Sunday 16 June 2019

'I don't think I'd be showing up' - Liam Brady defends Harry Arter's decision to stay away after Roy Keane row

Liam Brady (inset) has backed Harry Arter's call not to make himself available to the Republic of Ireland
Liam Brady (inset) has backed Harry Arter's call not to make himself available to the Republic of Ireland Newsdesk Newsdesk

Republic of Ireland legend Liam Brady has said that if he was in Harry Arter's shoes, he would not have turned up for the games against Wales and Poland.

Arter opted against making himself available for selection after a heated row with assistant boss Roy Keane ahead of the friendly game with the USA in May over the player missing training due to injury.

Details of Keane's expletive-laden rant against the on-loan Cardiff City midfielder have emerged in recent days and a WhatsApp audio message featuring Ireland's Stephen Ward explaining what had happened, even though he wasn't with the squad at the time, has gone viral. Martin O'Neill says that Ward's version of events doesn't tally with what Keane told him about the exchange but he did not specify what the difference are.

O'Neill claimed that Keane would reach out to Arter in order to find 'reconciliation'.

Neither Keane nor Arter have given their account of events.

Speaking on Today with Sean O'Rourke on RTE Radio One, Brady said that Arter was well within his rights to refuse to play under Keane.

"I have never heard anybody in a responsible position in football talk to a player like that. It's crazy stuff," he said.

"It's a sad state of affairs and it shouldn't be happening. The team should be the story but far too often Roy Keane has been the story and I think it has to stop and Martin should rein him in.

"If someone spoke to me like that, I don't think I'd be showing up. I've been on the end of harsh words from managers all through my career but nothing like that, that was a personal attack.

"It's not acceptable.

"They just don't need these controversies when things are already difficult."

Brady doesn't believe that Keane should be axed but should be taken out of the spotlight.

"He's supposed to assist Martin as number two, so he should be scouting Irish players when they're playing for their clubs, he should be reporting back on that and I'm sure he is doing that and when the team are together, Roy should be helping the players technically and tactically. He should be encouraging players and giving them confidence but he shouldn't be up front and be the story.

"Ever since Martin took him on board, we've had quite a lot of this. He instigated a club v country row with Everton, I also don't feel it's right that he should be launching a book in between big Irish international matches. Something has got to give.

"Surely Martin must realise that this is not helping him and it's not helping the players. I think he should be reined in and be told to do what you're supposed to do in a quiet and efficient manner.

"I think Martin's time as manager of Ireland is in credit. We qualified for the European Championships, we got out of our group and then we gave France a real good game. It was a tremendous showing. Also to get in a playoff, this time last November we were going into the match against Denmark and things were very good.

"It's a results game when you're a manager. We lost 5-1 to Denmark at the Aviva. We lost 4-1 to Wales. We have all these problems anyway with selection and the lack of players and he just doesn't need this business with Roy Keane.

"This should be somehow curtailed and reined in."

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