‘You’ll learn a lot more if you listen’ – Souness, Keane fall out over Argentina penalty in angry debate

Roy Keane looks angry Credit: Alamy
Roy Keane looks angry Credit: Alamy

Graeme Souness and Roy Keane had an angry debate on ITV over Argentina’s opening goal in their match against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Mohamed Kanno brought down Leandro Paredes in the box with the Saudi midfielder pulling the 28-year-old to the ground. Lionel Messi converted the penalty to put Argentina 1-0 up.

A very similar challenge on Harry Maguire in England’s 6-2 victory over Iran went unpunished yesterday with consistency an obvious issue going forward.

Presenter Laura Woods and former England midfielder Joe Cole were in the studio with Souness and Keane, who were told that referees would be less lenient towards holding and pulling in the penalty area.

Here’s the full transcript as Souness and Keane get into a petty squabble:

Woods: “The reason for giving this is because the referees and officials…”

Souness: “He’s not looking at the ball, Laura…”

Woods: “They’ve been asked to look out for blocking and holding without looking at the ball, no intention of playing the ball. Is that what we saw here, Graeme?”

Souness: “Definitely. He doesn’t know where the ball is, he’s only interested in the Argentinian player. He doesn’t know when it’s been kicked. He’s not looking and I think that is a penalty.”

Keane: “No, no, no. All this will do is encourage diving, he’s dragging him down, he’s dragging him down.”

Souness: “Roy, you aren’t listening to what Laura said: it’s a directive from referees.”

Keane: “I know exactly what she said, yeah. This will encourage diving.”

Souness: “This is not about opinions, that’s a fact. The guy wasn’t looking at all.”

Keane: “Let me give my opinion: it’s not a penalty.”

Souness: “It’s not about our opinions, it’s the law of the game.”

Keane: “Then what are we here for? I’m prepared to give my opinion.”

Souness: “The interpretation, the new law is…”

Keane: “That’s my opinion.”

Souness: “The new law is…the new law is…that…if you’re not concentrating…”

Keane: “I’m here to give my opinion, I don’t think that’s a penalty. I’m here to give my opinion, that’s not a penalty in my eyes.”

Souness: “I’ve heard you say it ten times…do you want to say it again?”

Keane: “I don’t think it’s a penalty.”

Souness: “Well let someone else speak.”

Keane: “Go ahead.”

Souness: “You’ll learn a lot more if you listen rather than talk all the time.”

Keane: “Thank you for your time, no problem.”

Souness: “The ball comes in, he’s not looking at the ball, the directive from the referees is that’s a penalty. We’ve got to accept that’s a penalty. I think we’ve seen a very different Argentina today, it’s not the Argentina I expected to see, I think they’ve got a pragmatic approach. They don’t seem too intent on dominating the ball, I think Saudi have been physical against them and I just feel that Argentina have another gear to go to.

“They can be a lot better than that and I think if they go to that gear then I think we’ll see it.”

Keane: “We’re going to see a record number of penalties at this World Cup. A record number of penalties.”

Souness: “I thought we’d moved on from that?”

Woods: “Joe, moving on really quickly, was it a penalty or not?”

Cole: “I think it was a penalty.”

Woods: “Don’t make eye contact with Roy, don’t do it.”

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