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Harry Maguire has been told to learn a celebration for keeping a clean sheet following the contentious reaction to his goal for England against Albania last week. Maguire appeared to hit out at his critics after netting in the 5-0 win at Wembley and Dimitar Berbatov says he should concentrate on his performances for Manchester United, rather than sparking controversy with England.
The centre-back cupped his hands to his ears, then put his fingers in them while doing a knee slide after heading in the opener against Albania.
With England 5-0 up at the break, ITV pundit Roy Keane took the opportunity to aim a swipe at Maguire, describing the celebration as “embarrassing” and describing his recent efforts for United as a “disgrace”.
England boss Gareth Southgate brushed the talking point off, while Maguire himself said it “just came naturally to me” and “wasn’t directed at anyone” in particular.
United have kept just two clean sheets in all competitions this season and Berbatov has urged Maguire to use his goalscoring form with England as motivation at the other end of the pitch for his club.
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“Against Albania I saw his goal celebration and a lot of players when they score goals do something similar, maybe it’s because their ears are hurting,” the former United striker wrote for Betfair.
“In the case of Harry Maguire, he has had his bad moments for United, people have been pointing the finger at him as the captain.
“So, for him as a centre back to score twice it will be a great feeling and maybe the emotions took over, his way of saying ‘I’m trying my best’.
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“This celebration is usually reserved for strikers who are getting criticism for not scoring, but for Maguire as a defender he should figure out a celebration for when he keeps a clean sheet.”
Having helped England earn their place in the 2022 World Cup, Maguire returns to United with a point to prove against Watford in the Premier League on Saturday.
The 28-year-old has been the target of criticism recently after returning earlier than expected from a calf injury picked up against Aston Villa on September 25.
He played in the 4-2 defeat against Leicester and was also part of the team which was beaten easily by Liverpool and Manchester City at Old Trafford.
“After his international break, Maguire will be feeling charged, full of positive energy, believing in himself and he will hope that his teammates will feel the same,” Berbatov added.
“It’s important for him to correct previous mistakes and I’m sure he will be up for it.
“We all know United are going through a difficult period but his performances for England will definitely help him to start again and get back on the right track.
“I hope he does, because he is the captain of the club and he is leading the defence.”
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