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Martinez replies to Keane's nonsense

20/11/2014  Comments (35)  jump
Roberto Martinez has dismissed as "nonsense" Roy Keane's suggestion the club over-state players' injuries before they report for international duty.

The Republic of Ireland assistant boss claimed midfielder James McCarthy and team-mate Seamus Coleman were put under pressure by Everton to protect themselves on international duty and that the Toffees always gave the impression players were "barely able to walk". Martinez rejected the accusations and said nothing was further from the truth.

"It is completely nonsense. We have a good relationship with (Republic manager) Martin O'Neill and we keep in touch frequently and share information," the Toffees boss said.

"We are always very proud when our players represent their countries, and the record shows that. Every player at our club is desperately proud to represent their countries.

"A lot has been said — a lot is nonsense. The reality is the conversation between managers of the associations and ourselves has been good and will continue to be.

"The only thing I care about is the players, and we had four players in the Republic of Ireland squad who are incredible characters who just love to play for their country.

"It is disappointing when you see some 'news' that could put that in doubt.

"All the fans in the Republic of Ireland and other nations should know these players will give their lives to represent their countries and that is something we are very proud of.

"Seamus, Darron (Gibson), James and Aiden (McGeady) have been extreme professionals and that is something we will carry on seeing."

McCarthy was sent home from international duty without playing a match after the Republic's medical team decided not to risk the midfielder's hamstring problem.

© The Independent
Article reproduced here in its original form or abridged for brevity.

Reader Comments (35)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 20/11/2014 at 15:32:01
Well said, Roberto! Phenomenal to see him dismantling the man's nonsense piece by piece. It needed saying... (even if it is a bit 'negative' of him!) But it's positive for the club... [Okay, now I'm confused.]
James Morgan
2 Posted 20/11/2014 at 15:37:01
It would be even better if he came out and said Keane is a complete clown and pointed out his "loyalty" to the ROI cause a few years back.
Trevor Lynes
3 Posted 20/11/2014 at 15:43:32
KeaneÂ’s comments are so hypocritical they are hardly worth answering but at least Martinez answered the question put to him by the media. He never dodges questions and always answers openly.

He is a tremendous ambassador for the club and definitely the most articulate in this premier league. I just hope that our International lads are all fit to play against West Ham as it is a big game for us.

Martin Nicholls
4 Posted 20/11/2014 at 15:51:58
What makes KeaneÂ’s comments even more nonsensical is that McCarthy DID report for international and is was the ROI medical team who deemed him unfit and sent him back!!
Ajay Gopal
5 Posted 20/11/2014 at 15:50:10
The dig that Keane made about Roberto's lack of international experience was shameful and way below the belt. If the man has any ethics, he should unconditionally apologise to Roberto.
Sam Morrison
6 Posted 20/11/2014 at 16:05:40
I think the game is a more interesting place for Roy Keanes presence, but as the man himself freely admits he gets things wrong at times. It becomes bigger news because he's more blunt to be fair.
Tony J Williams
7 Posted 20/11/2014 at 17:13:20
Should have said that he would have taken Keane's views more seriously if he had actually won anything as a manager.

Christopher Wallace
8 Posted 20/11/2014 at 17:14:05
Sounds like heÂ’s holding back quite a bit... probably out of respect for Martin OÂ’Neill. Also, Keane is so insignificant in football terms, that he barely justifies any response at all.
Paul Andrews
9 Posted 20/11/2014 at 17:41:54
The bully boy mustn't have noticed the 5 stitches in Coleman's ankle that he played with...
Ged Simpson
10 Posted 20/11/2014 at 18:15:02
Our man has done management school and combines that with the ability to be just a nice guy.

Frightening combination.

Aside from pitch – he is really good for Everton plc (God I wish it wasn't Everton Private Co.)

Eugene Ruane
11 Posted 20/11/2014 at 18:43:51
Roy Keane, a real number two.
Darryl Ritchie
12 Posted 20/11/2014 at 18:48:53
To paraphrase: "I talk things over with the Irish manager, not some assistant!" Nice way to put the "controversy" to rest.
Paul Hewitt
13 Posted 20/11/2014 at 20:25:38
Keane might have been a great player but heÂ’s also a pillock.
Colin Glassar
14 Posted 20/11/2014 at 21:42:14
A phenomenal response from a unique manager.
Bobby Thomas
15 Posted 21/11/2014 at 00:38:41
Keane is a liability and will achieve little of note in his post-playing career; aside from being famous for having a big mouth, a beard & a temper.

Karl Masters
16 Posted 21/11/2014 at 01:07:28
Keane is only courting controversy to make himself look more interesting in the wake of his autobiography being published.

Naked attempt to gain a spotlight and sell more books. File under attention-seeking mercenary.

Tony Draper
17 Posted 21/11/2014 at 06:27:38
Roberto surprised me a little by returning fire.

My initial reaction was that it does seem out of character, though not the only example recently. With further consideration, I'm pleased that "Nice Guy" Roberto responded solidly when asked in such unequivocal terms.

I don't worry for one second that Roberto will now splatter his interviews with spurious complaints about crap referees, other managers false allegations, opposition players diving etc. I don't worry, because he won't resort to that.

What RM did do was to rightly dismiss the comments attributed to ROI ASSistant Keane (a notorious BIG mouth) as nonsense.

Funny that – despite there being "notes of caution" supplied by Everton regarding all four lads – they still reported. I wonder if other BIG clubs would have done the same?

(Side note here, isn't it odd just how long Sturridge is taking to get over that problem caused by Roy Hodgson "making him train too soon"?)

Paul Gladwell
18 Posted 21/11/2014 at 07:12:58
Bit of class by Roberto and he said a lot more than what's shown here if you read the papers today, he cut short as he referred to Keane's Irish World Cup loyalty and a piece about how we have ways of dealing with issues people may have and it's not through the media for clowns who have an agenda.

When are people within the game going to realise this once great footy player has absolutely nothing to offer on the coaching side? He's a constant failure and is always too concerned about carrying on his big hard-case reputation ahead of anything else, I have liked him at times but it's just getting boring now – he's football's version of Jeremy Clarkson.

Spragg Johnson
19 Posted 21/11/2014 at 07:37:04
A man who abandoned his country at a World Cup criticises a club whose players missed a game from an early round of qualifying and a friendly ... Hmmm... What's that smell? Karl Pilkington says... "BULLSHIT!!"
Justin Harvey
20 Posted 21/11/2014 at 10:17:23
Having worked in education for a while now, I'm starting to think that Roy Keane slipped through the special education net of his secondary school/local education authority. Having worked with a number of young people who are on the autistic spectrum, I quite often find myself comparing their behaviours to those of Roy Keane.

Well done to Roberto for responding to Keane's criticism without lowering himself to that level of mud slinging.

Tony J Williams
21 Posted 21/11/2014 at 11:40:47
I like the way he confirms he spoke directly with the organ grinder, not the monkey.
Phil Walling
22 Posted 21/11/2014 at 11:53:14
And Keane is by no means the only one of that ilk 'in power', Justin!
Brian Cleveland
24 Posted 21/11/2014 at 13:03:52
Wouldn't a better response have been "Roy? Roy who?"
Mike Childs
25 Posted 21/11/2014 at 13:57:11
Roy did learn from the master...
Des Farren
26 Posted 21/11/2014 at 13:44:57
Roy who? Eh...the Roy who is the subject of three threads on this forum and the darling of English and Irish media for varying reasons.

As for "nonsense", I believe he expressed a view, that ROI management were invariably put on notice of certain players ailments by the club with a view to not releasing them, not for friendlies, but important qualifiers.

Whether Keane was asked to express these views by Martin O'Neill is not known but O'Neill has declined to disassociate himself from them which tells you something. As for being a positive for club or country time will tell.

As an aside, I can't think of another high profile commentator who has been as complimentary of Everton FC over many years as Roy Keane.

Tony J Williams
27 Posted 21/11/2014 at 14:27:49
Doesn't mean he still can't talk shite sometimes though, Des.
Sean Kelly
28 Posted 21/11/2014 at 09:39:47
That Roberto lad is a gem. Read between the lines folks he reminded Keane that he is a Number 2 and that Roberto only talks to the main man O'Neill. Classic put-down to a twat.
Des Farren
29 Posted 21/11/2014 at 15:00:25
True, Tony J — I pride myself with that ability at times.
Tony J Williams
30 Posted 21/11/2014 at 15:34:24
I have been doing it for 40+ years, Des.
Michael Kenrick
31 Posted 21/11/2014 at 15:48:21
I followed up on the hint that there was more from Roberto — and indeed he does come across in these quotes from the Irish Independent as being more than a tad peeved by the whole episode — and rightly so:

"That comes from a source that's got no... I don't know the agenda the person has behind that," said Martinez, "Does that person do it as an ex-player? Does he do it as a fan? Does he do it in his position? Because if the two managers talk it doesn't make much sense for him to do it because of his position. As an ex (Ireland) player we all know what happened."

The Toffees boss revealed that Coleman played in Glasgow with five stitches in a foot injury and defended McCarthy's absence with a hamstring issue that should clear in time for the 24-year-old to play West Ham tomorrow.

"Those players are desperate to play for their country and it's wrong and unfair to put a doubt in the mind of the fans to think that the players could be having second thoughts about representing their country," added Martinez.

"That's maybe something that's happened in the past but I guarantee you that it's not the case in our dressing-room.

"No-one has mentioned that Seamus Coleman played against Scotland with five stitches in his foot. No-one is mentioning that when everyone is aware of it.

"James picked up a grade one hamstring problem against Sunderland. Normally with these injuries they clear between eight and ten days but in that period you are injured. I don't think it is an issue at all."

Martinez grouped Aiden McGeady and Darron Gibson into earlier comments where he insinuated that Keane's observations could somehow tarnish the reputation of 'four incredible characters and four players who just love to play for their country.'

He said he spoke regularly with Martin O'Neill and the pair are expected to chat in the coming days.

But the Toffees supremo claimed that Keane had political reasons for going public.

"I'm sure there is an agenda. I'm sure that there is something behind it," he observed.

"We have a relationship with a lot of people and if you want to speak about anything you just contact the person. Here, that hasn't been the case. Everything is through the media.

"If there is an issue it should be treated with respect and privately to try and get to the bottom of it.

"To come out and make things public could put some of the Irish fans thinking that the players don't want to play or that Everton have stopped some players from playing. That's nonsense. That's ridiculous."

If there is any video online, it might be interesting to view Roberto's body language and demeanour as he delivered this. Yes, the whole business is garbage, but I am very pleased to see Roberto defending the good name of Everton FC so vehemently.
Ben Mackenzie
32 Posted 21/11/2014 at 16:55:20
RM just oozes class whereas Keane is a classless gobshite.
Peter Bell
33 Posted 21/11/2014 at 17:12:09
Next time we play Villa, Roberto should let his number 2 give their number 2 the answer,
Paul Andrews
34 Posted 21/11/2014 at 17:26:14
It's reassuring to know we have a manager with the class of Roberto.
The club is in good hands and long may it continue.
Sean Kelly
35 Posted 21/11/2014 at 21:47:52
Thank fuck Billy didn't get the urge to get that classless egotistical gobshite in as our manager when the dour one left. Roberto just oozes class. Keane learned how to be a bully from the master old whiskey nose.

He may have got away with it on the pitch at Man Utd but, in the boardrooms of Sunderland and Ipswich, he failed. He is doomed to fail again as he won't get away with it in boardrooms where the real power is.

Remember the saying, "He who pays the piper calls the tune"? Keane will make headlines, mostly bad ones, as that is his only ability since his playing days.

Paul Dark
36 Posted 21/11/2014 at 22:18:19
Man Utd players and managers are so used to cheating with impunity that Keane is merely re-enacting the arrogant behaviour of the sub-appalling Alex Ferguson.

He is a dishonourable man who played for a dishonourable club applying his woeful standards to a club that has class, dignity and fair play. He doesn't even know that he doesn't know.

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