Keane hits back at 'crazy' Wenger over claims rivals are out to get his players

05 March 2010 02:01
Legendary hard man Roy Keane has hit back at Arsene Wenger's extraordinary claim that his players are being 'kicked out of the game'.

The Arsenal boss went on the warpath last weekend after teenage midfielder Aaron Ramsey suffered a double break to his leg in a challenge that saw Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross dismissed at the Britannia Stadium.

The Gunners' 3-1 victory took them to within three points of Premier League leaders Chelsea but a furious Wenger claimed it was impossible to enjoy because of Ramsey's injury.

Horror: Roy Keane believes Ryan Shawcross' horror tackle on Aaron Ramsey, which left the talented Welshman with a double leg break, was unlucky

But Ipswich boss Keane, who was Manchester United skipper when Shawcross was a promising youngster at the club, insisted: 'The tackle was unlucky, mistimed, simple as that.

'Ryan is a really nice lad and you could see he was genuinely upset. He didn't mean it.

'If anyone thinks they are out to break players' legs at Arsenal it is a crazy notion.

'I can understand Arsene Wenger's frustration but we can't take away the physical side of the game.'

Wenger had said: 'This is a young player who has been kicked out of the game. I'm shocked. That wasn't football. If I have to live with that, I don't want to be involved in the game.

'This is the third player - Eduardo, Diaby and now Ramsey - we have lost to tackles that are unacceptable.'

Keane was at the heart of many full-blooded clashes with Wenger's team in his time at Old Trafford as the two clubs regularly contested the major prizes.

Tough guy: Keane was renowned for his combative style and often clashed with Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira

He added: 'If you ask me to go back over the Arsenal teams of the last 10 to 15 years I can remember playing against people like Martin Keown and Patrick Vieira.

'If I remember rightly they both liked a tackle. Ian Wright, he's another who also liked a tackle, and he was a striker.

'At United we had Paul McGrath, Kevin Moran and Bryan Robson. They all liked a tackle.'

Keane even said he was surprised that there were not more serious injuries, given the physical intensity of the modern game.

He said: 'People sitting high in the stands don't appreciate the speed of it.

Deliberate: Keane admitted in his autobiography that he had set out to hurt Manchester City's Alf Inge-Haaland

'Tackling is a massively important part of the game. If it was all about 11 talented, skilful players out there it wouldn't be the same game.

'Nobody wants to see players getting injured. When a player gets a broken leg it is absolutely shocking.

'But it's part of sport, for God's sake. A young jockey was killed recently. There's an edge to top-level sport, an element of danger.

'Why do you think football is more popular than snooker?

'As much as we all admire a bit of skill - and I've great admiration for the likes of Rooney and Fabregas - a good tackle can also lift fans off their seats.

'It was a part of the game I enjoyed, whether I was making tackles or receiving them.

'Yes, there is a fine line. Tell me about it.'

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Source: Daily_Mail

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