Roy Keane criticises England fans but 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.
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.
Gareth Southgate's defence of Harry Maguire.
"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."
“The reception was a joke. An absolute joke.”
Gareth Southgate calling out the idiots who booed Harry Maguire at the start of tonight’s game pic.twitter.com/srXNmiLBm0
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) March 29, 2022
Roy Keane on Harry Maguire getting booed by England fans.
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".
The former Manchester United captain also said that the England team have 'a lot of idiots' amongst their fanbase.
"I think Gareth has made it a bigger story than what it is," he said on 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."
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) March 30, 2022
'Gareth is almost picking and choosing when to support his players.'
Keane then compared the Maguire situation to when Raheem Sterling faced criticism from sections of the fans. The Irishman accused Southgate of double standards.
"Gareth is almost picking and choosing when to support his players," Keane 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."
You can watch Keane and Ian Wright speak about the incident below.
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