Written by David Dunne

The Stephen Ward Tapes

Whoever thought Stephen Ward would be the centre of scandal?
Or WarderGate if you will.

Stephen Ward

So here we are again, another controversy on the eve of another important game involving Roy Keane and Martin O’Neill.  This time involving an alleged whatsapp recording of Stephen Ward .

This past weekend, the Sunday World had reported an account from a “witness” of what Roy Keane had apparently said to Harry Arter which led to the Cardiff loanee asking to be omitted from the Ireland squad for the foreseeable future.

Now, we all know that some newspapers don’t like letting the truth get in the way of a good story, however, we also know that normally in these situations there is no smoke without fire.

Well, yesterday on Whatsapp it would appear that not only did we get the fire, we got the matches and the lighter fluid too… It turns out that veteran left-back Stephen Ward had shared with a group of pals on the social media platform about what he had heard in the bust-ups between Roy Keane and players Harry Arter and Jon Walters. Unfortunately for Stephen Ward while talking about tension in the camp to his pals, he has undoubtedly created more when the audio file was leaked. What a mess…

Take a listen

The contents were deeply shocking, for about five seconds, until you remembered that it was Roy Keane we were talking about. AGAIN.

In regards to our own little “Celtic Warrior” Roy Keane, the question must be asked: How in the name of God can this clown be allowed to continue his involvement with the Republic of Ireland football team?

Simple, the manager isn’t much better…

When the duo was appointed in 2013, they jokingly stated on ITV that they were “Bad Cop and Bad Cop”. How apropos..

Fast forward to 2018 and it’s pretty safe to say that our management team consists of an oversensitive media bully and from what we can gather an emotionally unbalanced individual that would be our team’s assistant manager Roy Keane.

In regards to O’Neill’s management skill or lack thereof, the fact that Arter has asked to be omitted from any future Ireland squads is enough to assuage my belief that the midfielder was not, shall we say, satisfied with the handling of the situation with Roy. Who could blame him?

In response to the Whatsapp clip, O’Neill said on Monday: “Jon [Walters] is fine. Harry is perhaps not so fine. But I said to you before, you would have to ask whether that is the complete reason why Harry is not participating in these games this time. I think you probably know that anyway, because Harry has let that be known to a few people anyway, on the reasons that he has decided not to come…..

“Sometimes I think the game has changed. Players need to go out and prove the management wrong. If you’re asking about Roy’s criticism of players, this is my responsibility. I will take full responsibility for anything that goes on.”

Will the manager take responsibility though?

In order for Martin O’Neill’s antiquated brand of football to be effective, a team spirit is vital and morale is paramount. However, with Roy Keane acting as a joy vacuum, the assistant manager is nullifying any possible chance for the Irish team under the current structure to be successful. Yet again we find ourselves in an ultimate paradoxical situation. A competent manager or at least an interested one, with their eye on the ball or heart in the job, would spot such idiosyncrasies and act accordingly. But we haven’t got one of those…

Why hasn’t O’Neill taken action against his deputy?

Quite frankly, the Derry native couldn’t give a monkey’s toss about the job he is paid a ludicrous amount of money to do. Any decent caring manager would have dealt with the Harry Arter situation when it happened in May. They wouldn’t have allowed such ill feelings to fester into the toxic situation we have now. It’s basic management. Instead, O’Neill chose to sit back and allow Keane to further destroy morale in the Irish camp while taking no action.

He claimed he was unaware of such a confrontation, this in your writer’s opinion is bollocks.

Yesterday O’Neill says he’ll take responsibility for anything that was said. He even went as far as to say that Roy Keane may utter the words that we didn’t know existed in the Corkman’s vocabulary: “I’m Sorry”. Well Martin, taking responsibility for an incident almost four months after the fact because the cat is now out of the bag, quite frankly is unforgivable. It is also piss-poor management on so many levels and is why you as the manager should pay the price for failure.

But he won’t, which leads me to another clown.

John Delaney.

He is the man responsible for slapping down a two-year contract in front of Martin O’Neill even when it was plainly obvious that the 66-year old’s time had come to step aside. The FAI supremo also refused to see the impending disaster of continuing to employ the “Bad Cop and Bad Cop” duo, especially when head “Bad Cop” was off fluttering his eyelashes at Stoke City. All of this while a monumental rebuilding job was required and full concentration by all those involved imperative. Of course, Delaney is the man that has lauded UEFA for introducing a policy of a maximum 12 years (in three four year cycles) maximum presidency while being in his own job 13 years! No surprises there…

With this lot in charge of the country’s football team, Irish football is truly fucked, ladies and gentlemen.

As I alluded to in an earlier article, Roy Keane is the only assistant manager that has a press conference yet ironically we haven’t heard a peep from the Corkman about his latest hit.

I wonder why?

The saddest part about this, is that we have a game tonight against Poland, yet no-one will be talking about that, they’ll be talking about Roy Keane. AGAIN.

For God sakes, I hope Martin just does the decent thing and GOES. While you’re at it, take Keane and Delaney with you.






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