Tony Cascarino has become the latest former Ireland international to criticise Roy Keane’s actions as Ireland assistant boss – stating that the former Man United great was ‘anything but a professional’.
Keane is alleged to have questioned the attitude of Jon Walters and Harry Arter earlier this year, leading to the latter’s decision to step away from international duty for the moment.
Questions have been asked over Keane’s role as Martin O’Neill’s assistant, with O’Neill defending Keane as an instrumental figure in the country’s successes under the pair.
Everyone keeps talking about Roy being this great professional, (that) he demands the highest standards,” Cascarino said on talkSPORT.
“Roy was never a great professional, I can promise you he was anything but. What he did and has done in the past as a coach is not professional. Having a go at players and being personnel, that’s the massive difference.
“If your coach or No 2 says to you he’s trying to get better out of you and trying to improve you and has a go at you about making a mistake, every professional footballer would take it on the chin.
“But once it becomes personal, and it has done on many, many occasions, and Roy has openly admitted that as well – he was asked to apologise to (Aiden) McGeady, (Jeff) Hendrick and (Daryl) Murphy back in 2016.
“These things have been happening way too often.
“I don’t have any sympathy for Roy because I think a lot of times he has planned to go for someone. He has a bee in his bonnet about the way they act or what they’re doing.
Roy gives you a look that you know he’s going to launch into someone and he did that to Mick McCarthy in 2002. It has been endless.
“It’s not good for Irish football and it’s totally not good for us I think leading up to the next Euros.”
Former England international Paul Merson says Keane doesn’t know how to get the best out of his players.
“There are 20 or 25 players in each squad, some players like an arm round them, to be told they’re the best player a manager’s ever seen, it builds their confidence up,” Merson said.
“Others want that kick up the backside, and to be told off, it picks them up. It’s horses for courses, everyone’s different.
Obviously Harry Arter’s not like that, he seems like a quiet lad. You’ve got to pick on the ones you know it will help, that’s good coaching.
“Don’t come on and have a go at a player who’s not going to respond like that. It’s a hard one, everyone’s different. It’s a shame, they can’t afford to lose players like that.” Alan Smith, Merson’s former Arsenal team mate, says Keane’s attitude is out of date.
“It’s not the same anymore, and that’s where players and coaches have had to evolve a little bit,” he said. “Fergie did it brilliantly, he had the hairdryer and all that at that end of his managerial career, but as it evolved he learned you couldn’t do that with some players.
“The team spirit with Ireland has always been a big thing. They’re not the most talented group of players compared with other countries, but it’s that togetherness and working for each other, sticking together through the bad times that’s done it.
“If they lose that spirit, they’ve lost a lot in that dressing room.”