Roy Keane has launched another scathing attack on Ireland’s European Championship flops ahead of Monday night’s final bow against Italy.
The former Irish captain has demanded that manager Giovanni Trapattoni drop his entire team for the third and meaningless Group C game in Poznan.
Keane, who demanded after the Spanish game that the Irish fans drop their ‘won or lose, we’re on the booze’ mentality, has now turned his ire on the players.
Former team-mates Robbie Keane, Shay Given, Richard Dunne and Damien Duff are amongst the players Keane wants dropped.
Writing in the Irish Sun on Sunday, Keane said: “Their club form is poor and no player has come out of the two games in Poland with any credit. Not one.
“That’s why I think there should be 11 changes for when we play Italy.
“The likes of Robbie, Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff and John O’Shea are picked for every game because they have a big reputation. For what? They hadn’t qualified for anything in ten years.
“They love having a dig back at me when I say something but I’ll be ready if they do because players have to be accountable for how the team did.
“I’m sure they have people patting them on the back saying ‘You lost but you did OK.’ But they bloody didn’t.”
Working at the Euros as a TV pundit, Keane claimed the supporters deserve better from the manager and the Irish players.
He added: “At every finals Ireland have played in, there has been a moment to remember.
“Ray Houghton’s winning goals against England in 1988 and Italy in 1994, Packie Bonner’s penalty save from Daniel Timofte in 1990 and Robbie Keane’s late equalisers against Germany and Spain in 2002.
“What will the Ireland supporters have to look back on from this tournament? Sean St Ledger’s goal against Croatia? That is how bad it has been.”
Keane also claimed it is easier for the current bunch of Irish players to talk about pride than play with it.
He said: “I hear Keith Andrews talking about playing for pride against Italy. That should be a given.
“Where was their pride when they started both games so badly and conceded goals almost straight from kick off?
“We’d a 14-game unbeaten run coming into the competition but it didn’t count for much in the end, did it? We need others to come through.
“Maybe we need to lose in the short term to be better in the long run. Even top nations like Germany sometimes write off doing well in a tournament if it means they can develop.
“I’m trying to be constructive here but the manager and the players all have to be accountable. It’s no good just shrugging our shoulders and having a sing-song.”
Best of Ireland
11 places in Ireland you have to visit