Roy Keane slams Gareth Southgate's defence of Harry Maguire 3 months ago

Roy Keane slams Gareth Southgate's defence of Harry Maguire

Keane said he was shocked by Southgate's comments

Roy Keane has slammed Gareth Southgate's comments on Tuesday night after he defended under-fire defender Harry Maguire in his post-match interview.

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Maguire was subjected to boos from sections of the England crowd during their win against the Ivory Coast at Wembley and after the game, Southgate didn't hold back in his thoughts on the crowd's behaviour.

The England boss described the scenes as an "absolute joke" while many members of the England squad also backed up Maguire on social media.

Southgate's defence of his player

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"I thought the reception was a joke, an absolute joke," said Southgate in his post-match interview.

"What he's done for us, the way he's performed for England has been phenomenal. I don't get it. We're either all in this together or we're not.

"He's in an England shirt, not only should you support a player in an England shirt regardless, but when he's played at the level he has and put in the performances for us that he has, it should be total commitment behind him.

"I don't get that at all. For his performance, pretty faultless really, he stepped out from the back well, he was involved in the second as well."We're a team, we're totally united, we recognise everyone has difficult moments, but he's a top player and he'll come through it."

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'Every player gets booed.'

But Keane - a regular critic of Maguire - couldn't believe what Southgate had said and claimed the England manager had "made it a bigger story than what it is".

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"I think Gareth has made it a bigger story than what it is," he told ITV.

"Every player gets booed. There’s going to be idiots at football matches. England fans have got a lot of idiots.

"And if they’re going to boo Harry Maguire, I think Gareth could have easily said that it’s no big deal. He actually played well, just focus on that."

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'Gareth is almost picking and choosing when to support his players'

Roy Keane Harry Maguire

Keane then compared the situation to when Raheem Sterling faced criticism from sections of the fans and accused Southgate of double standards.

"Gareth is almost picking and choosing when to support his players," the pundit said.

"Raheem Sterling had a bust-up two or three years ago, he was bombed out of the squad. He’s left other players out.

"I remember when Harry was sent off [in October 2020] against Denmark. He didn’t really support him - I thought - when he was walking off the pitch.

"So, I think Gareth’s made a bigger story than what it is. Just get on with the game. He played well! And he’ll get fans back onside by his performances, not by people [like Southgate] reacting to a few boos or social media. Forget about it.

"Be big enough and man enough just to get on with the game. And he played well - that’s the most important thing."

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