Martin O'Neill doesn't deny worrying reason for Harry Arter absence 2 years ago

Martin O'Neill doesn't deny worrying reason for Harry Arter absence

This is highly concerning.

Harry Arter is fully fit, playing regularly for Cardiff City and, for the foreseeable future, out of the picture for Ireland.

Despite not having the likes of Robbie Brady and James McCarthy available for selection, Ireland are doing without the services of a proven Premier League midfielder for the upcoming games with Poland and Wales.

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill told reporters at his Monday press conference that the Cardiff midfielder is concentrating on club football right now.

There were reports, last weekend, that Arter and Jon Walters had both been involved in arguments with Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane. Addressing those stories, in conversation with Paul O'Hehir of The Irish Mirror, O'Neill said:

"I'm not denying there hasn’t been altercations. But the situation has definitely been defused and it’s just part of things.

"In one of the particular arguments, the two lads - Roy and the particular player - were actually in agreement about the same thing but it took them time to realise it."

With Arter now left out of the condensed, 26-man squad - after being named in last week's wider squad - the Ireland boss faced inevitable questions on the matter.

Asked if an argument with Keane was one of the factors in Arter's squad absence, O'Neill told reporters (as per RTE):

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"I wouldn't deny that it's the case."

Keane

So, after the identity of Walters was all but confirmed as the other player spatting with Keane, that is another senior international opting to stay away. Declan Rice asked for time away from squad selection as he considered his international future.

The 19-year-old from West Ham played three games for Ireland but is mulling a volte-face and a possible switch to England.

 

Heading into the inaugural Uefa Nations League, the disharmony within this Ireland squad does not bode well.