Controversial! Stephanie Roche Tells Robbie Keane "It's Time To Make Way For Someone Else"
“I have dreaded the day I was going to say this."
Republic of Ireland striker Stephanie Roche has spoken out this week about the future of the men’s team as she looks ahead to their qualifier against Scotland in June.
The talented footballer, who was nominated for a FIFA Puskas Award last year, has caused quite a stir online after she stated that Robbie Keane needs to “make way for someone else”.
The Houston Dash player made the comments in a column for the Irish Independent this week.
“Four years ago, Robbie Keane was his usual, honest self when he proclaimed he would walk away from international football if someone more worthy took the number 10 shirt off him,” she began.
“It’s testament to the great Keano that, four years later, here we are still talking about our main striker,” she continued.
“I have always admired Keane. Not just his undoubted ability to find the back of the net, but also his honesty on and off the pitch.
“The interview four years ago was his genuine honesty shining through but maybe the time has come to fulfil that promise,” she reflected.
“Keane still has so much to offer his country, but those aging legs will not get any quicker. The time has come for something fresh in attack,” she wrote.
“I have dreaded the day I was going to say this, but it’s time to fulfil that promise of four years ago and make way for someone else Robbie.”
She went on to add that if boss Martin O’Neill favours a 4-4-2 formation in future, then Keane is the man to play up front alongside someone big and strong.
Roche also added that she was “shocked to see Shay Given start” in the Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland on Sunday.
“It was a strange decision, and one I could not fathom," she said.
“Both Robbie and Shay are still integral parts of the Irish set up but we can’t be relying on them now.
"While they may find themselves playing a more peripheral role for Ireland in the future, other players now need to step up to the plate because at the moment, there is no-one who seems willing to grab a game by the scruff of the neck and make themselves a hero,” she concluded.