Kenny Cunningham: was unaware of Keane's feelings.
raised eyebrows

Kenny Cunningham: Roy should've asked for the armband if he wanted it so much

And he says he put a lot of effort into those quizzes.

KENNY CUNNINGHAM SAYS he had no idea Roy Keane felt so strongly about returning to the Ireland fold as skipper in 2004.

Writing in his new book, The Second Half, Keane says he found it ‘strange’ that he wasn’t reappointed as skipper by Brian Kerr.

“But Kenny Cunningham was the captain,” he writes. “I’d played with Kenny over the years. He was popular with the players. He’d always be organising card schools and quizzes and whip-arounds for the bus driver and for the woman who’d served us tea in 19-fuckin’-52. But most of the lads liked him.”

Cunningham told Darragh maloney on RTÉ this afternoon that he put ‘a lot of effort into those quizzes’.

“I wasn’t aware he felt so strongly about it when he came back in as captain,” Cunningham said of the issue about the armband.

“Brian [Kerr] kept me in the loop around that time about Roy potentially coming back in to the squad and asked me my opinion of it. He mentioned Roy being captain and I said of course I’d have no problem and I’m sure none of the rest of the lads would have because of the asset he would be coming back in to  the squad.

“If Brian had of asked me in terms of if I needed to step down to accommodate Roy as captain, course I would have done it. That would have been the manager’s decision and there would have been no ego involved he felt that was the right decision. Roy would have come in as captain but unfortunately Roy didn’t ask that question of the manager.

“He says in the book he regrets it now and I think he should have done. He probably should have been bolder and come back and stated if I’m going to come back I’m going to come back as captain of this particular football team.

Roy Keane James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

“For one thing it would have probably alleviated me of some of those media duties that Roy was talking about in the book for a start. That’s the only thing but that was a decision for the manager in accordance with Roy. I was out side of that.”

Liam Brady, meanwhile, was highly critical of Keane, saying he lacked professionalism and the timing of book’s publication this week was nothing but a distraction.

“If I was one of those players out there I’d be thinking am I going to be in the next book,” said Brady.

What do you think?

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‘It is a very intimate, revealing book and it’s very sad in places’ – Eamon Dunphy

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