Martin O’Neill admits he ‘likes’ Roy Keane’s capacity to fall out with players despite Harry Arter and Jonathon Walters spats

6 Sep

Martin O’Neill has admitted he ‘likes’ Roy Keane’s ability to fall out with members of his Republic of Ireland squad.

Harry Arter may well have played his last game for his country after a fall-out with Keane back in June.

Keane has always been a contentious character

O’Neill has played down reports Declan Rice is considering his international future because of the altercation between his assistant manager, Arter and Jonathon Walters.

Although Walters is back in the squad to face Wales in the Nations League clash, Arter has chosen not to participate.

Despite the deteriorating relations within the Ireland camp, former Aston Villa boss O’Neill claimed he was happy with the work of the former Manchester United captain during their tenure together.

“I suppose I didn’t really want to be in a position where I’m offering support to Roy,” said O’Neill. “Because he is more than capable of supporting himself.

Keane and O’Neill have been in charge of the Ireland team for five years

“But what I will say is that he has been excellent since he came in [as assistant manager] and the captain Seamus Coleman would agree with me. He has been very positive, very strong and you know what you are going to get with Roy alongside you.

“You also know that he has that capacity to yeah … he has that ­capacity [to have arguments with players] but sometimes that’s why I like him.”

Never one to shy away from controversy, Keane also jointly holds the record for the most red cards received in English football, being dismissed a total of 13 times in his career.

Ireland will face Wales on Thursday evening in Cardiff, before travelling to Wroclaw to face Robert Lewandowki’s Poland side on Tuesday.