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doherty doubt WATCH: Roy Keane's explosive row with Jamie Redknapp revives an old talking point

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Roy Keane

Roy Keane

Roy Keane

It was one of those classic moments when Roy Keane appeared to lose his cool live on TV and amid his latest rant on Sky Sports, he revealed his feelings on a debate that ran throughout his time working with the Ireland national team.

Keane was Martin O'Neill's assistant with Ireland for five years from 2013, with an enduring debate during that time focused around Matt Doherty's absence from the team.

Captain Seamus Coleman was favoured ahead of Doherty as two of Ireland's best performers shone on Premier League stages, yet many believed O'Neill and Keane needed to find a place for the latter in their team.

Yet in a heated debate that saw Keane clash with former Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp and describe he current Spurs team as 'average', he suggested their move to sign Doherty from Wolves last summer was evidence of the lack of quality in their squad.

"I think Tottenham have got so many average players," declared Keane. "We talk about the pressure Spurs have on them to get in the top four, but if you take (Harry) Kane and (Heung-Min) Son out of that team, Spurs are an average Premiership team and I’m being polite."

The debate then became increasingly heated before Keane picked out Irishman Doherty to make his point that Spurs were a second rate side.

"Doherty has played for Wolves, who in the last year have done well and you'd expect them to compete," he said. "They sell him to Spurs for £15m. Does anyone think Doherty is going to make Spurs a top-four team?

"I think Spurs were better two or three years ago with (Kieran) Trippier, (Christian) Eriksen and when (Dele) Alli had the hunger. Spurs are good on their day, like lots of teams. Jamie makes the point there that they’ve got lots of internationals.

"If you trap the ball, you’re going to play for your country. If you don’t play for your country now, you are a bad player.

"Playing for your country doesn’t make you a good player. If you can trap a ball you can play for your country these days. It doesn’t make you a top player. (Eric) Dier has been giving goals away every week, last week he gave a goal away."

Doherty is unlikely to be surprised by Keane's comments as he made his feelings known on the O'Neill/Keane management team during and after their exit.

When asked by RTE's Game On show about Keane's role in the Ireland set-up he said: "I guess he was Martin’s assistant. I guess that he must have fed ideas off him on whatever he was thinking.

"It wasn’t necessarily a case where he would take the session and we’re doing shape (work) or, ‘if the ball goes there, we’re all pushing up lads’.

"It wasn’t a case of him doing that at all. I guess he was just a back-up to Martin. I wouldn’t say he was much of a hands-on, in terms of on the pitch, assistant."

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It remains to be seen whether Stephen Kenny looks to accommodate both Matt Doherty (left) and Seamus Coleman in his starting team. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

It remains to be seen whether Stephen Kenny looks to accommodate both Matt Doherty (left) and Seamus Coleman in his starting team. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

It remains to be seen whether Stephen Kenny looks to accommodate both Matt Doherty (left) and Seamus Coleman in his starting team. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Doherty went on to suggest his comments inspired a nasty call from O'Neill, as he added: "I don’t know if I should say too much with the risk of getting another call from him, so I don’t have to go through that again. If you were to listen to that, you’d be shocked. It wasn’t a pleasant call between two human beings at all.

"He called me a ‘tosser’ a few times, and we kinda go back and forth. He was saying some things and I ended up saying, ‘oh you’re a liar’ and stuff like that. And he ended up just hanging up the phone on me."

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