Spat’s life - Town bust-ups are not new
IPSWICH TOWN: It did Sir Bobby Robson no harm – so how will last week’s run-in with Jon Walters effect Roy Keane’s future at Portman Road?
Robson was involved in a dressing room brawl with players Tommy Carroll and Billy Baxter, and this is now looked back on as the turning point in what turned out to be a magnificent Blues reign.
Both players quickly departed the club, and Robson’s authority was strengthened and he went on to win the UEFA and FA Cups and lead Town to European football for nine out of 10 years.
Will Keane’s up and downer with his erstwhile skipper prove a similar spur to Ipswich’s fortunes at a time when performances on the field are improving?
Or will club owner Marcus Evans look at the situation and fail to be impressed by two leading figures on the playing side of the club falling out so dramatically?
Will he see it necessary to step in and ensure that harmony prevails?
Evans is cute enough to be well aware of the inner feelings at a club where all Keane’s squad confirm one after the other how good the spirit in the camp is.
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Keane confirmed that he had an altercation with Walters after calling the player in to strip him of the captaincy.
This was after Walters made it known to his manager that he wants to leave Portman Road.
How heavy the argument got is open to conjecture, but Keane revealed that Walters’ action was ‘unbelievable overboard’ and that the player wanted by Stoke City and the subject of a ’higher’ bid by another club last weekend has been disciplined.
“I’ve had heated exchanges with many a person, the wife, players, team-mates, managers. I’ve crossed the line a few times myself and you have to take your punishment,” said Keane.
Keane has said that Walters will never play for Ipswich again while he is manager, and on the face of it the player should be on his way out this week.
Whether last week’s happenings prove pivotal in the club’s fortunes remains to be seen.
But with the team – despite being crippled with injuries - now looking capable of bigger and better things in the Championship in the short term a fall-out of this magnitude cannot be welcomed.
Bristol City are reported to have come in for Town striker Jon Stead again after the player turned down a move after the clubs agreed at �225,000 bid last month.
Doncaster Rovers manager Sean O’Driscoll, who watched Town’s friendly with a Tottenham XI, is believed to be chasing midfielder Alan Quinn on loan.
Quinn, 31, who is currently resting a groin problem, was wanted by Plymouth last season.