Richards defends Maguire after Keane’s ’embarrassing’ claim

Date published: Saturday 13th November 2021 7:44 - Jason Soutar

Micah Richards during a BBC broadcast

Micah Richards has defended England defender Harry Maguire following criticism from former Manchester United captain Roy Keane.

Keane labelled Maguire “embarrassing” following his goal celebration against Albania on Friday evening.

The 28-year-old slid on his knees and cupped his hands behind his ears in a combative celebration to his goal in Friday’s World Cup qualifier, leaving the television pundits to produce a scathing assessment.

Maguire’s celebration was interpreted as hitting out at his critics from Man Utd’s poor form, that has put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s job on the line with the Red Devils slipping to sixth in the Premier League table.

During ITV‘s half-time coverage of the England match, Keane said: “He thinks he’s shutting the critics up. But I think It’s embarrassing.

“He’s been a disgrace the last couple months for Man Utd. He thinks if he scores there, he’s going to shut his critics up. Embarrassing.”

Following the criticism, Maguire responded, saying his celebration “wasn’t directed at anyone”.

“No it wasn’t directed at anyone,” Maguire told ITV Sport. “It was a knee slide, obviously I put my hands on my ears, but of course it’s not.

“I’m Manchester United captain, of course I’m going to get criticism when the team isn’t doing well. I fully expect that, but of course it’s not directed at anyone.”

Maguire’s celebration was also called into question by former Chelsea and Aston Villa player Tony Cascarino.

Cascarino told talkSPORT: “I thought it was a bit childish. I thought, ‘Really?’ You’ve got stick, but you haven’t play well enough not to get stick.”

On Keane’s criticism, the 59-year-old said: “When he goes for you, he really goes for you. I always laugh.

“Unfortunately for Harry, Roy has only had a few months of watching him play badly. He’s probably thought, ‘If you do something like you just did, I’m going to give it to you’.”

Richards, on the other hand, has defended the Man Utd captain, whilst criticising his Sky Sports colleague for his critical comments on Friday.

The ex-Manchester City defender said on Twitter: ‘People: Footballers are like robots, they have no personality!

‘Harry Maguire. Scores the opening goal for his country, celebrates with real passion whilst referencing those who have been criticising him.

‘People: That’s embarrassing.’

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