Roy Keane has branded some of the Aston Villa players he coached at the club the “worst professionals I ever met in my life”.
Keane worked as an assistant manager under Paul Lambert at Villa in 2014 while he also held the same position with Martin O’Neill at the Republic of Ireland.
The former Manchester United midfielder previously managed Sunderland and Ipswich Town, but has now moved into punditry full-time.
It’s fair to say that he doesn’t miss his time as an assistant, with the 50-year-old unloading his criticism of the culture at Villa seven years ago to his former team-mate Gary Neville.
“I didn’t like the group, I have to say,” Keane said onSky Sports series The Overlap.
“When I dislike a group of players or I fall out with one or two of them… and I didn’t really fall out with them, I kept my guard up, I thought ‘I’m not losing it with players’.
“Every club will have one or two of them, but Villa had six or seven lads that I couldn’t take because really they were bad lads, not good pros.
“Some of it was behaviour: poor attitude to training, late to training, if they come off the bench not trying because they’ve been left out, all that.
“When I left, because I thought ‘I’m just going to focus on Ireland’ and I thought ‘Is it me?’
“The players I ended up falling out with, I’ve followed their careers closely because I thought maybe I got that really wrong, I was a bit harsh on them. They’ve done nothing.
“It’s the same with the couple of lads I fell out with at Ireland. They’ve done nothing with their careers. I was trying to help them – not that I fell out with many at Villa, I couldn’t be bothered with them.
“What’s the point in going there with these lads who were imposters, who were a disgrace?
“Some of them now are in the media talking about current players and you’re going ‘You were the worst’.
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“There were two lads at Aston Villa who were the worst professionals I met in my life, for attitude, for desire, for the way they’d speak to the staff.
“I used to look at them and go, I’ve never experienced that ever, the way they were speaking to staff. Then one of them tried to speak to me like that and I went ‘Don’t speak to me the way you speak to the rest of the staff’.
“Then that’s you falling out with people, so what do you do? Go ‘Alright lads I don’t want to fall out with you’? I’d rather fall out with somebody than pander to them.”
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