Ex-Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has labelled guards of honour “a load of nonsense” as Manchester City are expected to applaud Liverpool onto the pitch when the sides meet at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.
Liverpool were crowned league champions for the first time in 30 years last week as Manchester City’s loss to Chelsea confirmed the Merseyside club’s long-awaited title with seven games remaining.
As is tradition, the champions will be applauded onto the pitch in their next fixture which just happens to be Manchester City who were champions last season.
Murphy, who made 170 appearances for Liverpool between 1997-2004, insists that both sets of players don’t want it to take place.
“It’s a perception of respect, ‘the right thing to do’, the message you’re trying to send to the football world that when somebody wins, that you show respect and grace,” Murphy told talkSPORT host Jim White.
“The fact City will be doing it on Thursday will show humility, saying ‘well done’ to Liverpool and appreciation for their quality.
“I think it’s a load of nonsense! I don’t know where it started and why it started, I would feel uncomfortable doing it. I’d do it because you have to do it, but I wouldn’t want to do it, because it’s not done with sincerity.
“If I was a Liverpool player and United won the league, you know they’re better than you, you respect that and you’re trying your best to be like them, so they know you respect them.
“I don’t see the point. But I do understand why the powers that be created it, because it does give off the right message to those watching.”
Murphy also believes it’s wrong for someone like Kevin De Bruyne to applaud a player who “can’t lace his boots.”
“Think about the players clapping the ones coming on,” Murphy added.
“Kevin De Bruyne – probably the best midfielder in the world – is clapping midfielders who can’t lace his boots.”
Former Republic of Ireland international Jon Walters had his say on Twitter and argued against Murphy by stating that the gesture is purely down to showing respect, something which is currently lacking in society today.
Quite possibly it’s something to do with respect…
…something that modern society has a distinct lack of towards other people https://t.co/wOnR77UtgY
— Jonathan Walters (@JonWalters19) June 30, 2020