During England’s friendly against Scotland, the England fans turned in on Harry Maguire after his mistake at the back led to an own goal in the 67 minutes.
As a result of this, the Scottish fans jeered him every time he touched the ball.
After the game, Southgate lashed out at the Scottish fans for the abusive comments made on the England defender and described it as ‘an absolute joke’.
However, Harry Maguire’s response to the Scottish fans was a fairly sedate one
“I would not say I am a person who struggles with pressure mentally. I have been through a lot in the last couple of years and I have been Manchester United captain for nearly four years. You take a huge amount of responsibility and everything that comes with it, and that is a lot of bad as well as good. “I would not say I am used to it, but I can deal with it.
It pretty much takes the pressure away from my team-mates and puts it all on myself. It makes them play better, for sure. It is a little bit of banter and it is a hostile environment, coming away to Scotland. “We have given them a goal, which is unfortunate. We knew it would be hostile and in the second half, I got most of it. I am happy to go with that, don’t worry about that.”
Maguire: Sky Sports
As an England fan, when I see this I question Gareth Southgate’s loyalty to fans, who have the right to voice their opinions.
It’s not like they were abusing his family or anything like that.
Also, why do you keep picking those who are out of form or don’t get regular first-team football for their clubs when you should be selecting those who are in form?
I know these players have got you to a semi-final in Russia 2018, followed by the Euro 2020 Final, but why are you dwelling on past performances, when you should be looking at the future?
Harry Maguire isn’t a bad defender, he’s just horribly out of form, and therefore shouldn’t be playing unless he’s had regular first-team football, or if some of the defenders who are better than him are injured.
This is the biggest mistake that not just you but every England manager barring Sir Alf Ramsey has made in every single tournament the nation has participated in.
That is another reason why England has been without a trophy since 1966.
England has such a pool of talented players, and you just feel that Southgate has slightly misused it in the sense of choosing favouritism over form.
This is not a dig at the manager, it’s the truth.
Since the disappointment of Euro 2016, Southgate has done an incredible job of getting England to compete at the latter stages of tournaments, but you just feel that the Three Lions need someone with a bit more tactical nouse during games to get us over the line and win us a tournament. If we had someone like Guardiola or Pochettino, England would have another trophy in their cabinet.
Also, managers like those two love working with and improving young players as they did with Harry Kane and Phill Foden. Look where they are now, especially with Kane moving to Bayern Munich, where he can get even better under Thomas Tuchel.
Coming back to Harry Maguire, my advice to him would be to leave Manchester United and go somewhere that he will be guaranteed first-team football, and start performing to the level that we know he can.
If he does that, then his innocence against the fans’s backlash will be justified, which will make them understand why he is being picked as England’s first-choice centre-back.
For more information about Harry Maguire and England, visit World in Sport.