Aston Villa legend Gabby Agbonlahor has lifted the lid on the time Manchester United great Roy Keane had a brilliant response following a training ground bust-up between Leandro Bacuna and Kieran Richardson.
The former Republic of Ireland midfielder has become a sharp-tongued TV pundit following his playing career, renowned for his stinging criticism and withering attacks during his analysis.
However, Agbonlahor recalls an occasion when Keane, who was assistant at Villa back in 2014, was just as quick-witted on the training ground when things got heated between two players who are well known to Bluebirds fans.
“Tempers do go in the air,” Agbonlahor said on talkSPORT.
“I remember Leandro Bacuna and Kieran Richardson training on a Sunday and they were swinging it out – no one connected, it was 0-0!
“But, after it finished Roy Keane, who was assistant manager, was like, ‘Well, you both need boxing lessons for starters, no one connected, we call that a bore draw!’
“Honestly, it was hilarious. It happens all the time. After training, it’s forgotten.”
Richardson, a Manchester United youth product, played just six league games for the Bluebirds back in 2016, before his contract was ended after just two months. The 36-year-old has not played professionally since.
Bacuna, of course, is now a City player, having joined the club under Neil Warnock during the Premier League campaign.
The midfielder’s feisty character has come to the fore more than once during his spell with the Bluebirds, the most memorable of which came when he and Callum Paterson squared up to each other in February last year at the end of a 1-0 home defeat by Nottingham Forest.
Bacuna appeared to grab the Scot by the throat before Will Vaulks stepped in to be the mediator in proceedings.
Then manager Neil Harris later said the pair had apologised in the dressing room after the heated incident.
“I have had an apology from both of them,” said Harris at the time.
“I have reminded the players, them two in particular, that we do have a young fan base that attend games.
“Moments of of disappointment and argumentative moments need to be dealt with in private in the changing room, which 99 out of 100 are within football clubs, not just ours.
“I have reminded them of their responsibilities as professional sportsmen and how they are role models.
“But as a pair they are great, they are really good guys, friends as well, on the pitch and off. And they were fine afterwards.”