Danny Murphy does not believe Manchester City should give his former club Liverpool a guard of honour for becoming Premier League champions.
Jurgen Klopp’s team were crowned the top team in England when City lost 2-1 at Chelsea last week, a result that meant they had an unassailable 23-point lead with seven matches remaining.
The first of those comes at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday, where City boss Pep Guardiola has said his players will uphold the tradition of clapping the champions on to the pitch.
Despite the guard of honour generally being a fairly uncontroversial gesture of sportsmanship and goodwill in England – its use, especially when concerning Real Madrid and Barcelona, has been somewhat more fraught in Spain – Murphy told talkSPORT he does not believe it should 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,” the ex-England midfielder said.
“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.
“The fans don’t want you to do it, the players don’t really want to do it, it’s all for effect and it doesn’t mean anything.”
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 28, 2020
Murphy also claimed the collective gesture did not sit well with him given the quality of one individual, namely Kevin De Bruyne.
The City midfielder has enjoyed a superb campaign and is into double figures for goals and assists in the Premier League, placing him firmly in the mix for the end-of-season awards.
Murphy added: “Kevin De Bruyne is the best midfielder, probably, in the world.
“And he’s clapping his hands and giving a guard of honour to players who can’t even lace his boots.”