Southgate: Keane just trying to ‘stay relevant’

Date published: Sunday 14th November 2021 8:56 - Will Ford

England manager Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate has had his say on the row between Harry Maguire and Roy Keane, claiming pundits must be “quotable” in order to “stay relevant”.

Keane tore into Maguire for the Manchester United captain’s goal celebration, when he appeared to suggest he was silencing the critics by putting his hands behind his ears.

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The United legend has been critical of Maguire’s form in recent weeks and continued in that vein in the ITV studio.

He said: “I think that’s embarrassing, he’s been a disgrace to Man United. He thinks he scores there he’s shut his critics up, embarrassing.”

Maguire claimed it “wasn’t directed at anyone” and that he expects “criticism”.

Southgate, who has been a pundit alongside Keane, insists he understands the pressures of being on TV, feeling you have a responsibility to make headlines.

“I think we have to understand that in the industry we are in there are different roles,” said Southgate, speaking ahead of England’s final World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Monday.

“In order to make a living you have to take certain approaches. You have a choice of approach.

“I was always thinking, as an ex-player and manger, how difficult those things were. I had empathy for those stepping over the line to play and in the dugout.

“It really depends on what you need to do to stay in work. Some channels and forums require headlines. I understand that. To stay relevant, you’ve got to say things that are more quotable.”

Southgate added: “Everything is lifted from live broadcasts for the next day’s headlines. Everybody knows how that works.

“It feels like a different part of the industry. I get it and so be it.

“I’m sure for the players it might feel different. Younger ones with less experience than I’ve got are probably thinking there are players who remember how difficult it was to play and didn’t like it being criticised. I’m sure they feel different to somebody of my age.

“I get it. It’s the industry. So be it. I get it.”


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