ROY KEANE has been accused of behaving like a bully towards Harry Maguire by former Premier League striker Gabby Agbonlahor.
Maguire scored his sixth England goal with a thumping header in Friday’s 5-0 win against Albania, but came under harsh criticism from Keane for his celebration.
The Manchester United captain slid on his knees on the Wembley turf and put his fingers in his ears, sending a message to his critics.
But Keane was not impressed with the celebration, claiming: “That’s embarrassing, he’s been a disgrace the last few months for Man Utd.”
And speaking on talkSPORT, Agbonlahor, 35, leapt to Maguire’s defence, claiming that Keane’s comments were out of line, calling him a ‘bully’.
He said: “I’ve seen the quotes and the video of it from Roy Keane and I think Roy Keane is being a big bully, there.
“I think he’s bullying him because Harry Maguire has been under a lot of pressure after some not very good performances for Manchester United.
“This was the next game available to prove that he’s a good centre-half.
“Yes, it’s Albania but, still, we had a job to do. He scores, the excitement of scoring – you’re going to celebrate.
“If I was going for a run of bad form when I scored the goal, I’d want to do the exact same celebration – hands on your ears to the critics to say, ‘I’m going to try and put in a good performance’, and he did that.
“I thought his defending was very good and he scored a goal. Every time he does something now it feels like everyone is against him.”
Maguire has come under plenty of criticism in recent weeks for his performances for Man Utd, who have lost six of their last 12.
And Keane has been particularly vocal in his criticism of the England centre-back, and even mocked him on Sky Sports by doing an impression of him.
He said: “I heard Maguire talking during the week, he was like a robot. He was like (English accent): ‘Apologies to the fans’, with no emotion behind it.
“Harry Maguire says ‘we need to come together as a group’. No, you need to sort your game out if you’re going to be the leader of that group.
“Get the basics right and do your own job. People say he might not be fit, he gave a goal away against Leicester a couple of weeks ago.
“It’s nothing to do with fitness, just a lack of professionalism and not doing his job properly.”
Keane coached Agbonlahor during his brief stint as assistant manager at Aston Villa in 2014 under Paul Lambert, but the Irishman left after just five months.
And the three-cap former England international continued in his defence of Maguire by adding that Keane should get behind him, rather than criticise him.
He said: “He’s English, he’s the captain of Manchester United. Yes, there’s pressure with that, but he’s probably our best centre-half.
“Let’s get behind him and not always try to criticise him.
“For me, it’s bullying from Roy Keane. Everyone sort of jumps on the bandwagon whenever Roy Keane says something.”
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