Harry Maguire is arguably going through the toughest phase of his footballing career.
Out of favour at Manchester United, under the scanner for England, isolated by fans for not agreeing to a move, and his performances now aren’t helping.
He was at the centre of the news again recently after he scored an own goal against Scotland in a 3-1 victory for the Three Lions. However, manager Gareth Southgate leapt to the defence of his player in an extraordinary post-match rant.
Maguire was booed mercilessly by fans, both Scotland’s and England’s, every time he was on the ball and his confidence looked shaken.
Southgate said the reaction was a consequence of “idiots from our side” who have “created this environment”.
He bemoaned the press coverage around Maguire, insinuating that the media has been targeting Maguire in particular.
“Some of the articles and comments that have been written are an absolute joke!”, he said.
"The reaction tonight is a consequence of idiots really from 𝐎𝐔𝐑 side that have created that environment. Some of the articles and comments that have been written are an absolute 𝐉𝐎𝐊𝐄!"
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) September 12, 2023
This is not the first time Southgate has defended the former United captain.
His selection of the player despite him barely getting a look in at the club level was contentious from the beginning but Southgate backed Maguire to turn this around.
The player himself put in an encouraging performance against Ukraine in this international break but it turned out to be an exception to the norm instead of the new norm itself.
So far in his career, Maguire’s international performances have been fairly isolated from his troubles at the club level. No matter the situation at United, he has been a reliable presence for the Three Lions, until this game.
Another error has seemingly turned the situation completely against him as he has now given Southgate a decision to make on his future selections.
Maguire’s prospects at the club level aren’t going to improve anytime soon with Lisandro Martinez back fit, and therefore, his selection to the national side will come under more scrutiny.