Harry Maguire speaks out on England goal celebration after Roy Keane criticism
The defender was marked a shame over his celebration
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire still emphatically holds up his claim in his celebration after finding the net for England on Friday night, saying it was not a message to his faultfinders after he was criticized heavily by Roy Keane.
The 28-year-old scored the first goal at Wembley as England got a pounding 5-0 win over Albania to to all but secure World Cup qualification, powering home Reece James’ pinpoint free-kick with an commanding header.
After netting, Maguire put his fingers in his ears which was deciphered as a dig at his naysayers, with the United captain having been singled out during his clubs ongoing run of helpless structure and poor form.
Maguire got England looking wonderful so far on Friday night
Keane, one of Maguire’s greatest pundits, was livid, describing the centre backs celebration as embarrassing and attacking his form, saying he had been a shame the most recent couple of months.
Yet, talking after the game, Maguire rubbished ideas his celebration was to take shots at his critics and insists he is more than equipped for taking any criticism that comes his way on the jawline.
‘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.’
On how much the goal meant to him, Maguire added that scoring for his nation was an extraordinary feeling, the first goal in an essential qualifier, they knew how significant the game was.
In his words:
We knew we had to win the game and [the early goal] really opened them up to come after us and then we punished them. So we knew how important the first goal was, and for me to score it is a really pleasing moment.’
We realized we needed to dominate the match and [the early goal] truly freed them up to come after us and afterward we rebuffed them. So we knew how significant the primary objective was, and for me to score it is a truly satisfying second.
Maguire measured his hands to ears after netting for England
Inquired as to whether there was an additional an edge for him, and other England players, following problematic club structure as of late, Maguire proceeded:
‘Yeah but I think when you play for England there’s always an edge, there’s that pressure that you’ve got to go and win the football match.
‘We didn’t win the last game against Hungary, we were disappointed with the performance, we spoke about that, analysed that. But if you don’t play with an edge when you play for your country there’s something wrong and it was an impressive performance.’