Jon Walters – Bluffer!' | Keane takes aim at former Ireland stars

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

01:36 5 Sep 2019



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Roy Keane has launched a seething attack on his former Ireland players Harry Arter, Stephen Ward and Jonathan Walters, who he described as "certain players, who are playing at a certain level."

Keane, who was speaking at the Off The Ball Cadbury Roadshow at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, saved the majority of his ire for Walters for his media work and for what Keane perceived as a lack of commitment to Ireland and Ipswich when Keane was manager there.

"He talks a good game," the former Ireland assistant said. "He's a good talker, Jon. Jon hadn't kicked a ball for the last two or three years but he does a lot of talking. It's amazing – imagine he had a good career."

"Imagine he had a good CV. Imagine if he won a trophy," Keane added.

When it was suggested that Walters had scored a lot of important goals for Ireland, including against Bosnia during Martin O'Neill's and Keane's reign, Keane replied that Walters couldn't live off that like some other former players.

"How many years ago is that? Is he going to live off that? Like a certain player who scored against Holland, you live off that for the next 20, 30 years?"

"Listen, I know all about Jon Walters. I know all about him. Bluffer. Again, talks a good game. Then does the circuit, goes on the TV. How harsh he was treated by me, he's crying on the TV, family situation, he's the only one whose... do me a favour."

"Maybe he should lie low for a while. Have a look at his medals? That wouldn't take long."

Jon didn't have a good game. Wardy played, he didn't have a good game. They need to go back and see how bad they were.

Discussing Stephen Ward's leaked Whatsapp messages detailing an argument between Arter, Walters and Keane, the former Ireland captain referenced the trajectory of their careers as a sign that they were in the wrong.

"Harry Arter went to Cardiff on loan, they got relegated. Wardy can't get in the Stoke team at the moment. Stoke, who are bottom of the league.

"So maybe they had a point, I don't know," he sarcastically retorted.

"We got beaten by Wales. Jon played. Jon didn't have a good game. Wardy played, he didn't have a good game. They need to go back and see how bad they were."

Keane continued, noting that Walters didn't train enough during his time with Ireland because he was always on a "programme".

Ironically two or three years ago when his career was in freefall and he'd injuries he went back to Ipswich on loan. I was laughing my head off.

When asked if players' having individual programmes was something Keane may have to get used to if he wanted to manage in modern football, Keane dismissed the idea as "nonsense".

"Honestly, that is nonsense. This is the danger of the game. Don't get me started on Jon.

"I've worked with Jon, he was demanding to leave Ipswich when I was down there. He talks a good game.

"He's done okay. And the games he was fit for Ireland he's done well, I have to say.

"[He] couldn't wait to get out of Ipswich when I was the manager, making all sorts of demands. Ironically, two or three years ago when his career was in freefall and he'd injuries he went back to Ipswich on loan. Fantastic, I was laughing my head off."

"People say I was very demanding," he said. "As if I should almost apologise for it, particularly when I'm in a coaching role.

"Sometimes you're trying to motivate players. Did I get it drastically wrong with the situation at Sunderland? At Ipswich? Maybe they (players) got it wrong. Maybe they over-reacted."

Off The Ball were in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre with Roy Keane and Gary Neville with thanks to Cadbury, who are celebrating their third year as 'Official Snack Partner' to the Premier League.

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


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