Monday 20 November 2017

"I didn't cry myself to sleep" - Roy Keane on Jack Grealish decision

Roy Keane answers questions at a press conference in Abbotstown yesterday
Roy Keane answers questions at a press conference in Abbotstown yesterday

Daniel McDonnell and Liam Kelly

Jason McAteer believes that bad advice has led Jack Grealish to pledge his allegiance to England, but Irish assistant manager Roy Keane says that it's time to move on from the saga.

"I didn't cry myself to sleep when he made the decision," said the Corkman yesterday. "I've been asked this question a number of times. We've been patient, Jack has already played for Ireland, we were hoping it would continue. That's life, he had a massive decision to make, and we move on.

"I wouldn't say I was relieved. But after today I am hoping I won't have to keep answering questions about a player who has chosen to play for England."

However, Keane's old foe McAteer feels that the 20-year-old could one day regret his decision, however, and is sceptical about his stalling tactics and what that says about his motivations.

The English-born ex-Ireland winger knows the process after resisting advances from the country of his birth after Jack Charlton asked him to play for Ireland.

"Firstly an international decision has got to be made with your heart," said McAteer. "It can't be made with your head in the sense of commercially where it's going to lead you and how much money it's going to make you, and how much of a star worldwide you're going to be, or where it's going to put you in the media.

Jason McAteer
Jason McAteer

"You've got to play for your country with your heart, otherwise it doesn't work. The trouble with Jack Grealish, for me is, no question he will be involved in the international set-up, but I don't actually see him being a regular for England.

"I think he's been advised poorly. I think he's a great player. He's silky, I he's got a great left foot. I think he's at times got an old head on young shoulders, although I question his temperament sometimes.

"Let's hope Jack reaches the heights in his career, but at the minute, I don't see him being a regular for England," concluded McAteer, who thinks that England managers over the next decade will struggle to accommodate Grealish, Ross Barkley and Jack Wilshere in the same side and that the Villa man is likely to lose out as a result.

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