Gareth Southgate Defends Harry Maguire After England Nightmare

Gareth Southgate Defends Harry Maguire After England Nightmare

England manager Gareth Southgate has leapt to the defence of under-fire defender Harry Maguire, insisting the large swathes of criticism he’s facing currently is unfair.

It has been a thoroughly disappointing start to the season for Maguire, who hit a new low on Wednesday after he picked up a red card in the first half of England’s 1-0 loss to Denmark.

Maguire had looked lost before being given his marching orders, attracting even more criticism from supporters, but Southgate insisted (via the Telegraph) that he still remains supportive of the defender and urged those targeting him to step back.

“The first yellow was a challenge he didn’t need to make and it put him on edge,” Southgate said. “The second one is an interception and it just takes him. He’s a great player and massive part of what we do. He’s got a lot of sticks thrown his way, he’s got our full support. He just needs the reassurance that we have total belief in him.

“He’s had to deal with all sorts and from some people who should know better. When you’re a bit older you can rationalise it and move forward from it. He’s experiencing it from the first time really, he’s had setbacks but his profile has changed in the last couple of years because of the club he plays for and the success he’s had with us. He’s got to keep going and the tide will turn.”

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On top of the pressure of being the world’s most expensive defender and playing for United, Maguire has also been forced to deal with the aftermath of an incident in Mykonos during the summer.

The 27-year-old was accused of assault after getting into a fight in a bar while on holiday and is still facing backlash from fans about the incident, with some suggesting he should be dropped just to get out of the limelight for a while.

“He’s in a difficult period and in these times you learn a lot about yourself and you learn who is there for you in these difficult times,” Southgate continued.

Gareth Southgate
Southgate urged critics to step back 

“He will come through it and be a stronger man for it. Knowing Harry as I do, he will want to play football. The best place for him is on the pitch. Everybody has a view on Harry at the moment, but that’s the life of a top player.”

Captain Harry Kane also added his support, remarking: “It’s all part of the learning curve, and the experience of international football. Obviously, he’ll be disappointed, but he’ll bounce back. He’s had a great three or four years. Football is all about working hard and I’m sure that’s what he’ll do.”

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