THEY may have had one of football’s most infamous bust-ups, but Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has leapt to the defence of predecessor Roy Keane over the sale of Jordan Rhodes, insisting – ‘there was more to it than met the eye’.

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The former Kesgrave High School pupil faces his boyhood club for the first time today as the Blues play Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

He will always been seen as the ‘one that got away’, following his incredible progress since Keane sold the untried youngster – after just 10 substitute appearances – to Huddersfield Town for £750,000 in the summer of 2011.

Bought by Blackburn for £8m last summer, the 23-year-old has scored 106 league and cup goals, as well as three for Scotland, in the three-and-a-half years that have passed since his controversial departure from Suffolk.

There is certainly no love lost between McCarthy and Keane following their much-publicised spat as Republic of Ireland manager and skipper respectively at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

However, McCarthy – delivering a cryptic message – believes Keane shouldn’t bear the brunt of fans’ frustrations.

“It would be easy for me to join in, with the benefit of hindsight, and say the club was wrong to let him go,” said the Blues boss.

“From what I gather there was a move set-up for him, not really from the management.

“He wasn’t getting a game, Connor Wickham came on the scene and the move was set up.

“Roy Keane was here and I don’t know how many times he saw him play. I don’t know the circumstances.

“It’s always the same. When someone leaves a club and does well, everyone wants to point the finger at the bloke who got shot of him. I’m not going to join in because there will be more to it than meets the eye, believe me.”

McCarthy, whose side will also come up against recent loanees DJ Campbell and Bradley Orr today, added: “I don’t really know Jordan – I know his old man Andy (former Town goalkeeping coach) better because we played together at Barnsley.

“He’s got a remarkable goalscoring record and the goals he got against Bristol City last weekend were two really top-class finishes from a goalscoring machine.

“Someone said to me recently ‘Blackburn got that right signing Jordan Rhodes’ and I said ‘well they did pay eight million quid and give him bundles of money a week’.

“He’s one of the best in the Championship – but for that kind of money you expect a player to do it in the Premier League.”

– See today’s EADT for full match preview. Follow @Stuart_Watson and @ChrissBramms on Twitter for live match updates from Ewood Park.

22 comments

  • Rhodes was packed off to Huddersfield on the back of an alleged "footballing decision", clearly from above Keane's head; a bit like the one that saw John Stead sold. One of the things I think Keane was consistent at doing was making clear that such decisions were made above his head (Sean Derry as an excellent example). The problem at the time was that Rhodes was 6th choice and the money offered for him would have been a great deal for any other player; regrettably our CEO only saw a good offer for a reserve player, not that player's potential. I remember Keane, days before Rhodes was sold, describing him as the club's only natural goalscorer! that in itself speak volumes about the sale. The only decision worse than the one to sell him must surely be the allowing him to play for Scotland on spurious grounds.

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    Andrew Mehen

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • I most certainly do blame Keane for the sale of Jordan Rhodes , wheather the move was set up or not , it is absolute nonsense to suggest Roy Keane was somehow coerced into selling him to Blackburn , the guy never saw him play a competitive game and had no idea whatsoever what he was selling. People look at these rants and say hindsight is a wonderful thing , but this site in particular was full of these sort of comments on the day he was sold , mine amongst them , so that does not cut any ice with me on this subject.

    Report this comment

    KEVIN FRANCIS

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • Cheers Merlin (Wee2) You can be counted on to stand up for your mates. Hi to Fats & Wrigley John Roy

    Report this comment

    John W

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Mike, if RK did not set the deal up then you will understand why supporters do not share your sadness at seeing the back of Simone Clegg.

    Report this comment

    Cyril Baker

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • Agree 'A penny for your thoughts' ,

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    John Wall

    Sunday, February 10, 2013

  • Thinking back, I did hear rumours regarding Mr. Rhodes at the time he left. I suppose it's easy to have hindsight. If I had hindsight I'm pretty sure my life would be totally different to what it is now. Why Jordan Rhodes gets continually brought up is because we haven't had a decent striker in years. Lets hope McGoldrick will turn out to be the one. But even the best have bad spells and as Mick says 8 million is for a Premiership striker. I know people will say "Well take Van Persie, Rooney,Carroll etc" but these players go to the big clubs and it doesn't follow that Blackburn will get promoted. If they stay in the Championship for a few seasons they may end up having to sell Rhodes on.

    Report this comment

    whymarkmariner

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • Keane was the manager who sold Rhodes and as far as I am concerned he is to blame. Furthermore his subsequent transfer dealings were abysmal for the club !

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    gaz man gaz

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • Agree with John W 'A penny for your thoughts' ,

    Report this comment

    John Wall

    Sunday, February 10, 2013

  • Agree 'YouNeverCanTell' Chuck Berry ,

    Report this comment

    John Wall

    Sunday, February 10, 2013

  • Those who cared about the club were gutted when the Jordan Rhodes deal was done because they knew about the great potential he had. Unfortunately that didn't include the former manager who did the deal or the CEO who to be fair had no knowledge of the game Both of them were only here for the money and to further their careers - can't blame them for that but you can question why such bad appointments were made.

    Report this comment

    John Lowe

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • Agree with John W 'A penny for your thoughts' ,

    Report this comment

    John Wall

    Sunday, February 10, 2013

  • The thing is Mick (in who we trust),would you have sold Rhodes,I suspect not. You know what you doing. Onwards and upwards COYB

    Report this comment

    mike blunt

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • Interesting article now that Mr Clegg is not there. Et tu, Brute?

    Report this comment

    John W

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • Pen Robson Dalglish 2014IrelandB.E*.L.F.CEscapeToVictory1981 Keane Ramsey Paper 'IveGotABrandNewCombineHarversterAndI'llGiveYouTheKey' Wee1

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    John Wall

    Monday, February 11, 2013

  • Stop looking back and concentrate on the real issue - happy at Clegg going but very concerned at what replaces him. A business the size of ITFC needs an experienced CEO which it appears the 2 directors who are to share the post are not. A football club needs football people running it which since ME took over we have not had and see where its taken us.

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    Alan Chaplin

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • Sorry MM. Every single Town supporter recognised the value of Jordan Rhodes at the time, they did not need 'the value' of hindsight. Even if the inept tier of top management sold him, regardless, then a half decent Manager would have resigned so, there is no doubt, Roy Keane was to blame.

    Report this comment

    BlueArgyll

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • I have to admit that I was one of those who felt Roy Keane would have been a success given more time. It is easy to remember that he filled the team with Sunderland loanees - but we should not overlook the fact that he done so following attempts to bring in his own players & was knocked back because of financial restraints - nothing new there then ??? The stick that is always used to beat RK is that he sold Jordan Rhodes - & this is always brought up as the proof that he was a bad manager. As I have always thought Keane was not alone in making this decision - & it is to his eternal credit that he has kept a dignified silence on this - as indeed he has regarding his whole tenure at ITFC. The only detrimental comment he made was regarding Clegg & MM seems to be endorsing this - to no ones surprise. I still feel that if RK had got the experienced number 2 he recognised he needed he would have done OK. For those who say he was a bad manager it should be remembered that in his only other appointment he took Sunderland from the bottom of the table to promotion to the Premiership in his first season. I'm sure he will be the first to admit - & has done so - that he got some things wrong at Ipswich - but the vitriol that still surrounds his time here to me is totally unfounded. For those that insist on constantly referring to him as our worst manager I wonder what they were looking at when they witnessed the debacle presided over by his replacement Jewell. All power to MM for speaking up in his defence - we all know their history - but we should take this as confirmation that RK did not act alone in the sale of Rhodes - though to my mind it is a measure of the man that he has always accepted that the buck stopped with him.

    Report this comment

    Old Timer

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • Who is blaming Roy Keane for one of the worst decisions made by any of the 92 league clubs over the last 25 years? Whilst it is embarrassing and sickening to once again see No Loans spouting absurd drivel when he should be getting on with building a team it is daft to rake over old coals without even mentioning the reason the club let Rhodes go for buttons... and Trotter and Garvan and Ambrose second time round et al.... it is simply that the club is being run on a month to month basis as an income stream for an offshore company and in no way is it being run as a football club.

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    Rob Steroo

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • I was no Roy Keane fan but if you remember Connor Wickham was being blooded as a raw teenager and there was no room for two. Even if he had stayed and waited his time he would have been sold by now to make more money for our so called saviour.

    Report this comment

    old timer

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • I have to admit that I was one of those who felt Roy Keane would have been a success given more time. It is easy to remember that he filled the team with Sunderland loanees - but we should not overlook the fact that he done so following attempts to bring in his own players & was knocked back because of financial restraints - nothing new there then ??? The stick that is always used to beat RK is that he sold Jordan Rhodes - & this is always brought up as the proof that he was a bad manager. As I have always thought Keane was not alone in making this decision - & it is to his eternal credit that he has kept a dignified silence on this - as indeed he has regarding his whole tenure at ITFC. The only detrimental comment he made was regarding Clegg & MM seems to be endorsing this - to no ones surprise. I still feel that if RK had got the experienced number 2 he recognised he needed he would have done OK. For those who say he was a bad manager it should be remembered that in his only other appointment he took Sunderland from the bottom of the table to promotion to the Premiership in his first season. I'm sure he will be the first to admit - & has done so - that he got some things wrong at Ipswich - but the vitriol that still surrounds his time here to me is totally unfounded. For those that insist on constantly referring to him as our worst manager I wonder what they were looking at when they witnessed the debacle presided over by his replacement Jewell. All power to MM for speaking up in his defence - we all know their history - but we should take this as confirmation that RK did not act alone in the sale of Rhodes - though to my mind it is a measure of the man that he has always accepted that the buck stopped with him.

    Report this comment

    Old Timer

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

  • Pas de deux It is now,

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    John Wall

    Sunday, February 10, 2013

  • RK was a disaster for the club. Look at his handling of Brian Klug, who walked straight into a job with Tottenham, not to mention the family silver that he sold off in favour of trying to become some sort of wheeler dealer in the premiership reject market. He undid so much of the infrastructure that made ITFC great in discovering and bringing on new players. MM is obviously an honourable man in refusing to get drawn in to the discussion.

    Report this comment

    Chris Watson

    Saturday, February 9, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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