Giving his analysis on BBC’s Match of the Day 2 (28/04, 10.30pm), Danny Murphy has lambasted Leicester’s James Maddison for his actions which saw Ainsley Maitland-Niles sent off during the Foxes’ 3-0 win over Arsenal.
Leicester were absolutely sensational against the Gunners on Sunday and their return to form under Brendan Rodgers has been fantastic to watch.
Maddison was one of the stand-out players for the Midlands club once again, claiming a stunning assist for Youri Tieleman’s opening goal in the second half. His contribution from the left flank, rather than in the centre, was outstanding and his role there has surely given Rodgers plenty to think about.
However, he was involved at the centre of some controversy. Already on a yellow card, right-back Maitland-Niles lunged in on Maddison. The result of which was a second booking for the youngster who was given his marching orders.
But Murphy wasn’t happy with the decision and as such, launched a scathing attack on Maddison. He told MOTD2:
“Maddison has stitched him up. He can say what he likes. He is a wonderfully gifted player, Maddison, I like him a lot and I think he is destined for a big future – the stitching up of another player is something I didn’t do, it never came to my mind.
“He didn’t touch him. Earlier in the season, he apologised and said he learned from it, but he hasn’t. I think that’s out of order, I don’t like seeing it and I can’t defend him.”
The creative midfielder was exceptional last Sunday but his involvement in the red card shows he still has a long way to go before he matures into a complete footballer.
The former Norwich man has impressed with the ball at his feet on numerous occasions throughout the 2018/19 campaign but this is the second time he’s been at the centre of controversy.
Back in November, the Leicester man was sent off for diving after going over without being touched against Brighton. This was a similar occurrence but it appears Murphy still hasn’t forgiven him for that incident a number of months ago.
The 22-year-old will have to be careful going forward. If he finds himself involved in these types of situations on a regular basis then it could hinder both his image and ability to reach his full potential.
However, with Rodgers at the helm, Maddison has a manager that’ll be perfectly suited to helping him develop over the next couple of years.