Former Manchester City defender Danny Mills has suggested that the punditry of Roy Keane has led to the fans of both Manchester United and England turning on Harry Maguire.
The Manchester United captain was booed before kick-off as England prepared for their match with Switzerland last Saturday and the centre-back was again subject to jeers during the Three Lions match with Ivory Coast on Tuesday night.
The United captain has often been the subject of criticism for the Manchester United legend during his work as a TV pundit, both this season and in the season’s gone by, and Mills believes the Irishman’s standing in the game has influenced fans’ thinking.
Speaking on talkSPORT’s Kick Off show, Mills stated that what Keane says is “gospel” and claimed that the Irishman has a “massive influence” in the game.
The former Man City man preached: “I think when Roy Keane speaks we all sit up and listen. I think he’s got huge gravitas in the game, for what he’s achieved, for what he’s done and everything he’s gone through and achieved in the game.
“You do have to listen but he can be particularly vicious at times.
“No matter how he’s played, if Roy Keane says he’s had an absolute shocker and it’s disgraceful and he’s had a stinker we all go ‘well, he has done’, even without watching the game ourselves and going through it.
“We listen because it’s Roy Keane and he’s spoken so without seeing it as ourselves we take his opinion as gospel. Maybe we shouldn’t do that.’
Maguire is having a season to forget in the red of Manchester United and is still yet to live up to the hefty price tag the club paid for the centre-back. The former Leicester City man has, however, consistently performed well in an England shirt and it surprised many to see the United captain booed twice at Wembley.
Although it is probably unfair of Mills to single out Roy Keane when many pundits have often had a go at Maguire, there is some substance to it.
The Englishman is often scapegoated when results don’t go United’s way, even when their captain has not played that bad; which seems to be a trend in the football world at present, which has possibly been influenced not just by Roy Keane, but many other pundits of influence as well.