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"Roy Keane was totally wrong" - John Giles

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08:22 13 Sep 2018


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At the start of this week, an audio recording emerged of Ireland defender Stephen Ward privately discussing the goings-on behind the scenes in the national team camp.

Most of that centred on rows between Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane and international duo Jonathan Walters and Harry Arter in and around the training ground when neither player was able to train. 

We got John Giles' take on Keane as he joined us as always on a Thursday night. 

"I think the behaviour was very bad," he said of the Ireland assistant's role.

"From what I can gather in the Irish set-up today, if the player is not training and not taking part in the training session, then the medical team have advised the manager that they're not to train.

"Now, whether Roy Keane got that message at that particular time or not, I don't know. But this was the medical team not advising them but telling them that these players are not fit to train. That's why they weren't training. So Roy Keane was totally wrong in [having a go at Walters and Arter] in the way that he did.

Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

"[Roy Keane] was so wrong, that Arter told Martin O'Neill that he didn't want to be picked for the next squad. So Martin O'Neill as a manager is losing a player. Now we don't know if that player is going to come back yet or not."

John added that the extent of the situation that occurred was one he would not have experienced in his own days as a player and manager.

"I've never come across it. Assistant managers in my experience have been more or less gentle, a go-between between the manager [and players]. He's the person who puts the arm around the player when the player's not well or is indeed injured."  

John also feels it's "understandable" that Arter chose to make his decision to turn down selection for the most recent squad, pointing out that people react differently to situations.

Asked how he would react if a coach had a go at him in regards to commitment whilst injured, John said: "You'd be devastated, if your manager said, 'Well, I'd doubt if you were injured - well, not really injured'. I've never come across it."

As for Keane's future in the set-up, John feels it's up to Martin O'Neill to decide that, but that there's no doubt that the manager "can do without all the fuss that's happened over the Arter situation." 

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