"It was cheap. He's better than that" - Jason McAteer lashes into Roy Keane
"He waited until the last 10 seconds of the game."
Roy Keane talking folks through the 12 red cards of his professional football career was always going to get some reaction. Jason McAteer has perhaps reacted longest and loudest and has labelled his former Ireland teammate 'a clown'.
Earlier this week, on Stick To Football, Keane ran through his various career sending off incidents with Gary Neville, Jill Scott and Ian Wright. Among the highlights were the former Manchester United and Ireland captain saying referee David Elleray 'looked down his nose' at him, Gareth Southgate deserved to get stamped on and he wanted to send Chelsea a message by wiping out Gus Poyet in a season-opener.
One of the other red cards played out on the show featured Keane clipping the head of McAteer as he ran past him, at Stadium of Light, near the end of a 1-1 draw between United and Sunderland.
"He deserved that," replied Keane, bluntly.
Gary Neville continued: "He was your Irish teammate and colleague...". Keane cut him off - "I wouldn't go that far."
"Were you mates or not?" asked Scott. "Absolutely not," replied Keane.
"Just because you play with someone doesn't mean you're mates. Do you know what, he was one of these players who shout their mouths off. I didn't mind lads kicking me or booting me, honestly, but McAteer as usual had plenty to say for himself. But even then, I didn't deserve to be sent off in that game, absolutely not. If you look back on it, I didn't even catch him."
McAteer initially responded to Keane through social media and labelled the retired midfielder a clown. During a stint of punditry on Saturday, though, the former Liverpool and Ireland star went in even harder.
Jason McAteer on Roy Keane
Asked about that red card incident, which took place back in 2002 - not long after the World Cup that Jason McAteer featured in but Roy Keane did not - the former Ireland star commented.
"I knew what buttons to press that day. I knew I could get in his head... that's what my mentality was, to upset him, verbally. " McAteer continued:
"His book had just come out and he was derogatory in his book. He let Eamon Dunphy, of all people, write his book. Eamon Dunphy!
"I was a little bit sad about what he said. Roy told me what he was going to do to me, during the clash, and I said to him, 'Put it in your next book'...
"And he waited until the last 10 seconds of the game, and ran past me. It was cheap. He's better than that. He elbowed me on the side of the head as he walked past me. Uriah Rennie, the referee, was standing right there. The world seen him elbow me. To say he didn't do it, and catch me, is wrong. But to say I deserved it, it's assault."
"I knew what buttons to press that day, I knew I could get into his head!"@MCATEER4 explains how he got Roy Keane sent off against Sunderland, and reveals that he hopes to bury the hatchet with his former Ireland team-mate. #beINPL #MUFC #LFC pic.twitter.com/mFtPN7QVga
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) November 18, 2023
Jason McAteer insisted he was tired of the back-and-forth over a years old incident. "I'd rather him come in here now and us just let bygones by bygones."
"Or," McAteer joked, "we could just get in the right for a million pound each and just sort it out! Eddie Hearn, get him on the phone!"
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