Roy Keane branded a 'vile bully' by BBC presenter 3 years ago

Roy Keane branded a 'vile bully' by BBC presenter

"Why is Roy Keane indulged?"

That is how Times columnist and BBC presenter Matthew Syed opens a stinging article that reads as a withering tirade against Keane, Ireland's assistant manager.


Syed, who presents a BBC podcast with Robbie Savage and Andrew Flintoff, has aimed several broadsides at the former Manchester United and Ireland captain in his latest piece.

Keane has been in the headlines for a fortnight now following confirmation from Ireland boss Martin O'Neill that he got involved in heated arguments with players Jon Walters and Harry Arter over the summer, around the time of the friendly games against the USA.

O'Neill initially spoke of the spats as things that often happen in and around committed football men, but sustained media coverage of the matter has recently seen him soften that stance. Keane, he said, would be open to sitting down with both players for clear-the-air talks.

Stephen Ward's leaked WhatsApp conversation - relaying what he had heard about the heated altercations - did not paint O'Neill's assistant in the most favourable or conciliatory light. Keane has not spoken publicly on the incidents.

In an article for The Times headlined, 'Few people have been less suited to coaching than this vile bully Roy Keane', Syed wrote:

'Why is Roy Keane indulged? I have never understood it. The Irishman plays on his reputation as a straight shooter, a man who cuts through the bullshit, a motivator who imposes his will. There is, however, an alternative description: a bully who has never learnt to grow up.

'Sorry if that sounds somewhat direct, but why not give Keane a taste of his own medicine? His latest rant was directed at Harry Arter in his role as the Ireland assistant manager. Arter is an accomplished midfielder who is on loan at Cardiff City from Bournemouth and has been praised for his work ethic and professionalism.'


The Cork native, Syed claims, will see Arter's continued absence from the squad 'as the act of a snowflake, someone the team could do without'.

He harks back to his red card tackle on Manchester City's Alf-Inge Haaland (2001), his fiery MUTV interview (2005) and leans on recent Liam Brady comments - "This has got to stop" - as the voice of decency in Irish football.

Syed followed the article up, on Twitter, by stating:

'Roy Keane is a bully who belittles others. This is not straight talking; it is vindictiveness. He should be sacked as assistant manager of Republic of Ireland for his latest series of rants.'⁦

In his opinion, O'Neill should cut Keane loose or walk away himself.

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