Danny Murphy does not believe Kevin de Bruyne should have to give a guard of honour to Liverpool players who ‘can’t even lace his boots’ when Manchester City host the Premier League champions on Thursday.
City’s failure to beat Chelsea last week saw Liverpool crowned champions of the Premier League for the first time in their history and they will now be given a guard of honour by the dethroned champions, who happen to host them in their next contest.
It is a traditional show of respect for the best team in the league, but Murphy feels it is nonsensical and is completely against players having to do it.
The 43 year old, who spent seven years of his playing career at Anfield, has risked the ire of his former club by singling out City star Kevin de Bruyne as so superior to some Liverpool players that giving them a guard of honour is a farce.
‘The fact City will be doing it on Thursday will show humility, saying “well done” to Liverpool and appreciation for their quality,’ Murphy told talkSPORT. ‘ 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. 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.
‘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!
‘And if I’d won it, by the way, if I was walking through, I’d feel awkward. I’d feel uncomfortable.
‘I understand why the powers that be created it, because it does give off the right message to those watching, but I don’t see the point.’
City boss Pep Guardiola confirmed that his side would welcome Liverpool onto the pitch with the guard of honour at the weekend.
‘We are going to do the guard of honour, of course,’ he said.
‘Always we receive Liverpool, when they came to our house, in an incredible way. They cannot complain.
‘Of course we are going to do it because they deserve it.’
When Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was told about the prospect of a guard of honour at the Etihad and their remaining Premier League fixtures, he found it hilarious.
‘Oh my God!’ Klopp told Sky Sports amid laughter. ‘We will see, I don’t think we can influence that, if it happens it happens.
‘We are champions, no problem with that, and on the pitch we will behave as though we have never won anything before.’
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