Sunday 23 October 2016

'Who the hell do you think you are?' - Seven controversial moments during Martin O'Neill/Roy Keane reign

Published 10/06/2015 | 11:44

Roy Keane and Martin O’Neill
Roy Keane and Martin O’Neill

Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane's tenure as the Irish management team has seen plenty of headline making events away from the pitch. Here is a reminder.

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M50 car crash

The pair, along with three other members of the management team, were involved in a minor collision last night on the M50. An FAI spokesperson has said the Ireland boss and his assistant were rear-ended on the busy motorway yesterday evening.

Thankfully the worst injuries were scrapes, but it isn't the first time in the European campaign that an incident has overshadowed a Scotland fixture.

Read more: O'Neill and Keane left 'shaken' after M50 collision

'Who the hell do you think you are?'

The Republic of Ireland assistant manager was at the centre of controversy when gardai and an ambulance were called to the Portmarnock Hotel following an "incident" with a member of the public in the lead-up to the Scotland qualifier at Celtic Park.

Keane was not impressed when journalists continued to probe in a subsequent press conference

"'Who the hell do you think you are? I've got to answer to you? I answer to the FAI," he responded when asked if he was becoming a distraction within the camp, before abruptly leaving the press conference.

Sticky Toffees

James McCarthy played no part in the 1-0 defeat to Scotland in November, with Keane voicing the suggestion that he, along with Seamus Coleman being put under too much pressure by Everton around international windows.

"James was desperate to be involved with his national team but he couldn't make it," said Martinez.

The relationship between the FAI and the Premier League club is believed to be "strained", not good news when it involves arguably our two best players, plus Darron Gibson when he returns from injury.

Read more: Roberto Martinez hits back at Eamon Dunphy comments

Road rage

In April Keane denied committing a public order offence in an alleged road-rage incident with a taxi driver. The 43-year-old was accused of behaving in an aggressive manner towards the driver, but pleaded 'not guilty' in court.

Keane is accused of causing harassment, alarm or distress, though no CCTV footage of the incident was captured.

O'Neill laughed off the story at the following press conference, but it was yet another non-football related story he had to contend with.

Read more: Roy Keane pleads not guilty to public order offence and will be called as a witness

Celtic calling

Former Celtic player Keane admitted in his autobiography that he turned down the managerial role at Celtic Park job because the club didn't make him feel wanted enough.

Though he wasn't long in the role as O'Neill's assistant with Ireland, he met Dermot Desmond during an international week to discuss the job.

With a number of clauses in the contract that he wasn’t happy with, all of which were were non-negotiable, Keane decided to remain part of the Ireland set-up and snub the Bhoys.

"It felt a bit too familiar. I had been down this road before when I signed for Celtic as a player," said Keane at the time.

O'Neill playing the waiting game

Was Jack Grealish's decision not to commit to the Ireland squad prior to the England friendly and Scottish qualifier the reason Martin O'Neill was 40 minutes late to meet the press?

The will he/won't he surrounding Grealish's future has cranked up since he broke into the Aston Villa first-team, with the player postponing any international decision until later in the year.

It was hoped he would have been included in O'Neill's latest squad, and while the rumour mill suggested he was going to be named, he still very-much remains on the wanted list.


"Not necessarily," was all the manager would say when asked whether the delay to his press conference was due to the fact that he was in conversation with the teenager's father.

Tesco book leak

The conspiracy theorists would argue that it wasn't a leak, but more of a well-engineered publicity stunt. Not that a Roy Keane book launch would require one.


Tescos in Burnage, four miles south of Manchester, stocked a "few" copies of the book on its shelves before the official launch, meaning that a  few journalists were able to get their hands on them and start spilling the beans on Keane spilling the beans.

The timing of the launch, coming in the international week when Ireland faced Gibralter and Germany, was also questioned by some, arguing it was a "distraction" for the players, something Keane himself dismissed out of hand.

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