Former Manchester United captain Steve Bruce has leapt to the defence of Harry Maguire with the defender fighting for his place for club and country.
Maguire has been subject of abuse from home and away fans in recent times and the player has seriously lost his way in the last 18 months.
Speaking on Simon Jordan’s ‘Up Front’ podcast, Bruce believes the stick Maguire has been receiving is above and beyond anything that has been seen from supporters, particularly after England’s recent game against Scotland.
"It borders on ridicule and I don't like that!"
Simon Jordan and Steve Bruce discuss the abuse that Maguire is facing in the media and in the stands.
Watch the full episode of #UpFront now 💥
— Up Front with Simon Jordan (@UpFrontPod) September 22, 2023
“It’s got to the level where I don’t think any of us have really seen it. From the supporters, whether you’re England or even when we go to Scotland the other day, they’re almost ridiculing him,” he said.
Bruce has condemned the fans’ actions toward the United man and praised the performances the defender has put in for his country since he came into the national team.
“The actual stuff that he’s getting, it borders on ridicule and I don’t like that. They’re taking the p— and that’s not great. And let’s be fair, still Gareth picks him, I don’t think he’s ever let England down,” Bruce claims.
Speaking on Maguire’s United future, Bruce admitted that he feels the centre back may have benefitted from a new environment to kick start his career, this season.
“Well I thought, Simon, when he had the opportunity to go to West Ham, I thought that might have been the answer, different environment and start again and be valued,” he said.
Bruce, who captained United to success in the inaugural Premier League back in 1994, claims that Ten Hag has made his mind up on Maguire after stripping him of the captaincy and was surprised he didn’t take David Moyes up on his offer.
“It’s vey very difficult to be captain when you’re not playing. I think the way the manager is toward him has sort of said “here’s the door”. For me, fair enough, that’s the way it happens but that’s why I’m surprised he didn’t take them up (West Ham),” Bruce adds.
Bruce managed Maguire at Sheffield United and is firmly of the belief that there is still a player in there but he has now become a point of frustration for United fans.
“He’s a very, very decent player… Who is, for me now, being the subject of frustration of Man United supporters,” claims Bruce.
Maguire has found himself way down the pecking order under Ten Hag and is unlikely to get a substantial run in the first team, barring an injury crisis at centre-half.
The 30-year-old will be desperate for a chance to return to form for both club and country, with his place in England’s defence now under threat for the European Championships next summer.