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Roy Keane has apologised to Manchester United player for 'crossing the line' with personal comments

Roy Keane has apologised to Manchester United player for 'crossing the line' with personal comments

The former Man Utd captain admitted to "mocking him a little bit" after a poor run of form.

Roy Keane has revealed that he apologised to Harry Maguire after he "crossed the line" with personal comments about the former Manchester United captain.

The 31-year-old, who is still the most expensive defender in football history after his £80 million move from Leicester City in 2019, has endured some difficult times of late.

He was stripped of the captaincy in July last year after talks with Erik ten Hag and for several months, he was considered United's fourth or fifth choice centre-back.

As well as a decline in form that brought boos from his own supporters, Maguire was regularly mocked in online compilations and memes posted on social media.

Back in September, after he was mocked by Scotland fans during England's 3-1 win at Hampden Park, Gareth Southgate said he'd "never known a player treated the way he is" when speaking about Maguire.

"It's a joke; an absolute joke. It makes me livid," Southgate said.

Many pundits voiced their thoughts on Maguire during that spell, including Roy Keane, who was scathing in his analysis of the defender.

Looking back, Keane thinks he crossed the line. In fact, the former Manchester United midfielder apologised to Maguire a few months ago.

Speaking on the first episode of Stick to Football: The Overlap Special, brought to you by Sky Bet, he said: “I was harsh on Harry Maguire for footballing reasons and obviously we do a lot of [Manchester] United matches. Obviously he’s struggled at United and had a tough time with England but more so at club level.

"We’re on about the mental health of players, and I’ve crossed the line with Maguire. I mocked him a little bit and it’s not nice. I’ve played the game, I know how hard it is, but I’m also big enough. I bumped into Harry a few months ago and I apologised to him.

"Sometimes as pundits we get it wrong as well, but there is a point where you go, if it’s personal then you’re crossing the line.”

Keane says the criticism he received as a player made his parents ill.

“I’ve had big stories about me in the press before, particularly the World Cup and when I left Manchester United, and it has a huge effect on your family, particularly your parents," he said.

"I’ve got children and if someone was critical of my child, I’d be affected. It made my parents ill, 100%, they were very ill from that stuff.

"So, we all have a responsibility without a doubt. I know we all sit in a studio but if you stick it to football and not cross the line.”

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Ian Wright thinks the way Maguire was treated was personal.

He added: "I look at Harry, the memes, the GIFS, and everything, and I’ve watched how he plays, everybody makes mistakes. I’ve not seen Harry do anything that makes me go, ‘What’s going on? How is this guy even playing?’

"What’s happened is that people have been taking the mick out of this guy so relentlessly that you’re genuinely waiting for him to do anything.

"Now, even if he misplaces something, he’s getting hammered. It’s a totally different level [to other players].”

To his credit, Maguire has shown incredible resilience in recent months. He regained his place in United's team towards the end of the season and amid the barrage of criticism, his form for England never dipped.

To watch the first episode of Stick to Football: The Overlap Special, fans can tune in to ITV1 or ITVX on Friday 28th June at 10:45pm or watch it on The Overlap YouTube channel.

Featured Image Credit: The Overlap/YouTube - Getty Images

Topics: Roy Keane, Manchester United, Premier League