McAteer with Keys and Gray. Twitter/beINSPORTS
Old Foes

Keane branded a 'destructive influence' and blamed for Rice situation by ex-team-mate

Ex-Ireland and Liverpool midfielder Jason McAteer was speaking to Richard Keys and Andy Gray.

JASON MCATEER BELIEVES Roy Keane is a “destructive influence” in the Irish dressing room. 

The role of Martin O’Neill’s assistant has been questioned in recent months after it emerged that he had fall-outs with Jon Walters and Harry Arter earlier this year. The latter has since made himself unavailable for selection indefinitely. 

Having won his first senior international cap earlier this year, young West Ham talent Declan Rice also now looks increasingly likely to declare for the country of his birth — England.

Speaking to Richard Keys and Andy Gray on beINSPORTS, former Liverpool and Sunderland midfielder McAteer — capped 52 times for the Boys in Green — claims Keane’s actions may have impacted the teenager’s decision. 

“Obviously, there was an incident with Harry Arter and Jonathan Walters, and I think he [Rice] was privy to that situation,” said McAteer, who had a frosty relationship with Keane during their playing days. “My understanding is that he has been put off from the whole experience. 

“It’s disappointing because players should be looking at Roy Keane and being inspired by him, but that’s not Roy’s way. He questions players, he asked them big questions. 

“It was over the players being injured and not wanting to train. Roy was questioning them but the lads are within their rights to sit out training if they’ve got a niggle.”

I’d say he [Keane] is a destructive influence now,” McAteer added. “It’s very difficult for Martin and Roy at the minute. The results aren’t going well, the talent just isn’t coming through, it’s an up hill battle and it’s getting harder and harder. 

“The thing is, they have signed new deals and it will cost a lot of money to get them out so we’ll have to see what happens. It’s a big call from the FAI if they’re going to release the two of them from their contracts… well, if they’re going to release Roy from his contract because if they do I think Martin will walk.” 

Watch the full interview below: 

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