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Was Roy Keane right to apologise for his controversial comments?

The Manchester United legend is perceived as one of the more stubborn figures in the game.

Roy Keane has come under fire for his criticism of individual Ireland players.
Roy Keane has come under fire for his criticism of individual Ireland players.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

MARTIN O’NEILL CONFIRMED to reporters yesterday that Roy Keane has apologised for criticism of the Ireland players.

Keane had joked that he “wanted to kill” certain players in the wake of the lacklustre 2-1 defeat by Belarus, and added that some of them were “lucky” to have made the 23-man squad for Euro 2016 following the poor display.

He also broke one footballing taboo by singling out individuals on the team for criticism, with Daryl Murphy, Jeff Hendrick and Aiden McGeady all provoking Keane’s ire. Of the latter, he said: “Aiden can do a lot better… that’s the story of his career.”

While Ireland squad members James McClean and Richard Keogh appeared to back Keane’s criticism, former Ireland international Kevin Kilbane said the assistant boss was “bang out of order” for making the remarks.

While Keane himself claimed some of his words were said in a “tongue-in-cheek” fashion, Martin O’Neill yesterday acknowledged that they were “slightly on the strong side”.

The Ireland manager also suggested Keane had apologised to McGeady individually, adding:

“James McClean made some comment or other… The players’ reaction has been very strong.

“Players were just a wee bit rusty (against Belarus). That’s absolutely fine. We expected decent opposition, which we got. It was a godsend to play the game

The players, and I’m going back two years, their attitude has been very strong and very positive. Any pieces of criticism either from myself or from Roy or any other direction, they take it on board. They’ll feel it’s appropriate, if it is appropriate, or dismiss it accordingly.

“I think Roy’s already had a word with (Aiden McGeady). I think Roy’s words, he said himself, were slightly on the strong side.

“The other players involved with it are absolutely fine.”

The Manchester United legend is perceived as one of the more stubborn figures in the game.

The Corkonian famously said he had “no regrets” over the 2002 World Cup Saipan debacle, while he also was unapologetic over a controversial MUTV interview in November 2005, which ultimately resulted in his Red Devils contract being terminated.

Consequently, some may be surprised by the former midfielder’s willingness to accept blame in this instance.

With all that in mind, what do you think? Was Roy Keane right to apologise for his remarks?


Poll Results:

No (2439)
Yes (1359)


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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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