Man Utd legend Roy Keane has criticised England boss Gareth Southgate for making the Harry Maguire situation “bigger than what it is”.
Last week, England beat Switzerland 2-1 at Wembley. Southgate made ten changes from this win for their game against the Ivory Coast on Tuesday.
Maguire was one of the players who came into the team. He was booed before the friendly got underway amid his struggles for Man Utd this season.
The defender performed well though as Southgate’s side kept a clean sheet. Ollie Watkins, Raheem Sterling and Tyrone Mings scored as the hosts won 3-0.
Keane is of the belief that this situation has been blown out of proportion by Southgate. He also suggested that the manager “picks and chooses when to support his players”:
“I think Gareth has made it a bigger story than what it is. Every player gets booed. There’s going to be idiots at football matches. England fans have got a lot of idiots,” Keane told ITV.
“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.
“I think he’s made a bigger story than what it is. And Gareth is almost picking and choosing when to support his players. 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 [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 [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.”