I've cut the following from a longish article in this week's Irish Independent on Cork City keeper Shane Supple and his time at Ipswich under Keane and his experience last year when called up to the Irish squad. A bit of insight maybe, into the pair of them and what to expect.
...........He articulated some of those sentiments last summer, and Martin O'Neill didn't take kindly to his observations about the culture and atmosphere around the camp. With a chuckle, he concedes that his timing was spectacular. Harry Arter and Roy Keane's infamous row clashed with his cameo stay.
Supple's old lodger Jon Walters had a scrap with Keane too, which brought back memories. "Jonny was saying to me, it's typical, you're back here after 10 years and all of this happens," he grins.
His overall impressions were not coloured by those episodes, though. What frustrated him was the psyche in the camp which he attributes to the corrosive influence of the English football environment.
He wasn't afraid to admit it afterwards and risk upsetting O'Neill because of his gut feeling that this would be a one-time-only experience; he suspected there was a desire to appease the League of Ireland fraternity while coping with an injury crisis.
"I would have been a d***head to turn it down," he shrugs.
As a kid at Home Farm, the ticket to the big time in England with a view to one day representing Ireland was the main source of motivation. On both counts, it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
He has spoken of the little things that bugged him, such as the Irish players leaving kit on the hotel room corridor for the kitman to pick up. At his request, apparently.
"Thrown down inside out," he says, "Maybe they could have just turned it in the right way. People would say, 'How is that relevant to how a team performs on the pitch?' I've seen through the years how that stuff affects team. It's about setting standards. And having values and principles so you're not sloppy on and off the pitch."
Supple recognised the attitudes. He's long held the belief that players immersed in the football bubble across the water have basically lost the ability to think for themselves. In that context, it wasn't just the limited detail in pre-match preparations that baffled him; he also found himself wondering why players weren't kicking up a fuss over it.
"I don't know if any player would ever have questioned Martin and said, 'This isn't right. We're not happy and we need to do this," he says. "I think it should be player-driven. It's your team, it's your country. 'We need to do shape and set pieces and have a plan.'
"I think lads in England are so overcoached and told where to be and what to do that they don't think for themselves. They don't rock the boat because they might fall out of favour or not get a new contract."
Supple did strike common ground with skipper Seamus Coleman when they chatted about the mentality of modern dressing-rooms. He also enjoyed catching up with Walters to talk about his future plans, and Shane Long is an old Irish underage team-mate with a passion for GAA so they had plenty to chat about. He hit it off with David Meyler too as his father John's current brief at Cork provided a reference point.
"Those guys were good," he said. "I don't think some of the (other) players knew who I was. And to be honest I wouldn't have known who some of them were either.
"It's not that they would fob you off but it's just the way things are. I was sitting chatting with Shane Duffy on the way over to France, he's a bit different... a lovely, harmless fella who gets on with it."
"But you know yourself, a lot of footballers; they're not really approachable or you can't hold a conversation with them on a certain level. They're not interested in people and their stories. I would always be interested in, say, Harry Arter, where he was from, and his story. Players wouldn't be like that."
He doesn't envy their riches because of the loss of identity that appears to go hand in hand.
"The game hasn't changed," he asserts. "It's got worse. I've gained much more than material stuff by coming back and getting involved in the GAA and meeting the people that I've encountered in different areas.
"Football conditions lads. That's one of the reasons I left England. I didn't want to be Shane the footballer. I wanted to be known for something else and to make a difference doing something else other than playing football. It's not having a go or saying I'm better than these lads. That's just the way I am.
"Some fellas get into that bubble and when they get out of it, they don't know how to approach or speak to people. Like some of the (job) stuff I've been doing; putting yourself into situations where you're not comfortable."
Supple's theory is that managers contribute to these problems. One of the things he loved about Bohs was Long's openness to feedback even if it meant criticism of his performance.
"The managers I'd seen around my time in soccer in England and the UK, they're very paranoid. They're insecure people," Supple elaborates. "Not willing to hold their hand up and say 'I got this wrong lads' or ask players for their opinion. To them, that's a sign of weakness.
"That's football, you have to be a man. You can't make a mistake or show weakness because you'll be gobbled up. But players are weak, they're very weak because they don't deal with that stuff. They would assume something going out on the pitch before they would ask the question."
Conforming to the lifestyle and the excesses is tied in with that mindset. Supple admits to errors when he broke into the Ipswich side as a teen, although he did have noble intentions with his rash purchases.
"I bought a property and ended up losing my b******s on it," he says. "I came home at the height of the economic downturn, I couldn't afford to pay for it anymore and I lost it all. I would have made money if I'd sold it in the first year.
"But I wasn't interested in cars or that stuff. Lads do that to justify themselves as a pro. They've a one-year contract and a Range Rover on a three-year deal that they won't be able to afford if they are released.
"I think this is part of why lads don't end up being themselves or figuring what they are about. They're in a dressing-room with these bags and watches and think it's normal. I don't think they develop their personality; they end up with one that isn't theirs. It's sad.
"Whether they ever get it back, I don't know. Everyone knows the stories of lads after football and how they don't have the skills to handle it because they've always leaned on their football ability. Clubs don't allow them to develop that because the manager is just as bad as them because he's probably gone through exactly the same thing."
He has always stressed his gratitude to Keane for supporting his decision to quit Ipswich, yet a healthy portion of his negative dressing-room memories relate to the Corkman's fiery spell at Ipswich. Fear was a frequent emotion within the group; it hindered the development of characters. The summer rows didn't shock the squad newcomer.
"I remember a young 17-year-old lad who played in my last game against Shrewsbury. Jack Ainsley. He got destroyed at half-time (by Keane) and whipped off," recalled Supple. "I think he might be playing a bit of ball in the lower leagues (the Isthmian League) but that killed him. He was playing one of his first games and he was torn apart by the manager at half-time. I was torn apart at half-time too. Roy is a scary fella. He is. With those eyes. Lads were afraid. I always looked at him in the eye because I didn't want him to think I was weak. If he's going to have a pop at me, I'll take it."
Walters won the respect of the squad because he fought back; he maintained that stance as a senior player with Ireland when he reckoned Keane had crossed the line.
"He could look him in the eye," says Supple. "That's because Jonny is secure in himself; if he thinks something is wrong or unjust, he stands up for that whereas other lads would just accept it or roll over or let their team-mate be rolled over.
"I was frustrated in that (Ipswich) dressing-room because I hadn't the experience under my belt. I hadn't got the games to justify standing up and having a go back. It wasn't just with Roy. It was with Jim Magilton (Keane's predecessor) as well, and some players in that dressing-room who were d***heads.
"I remember Ivan Campo, who'd been at Real Madrid, he came on loan and didn't want to know. He was happy to just swan around and ping balls left and right. A lovely fella but he just didn't give a s***. I remember him having a pop at Jonny one of the days and Jonny didn't hold back. He told him what he thought of him and was spot on.
"I saw managers have a pop at players and question them. Question their lifestyle. Personally question them. Owen Garvan got that. Everyone did at the time. That was the way managers felt they needed to rule; it was with fear but they weren't getting the return then.
"Whether it was subconscious or whether it was intended, somewhere along the lines the players either downed tools or were too nervous to perform. In whatever job you are in, how can you perform to the best of your ability if you're going out thinking, 'I can't make a mistake, I'm going to get it at half-time.' And then you make a mistake and you think, I don't want to go into this dressing-room.
"Looking back now, you think it was crazy that went on and obviously that's still the case