England boss Gareth Southgate has, on Sunday, provided his take on the much talked about recent criticism directed at Manchester United star Harry Maguire.
Keane takes aim
The name of stopper Maguire of course took centre stage across the media earlier this week.
This came amid the 28-year-old’s latest outing for his country.
On Friday night, England welcomed Albania to Wembley for a World Cup qualifying showdown, eventually emerging on the right side of a comprehensive 5-0 scoreline.
Harry Kane proved the undisputed star of the show, bagging a hat-trick, though Maguire was also amongst the goals, nodding home the game’s opener inside ten minutes.
— utdreport (@utdreport) November 12, 2021
It was not the Man United captain’s goal itself, however, which resulted in his name stealing the headlines on Friday night.
Instead, this came owing to the ex-Leicester City man’s ensuing celebration, which saw Maguire put his fingers in his ears, in an evident message to his many critics.
One individual, though, who was left altogether unimpressed by the defender’s show of defiance was Manchester United icon Roy Keane.
Speaking as part of his punditry role on ITV, Irishman Keane took aim at Maguire in ruthless fashion, labelling his actions nothing short of ’embarrassing’:
“That’s embarrassing, he’s been a disgrace the last few months for Man Utd.”
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) November 12, 2021
‘So be it’
In turn, as alluded to above, it proved altogether unsurprising when, during a press conference ahead of his side’s meeting with San Marino on Monday, Gareth Southgate was drawn on the subject of Keane’s viral comments.
The England boss, though, was keen to play the subject down.
Southgate essentially went on to suggest that criticism has become part and parcel of the modern game, with players, as a result, requiring thick skin to brush off sensationalist claims in the media:
‘It really depends on what you need to do to stay in work, some channels or forums require headlines, some channels or forums require a certain type of approach – everything is different.’
‘So I understand that, just to stay relevant in some of those fields you’ve got to say things that are more quotable and of course, everything is lifted now and used from the live broadcasts for the next day’s headlines.’
‘Everybody in those shows knows that’s how it works and it fulfils a different part of our industry. So I think that’s that’s where we’re at. Personally, as a manager, I get it and so be it. But I’m sure for the players maybe they might feel differently, they’re younger.’
‘They’re less experienced in all of those different fields that perhaps I’ve got and they’re probably thinking that there are players who surely remember how difficult it was to play and that they probably didn’t like it when they were criticised.’
‘To step over the white line is the most difficult thing. I’m sure they feel that a little bit differently to somebody of my age but I personally I get it. It’s that’s the industry and so be it.’