Agbonlahor recalls Roy Keane reaction to Aston Villa training ground fight
"They were swinging it out!"
Roy Keane was involved in a fair few training ground flare-ups in his day, and he was on hand with a great line to diffuse the situation.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is dealing with two headaches after his side's 5-2 league defeat to West Brom. The first was the training ground fight between Antonio Rudiger and Kepa Arrizabalaga, and the second is that news of it quickly leaked to the press.
Ahead of his side's Champions League quarter final clash with Porto, Tuchel said such leaks are disturbing but 'the way of modern football'. On the fight between his players, the German remarked:
"Sometimes you have little, little situations where you can maybe look away, and let them sort out things alone. This was not the case. We needed to intervene, because the situation was serious."
During a talkSPORT discussion on the Rudiger-Kepa fight, former Aston Villa and England forward Gabby Agbonlahor spoke about how such incidents are commonplace. He also recalled Roy Keane's reaction to one barney, when he was assistant manager at Villa.
"Once or twice a week, it’s normal," said Agbonlahor, "especially every Sunday.
"When players aren’t in the starting line-up on a Saturday, normally you train on a Sunday and no one’s happy. No one’s happy to be in on a Sunday, no one’s happy that they’re not playing. Sometimes players are going to be angry, shoving each other and it happens a lot."
Agbonlahor recalled a 2014 incident from Villa, when Keane was briefly there as an assistant to Paul Lambert, involving teammates Kieran Richardson and Leandro Bacuna.
"I was sent in from training for a couple of bad tackles, as you do," he began. "You feel like the naughty kid outside the headmaster’s office waiting for the gaffer to come in, you have to apologise.
"Tempers do go in the air. I remember Leandro Bacuna and Kieran Richardson training on a Sunday and they were swinging it out – no one connected, it was 0-0!
"But after it finished, Roy Keane was like, 'Well, you both need boxing lessons for starters, no one connected, we call that a bore draw!'"
Keane and Richardson had previously been teammates when they were both at Manchester United. Febian Brandy, a former United youth team player, once told Training Ground Guru about how Richardson thought he had hit the big time, in 2002, until he crossed paths with club captain Keane.
"Kieran had just made the first-team squad. He came into training one day with the car roof down and his music blaring out.
"He thought he was the man. Unfortunately for him, Roy Keane was walking into the car park. He pointed at him and said, 'Turn your music off and go home. Don’t come back here today'."
Luckily for Richardson, the Cork native was in a mellower mood when he clashed with Bacuna.