England’s national team manager, Gareth Southgate, has strongly criticized the treatment of Manchester United defender Harry Maguire, referring to it as “a joke,” following yet another episode of abuse from fans.
Despite being named in the European Championship team of the tournament just over two years ago, the 30-year-old Maguire has recently become the subject of ridicule among many football enthusiasts. His struggle for form and limited playing time at Manchester United have intensified the scrutiny on a player who continues to be an integral part of Southgate’s England squad.
Maguire made his first start of the season during the Euro 2024 qualifying match against Ukraine, which ended in a 1-1 draw. However, during the subsequent game against Scotland, he was met with relentless mockery when he was brought on at halftime. Unfortunately, Maguire scored an own goal during the match, but England emerged victorious with a 3-1 win, much to the delight of their fans.
Southgate expressed understanding regarding the Scottish fans’ reactions but condemned the broader treatment of Maguire, not only by opposition fans but also by commentators and pundits. He stated that Maguire has displayed incredible resilience and determination on the field and has been a crucial part of England’s recent successes.
The England manager emphasized the importance of senior players like Maguire and applauded the fans for their support during the game against Scotland. England supporters chanted Maguire’s name throughout the second half and humorously chanted, “Harry Maguire, he’s winning 3-1,” after Harry Kane’s goal added to Phil Foden and Jude Bellingham’s first-half goals.
When asked about Maguire’s well-being after the match, Southgate reported that the player was in good spirits and had faced the media with his customary professionalism.
Regarding Maguire’s own goal, Southgate described it as “unfortunate” on a night when Jude Bellingham shone and England delivered an impressive performance.
In conclusion, Southgate expressed his satisfaction with England’s performance against Scotland, praising the team’s control of possession and composure with the ball. He also commended Jude Bellingham’s performance and emphasized the importance of allowing players the freedom to express themselves on the field.
The treatment of Harry Maguire remains a topic of debate within the football community, with Southgate’s remarks highlighting the challenges faced by high-profile players in the modern game.
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