Alpay could get Turkey axe
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Coach Senol Gunes has been stunned by the backlash to the centre back's inflammatory antics during the goalless draw with England on Saturday, and has warned he may have little option but to leave the player out of the play-off matches with Latvia.
"Alpay cannot play for the national team under these circumstances," Gunes stressed.
"We have to abandon a player who did wrong but served 10 to 15 years with us."
The 30-year-old has attempted to play down his spat with England skipper David Beckham at half time in the Euro 2004 qualifier.
"The referee told us in no uncertain terms what he expected of us," Alpay explained to The Evening Mail.
"He made us shake hands and then hug each other.
"Then he told us we were too hot and needed to calm down.
"He made us drink a glass of water before we could leave."
The former Fenerbahce man was given permission by Villa to miss training for a second consecutive day, but Ronny Johnsen is expected to take his place in Sunday's Midlands derby with Birmingham City.
For all Alpay's attempts to brush the issue under the carpet, some Turkish commentators believe his actions were a deliberate ploy to try and manoeuvre a return to his homeland during January's transfer window.
"What happened in the tunnel was nothing really," he explained.
"I tripped down some stairs and fell over. Something then happened behind me.
"I felt something brush against my ear or shoulder and I think the other Turkish players thought that Beckham was involved in something. It is now forgotten about."
Alpay also conceded it was a premeditated attempt on Turkey's part to wind up the Real Madrid midfielder.
"Beckham is a good player," he said. "It was a psychological ploy.
"We wanted to get him to react, but it did not work."