Michail Antonio reckons Neal Maupay is in danger of getting beaten up as a result of his antics on the pitch, with the West Ham forward labelling the Brentford man, ‘the most disliked person on the field.’
The Frenchman is the premier wind-up merchant in the top flight, thoroughly skilled at getting under the skin of opponents and opposition fans.
The 27-year-old has recently wound up Tottenham’s James Maddison by copying his goal celebration and got in a furious dust-up with Manchester City’s Kyle Walker after taunting the England defender.
Antonio says he has heard that Maupay is a very different off the pitch, but feels that if he continues to antagonise people, it will end in violence.
‘Maupay is known to be a bit of a wind-up,’ Antonio said on the Footballer’s Football Podcast. ‘I know someone who knows him and he’s meant to be a nice guy off the pitch but he does it on purpose.
‘I feel he goes on the pitch to rub people up the wrong way and he’s known for it now.
‘He is probably the most disliked person on the field. One of these days he is going to get beaten up! Back in the day things used to happen in the tunnel, but it’s 2024 now and you probably wouldn’t get away with it.’
Antonio was not necessarily criticising the former Brighton man, saying he is actually a fan of what Maupay gets up to, but does think it will end badly for him.
‘I’m not going to lie, I rate it!’ Antonio continued. ‘I rate it for him. It’s not something I would do but it’s part of his character, the fact he can just put it on in a game and 90% of the time he knows what he is doing, so it’s a skill that he has.
‘But there is going to be a day where someone is not going to have it and at half-time and at the end of the game he’s going to be in trouble.
‘He better start practising kickboxing!’
Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor told talkSPORT that Maupay would be getting kicked by opponents in the past, but rules are stricter these days so he is more protected.
‘I feel like Neal Maupay is lucky that the rules have changed in football, that you can’t kick people,’ said the former England striker. ‘If you went and gave him a good kicking you know you’re going to get sent off, it’s not worth it.’
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