Micah Richards questions criticism of Harry Maguire after his cupped-ears celebration which Roy Keane labelled as ’embarrassing’… with ex-Man City ace defending England international showing ‘real passion’ after scoring
- Micah Richards has questioned the criticism of Harry Maguire’s goal celebration
- Maguire cupped his ears after scoring the opener against Albania on Friday
- Roy Keane called him a ‘disgrace’ and said Maguire’s actions were ’embarrassing’
- Ian Wright said he ‘didn’t need’ to do it and urged Maguire to ‘just play the game’
- But Richards says the Manchester United star was just displaying his personality
Micah Richards has questioned the widespread criticism of Harry Maguire after his goal celebration which Roy Keane branded as ’embarrassing’.
The Manchester United defender cupped his ears and put his fingers in his ears in an apparent riposte to his critics after scoring the opener in a World Cup qualifier against Albania on Friday, which England eventually won 5-0.
But ex-Manchester City ace Richards took to Twitter to insist Maguire was just displaying his personality and showing ‘real passion’ after scoring his sixth international goal.
Harry Maguire headed home to give England the lead against Albania after nine minutes
The United man ran away and cupped his ears in celebration after his headed finish
He said: ‘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.’
Underneath his caption he posted a GIF of professional basketball star Nick Young, a meme often shown to express confusion.
The out-of-form centre half nodded home Reece James’ free-kick after nine minutes as Gareth Southgate’s side raced into a five-goal half-time lead thanks to a Harry Kane hat-trick and a Jordan Henderson strike.
Maguire’s defiant celebration led Red Devils icon Roy Keane to respond angrily at the interval on ITV.
He said: ‘He puts his hand to his ear. He’s like shutting the critics up but I think that’s embarrassing. He’s been a disgrace the past few months for Manchester United. He thinks he scores there, he’s going to shut his critics up. Embarrassing.’
Fellow pundit Ian Wright agreed with the former Manchester United man, urging Maguire to ‘just play the game’.
Both Roy Keane (left) and Ian Wright (right) slammed Maguire’s celebration at half-time on ITV
But ex-Manchester City ace Micah Richards (above) defended Maguire’s ‘passionate’ actions
He added: ‘The thing is, you just don’t need to do that. You look at that and you think you don’t need to do that because you’ve still got a lot of football to play. So don’t give (critics) the opportunity to say ‘right, we’ve got him’. Just play the game, Harry.’
However, Maguire himself insisted after the game he was not trying to silence his critics with the celebration and claimed he expects to receive criticism as Manchester United skipper.
‘No, it wasn’t directed at no one. It was a knee slide, I obviously put my hands on my ears, but no,’ he said.
‘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 no one.
‘Of course, scoring for your country is a great feeling, the first goal in a crucial qualifier. We knew how important the game was, we knew we had to win. We knew how important the first goal was, obviously to score it is a really pleasing moment.’
England boss Southgate responded with humour, jokingly asking ‘Is he a Hulk Hogan fan?’ after being questioned about the celebration, in reference to the wrestling legend’s trademark moves.
Maguire told ITV after the game his celebration was a knee slide and wasn’t directed at anyone
Maguire has been one of the players to receive the most criticism for Man United’s awful form
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have lost five of their last 10 matches in all competitions
But fans were quick to slam Maguire’s actions, as social media flocked to react, with one fan labelling it ‘shameless’.
Another Twitter user posted: ‘Harry Maguire would be entitled to celebrate like that if he hadn’t been completely s*** and at fault for numerous goals at Manchester United this season.’
Matt Chaplin commented: ‘Harry Maguire has really silenced his critics with that goal against Albania’s part timers. Does he think that makes up for being horrendous all season long?’
Meanwhile, a Manchester United fan suggested the celebration was aimed at the club’s supporters.
UtdSam tweeted: ‘Maguire just isn’t captain material celebrating like that clearly aimed at United fans after scoring a header against Albania when he conceded 7 goals in 2 games to our biggest rivals.’
Liam Jeffrey added: ‘What was that celebration all about from Maguire? If he steps up for United like he does for England then he won’t be criticised. Simple.’
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