ROY KEANE HAS gone even further in his criticism of the Irish team at the European Championships and says he will take on anybody that disagrees with him.
The former captain caused a furore with some outspoken views on ITV after Spain schooled Ireland last Thursday, and has used his column in The Sun to stick the boot into the older member of Giovanni Trapattoni’s squad, in particular.
“The likes of (Robbie) Keane, Shay Given, Richard Dunne, John O’Shea and Damien Duff are picked every game as they have a big reputation. A reputation for what? They hadn’t qualified for anything in 10 years,” he wrote.
“They love having a dig back when I say something but I tell you now, I’ll be ready if they do because players have to be accountable for how the team did.
“I’m trying to be constructive but the manager and players all have to be accountable. It’s not good shrugging our shoulders and having a sing-song.”
Ireland opened their Group C campaign with a 3-1 defeat to Croatia last Sunday, before they were torn apart by the likes of Fernando Torres, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and David Silva.
“You’ll never beat the Irish?” added Keane. “It’s time for that song to be put away because, at the moment, everyone is beating them. I’m sick of this ‘win, lose, we’re on the booze’ mentality. It has to change.”
If there was one note of conciliation in Keane’s piece, he did seek to clarify his comments about the Irish supporters, who serenaded the Irish side on Thursday despite the 4-0 capitulation to Vicente del Bosque’s men.
“People seem to have misunderstood me. I’ve no problems with the fans singing. It’s great that they back the team during and before games – but should they really stay on long after the final whistle cheering?
“There’s a danger that the players think that what has happened on the pitch is acceptable, when it’s not.”
Doyle and Hunt
The Wolves pair of Kevin Doyle and Stephen Hunt were not spared Keane’s ire, either.
“I can’t think of one player who has had a good season at club level.
“A couple of years ago Kevin Doyle was linked with Arsenal. Now he’s heading back to the Championship. Stephen Hunt has been relegated three times in five years.
“Their club form is poor and no player has come out of the two games with any credit. Not one. That’s why Giovanni Trapattoni should make 11 changes against Italy tomorrow.”