'You're a bully... but I'm not scared of you. Let's have it, me and you' - Jon Walters
"Why are you lying? Don't lie."
Michael Owen vs. Alan Shearer (Round 1) and Jon Walters vs. Roy Keane (Round Infinity). This is what international football breaks are all about.
The break in top level club football, for the international window, often shines a light on other football stories and characters. In the past week, the football cycle has been dominated by spats between former footballers.
Owen and Shearer got into it about Newcastle United while Walters was sucked back into his feud with Keane after the former Ireland captain appeared at a live Off The Ball show.
Keane appears to have gotten the hump at a couple of stories Walters has told on Liquid Football, JOE's football show. On one episode, Walters recalled the time the pair came head to head in the manager's office at Ipswich Town.
That sparked a few swipes, from Keane, in the direction of Walters and the former Stoke and Ireland striker soon caught up on most of the comments. On the latest episode of Liquid Football, Walters responded to the Keane barrage and gave more details on his stand-off with Keane when they had a manager-player relationship at Ipswich Town.
Walters claims Keane had told him, in 2010, that he could leave Portman Road if a Premier League club came for him. Two clubs were interested in securing his services but when he approached Keane, he says, the transfer request was flatly denied. The pair began to argue fiercely and Walters claims Keane removed his watch and jumper and squared up to him. Walters comments:
"I said to him. 'You're a bully. You bully everyone in the club. You bully the staff, you bully the players. I'm not scared of you. You want to bully them, bully them, but I'm not scared of you. Let's have it, me and you'.
"[We were] head to head and he's gone, 'Hit me'. I said, 'You hit me'. And it sort of wasn't happening. I've gone to leave the room and as I've gone to walk out, he's said something very personal. Something that's nothing to do with him, but that's touched a nerve with me.
"So, I've shut the door behind me and gone back in. I've said basically that - 'It's got nothing to do with you. Come on, then, let's have it. You hit me first and watch what happens.' And, basically, 'I'll rip your head off'. That's what I was saying to him. But I'd gone by then; I'd switched.
"Once again, back and forth for a few minutes. And then he says to me, 'You're not going to hit me because I'll have you arrested if you hit me'. I knew I had him then, because if you stand up to a bully... like, 'I'll have you arrested if you hit me in this work-place'.
"So I said, 'Okay then, I'll go meet you outside somewhere. Call me tonight and I'll come and meet ya'.
"And he's come back with, 'Oh, are you going to meet me in the middle of a field with all your mates and ambush me?'
"I said, 'No, I'll come to your house. I'll come to your house and while all your family are there, whatever else, [just] me and you. I'm on me own. I don't care. I'll meet you there'."
Challenge laid down, Walters walked out and went training. Keane and Ipswich decided they would let the forward leave the club and Stoke City would, in time, sign him.
Before that, though, Walters' agent, Paul Warhurst, got a phone call from an irate Keane. Walters just happened to be in the car at the time and Keane's call went out over the speakerphone.
He then received a fine from Ipswich Town in the post and, to Walters's best recollection, the fine read:
'After our meeting in my office, I find it unacceptable [that] you threatened to carry out violence outside of club premises. If there were witnesses, I'd look to that criminal or civil proceedings against you. Here's your [fine for] two weeks' wages. You've got the right to appeal, seven days. Signed, Roy Keane'.
What perplexed Walters, and made him laugh, he says was a comment from Keane, at the live event, when he said he had sent the player his home address and he was 'still waiting' for him to show up.
"Why are you lying?" he asks. "Don't lie.
"So I know I got to him. I got in his head. I don't mind about the other things [he said] but don't lie."
Watch the full response here (from the very beginning) as Walters continued to address Roy Keane's comments.