Harry Maguire: What is the solution for Gareth Southgate and England before Euro 2024? | football news


Why did Southgate stop selecting the England squad at his level?

I asked Southgate that very question at the recent England camp.

It is a worrying message being sent by the England coach. His current policy, which sees the likes of Maguire and Kalvin Phillips particularly selected when they don’t get minutes for their clubs, sends a bad message to those players in the Premier League and elsewhere who are in good form.

They are doing everything they can to force their way into the England squad, but are being ignored by Southgate’s ‘old reliables’.

However, I completely understand Southgate’s reasons for this.

After being appointed permanent England manager in 2017, Southgate said he would “never choose reputation, form has to come into it”. However, in answering my question in March, he walked back those comments when asked about the continued inclusion of some players who had not played for their clubs.

He also said that if he chose form alone, he would chop up and change the squad at each international camp, and that this lack of consistency could not build a cohesive and consistent team ahead of next summer’s Euros in Germany.

There’s a problem with that too. The selection policy creates a huge imbalance in the England squad. Eight members of this current squad have more than 40 caps and nine players have four or fewer caps. This doesn’t sound healthy.
Rob Dorsett

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Sky Sports News’ Rob Dorsett says he expects Gareth Southgate to continue to back Harry Maguire despite criticism of the defender’s performance.

Is it open season on Maguire? Will the booing stop… or is it a trend now?

Has Maguire ever been ridiculed?

“It’s ironic that the Scottish fans are cheering every pass from Maguire. It’s strange.”

Sky Sports Liveblog summed it up perfectly. Maguire, who came off the bench for England in the 3-1 win over Scotland, was brought on at half-time after Mark Guehi was injured, and was subjected to jeers from the Scottish fans for every pass he made.

This is not the first time this has happened. A week ago, Maguire was cheered on the pitch by Arsenal fans. Sky Sports Peter Smith reported at the time: “Arsenal fans boo Rasmus Hoglund… then chant Maguire’s arrival! They are now chanting his name!”

Maguire has become a character of interest to rival fans for club and country.

This is not limited to opposition fans only. There were jeers towards Maguire when his name was read out before England’s match against Ivory Coast at Wembley in March 2022, and again during the match against Germany later that year.

The booing was heard at club level as well. The then Manchester United captain was booed before kick-off and throughout his side’s win over Crystal Palace in Melbourne in July. He suffered the same fate in Dublin during Manchester United’s friendly match against Athletic Bilbao.

The mockery of Harry Maguire was bizarre. The sound was loud and continuous, something I’ve never seen before on a football field.

Sky Sports News’ Rob Dorsett at Hampden Park

It’s a built-in case for a 30-year-old. Perhaps the biggest concern of all is that it has become… something. Fashion. normal. Perhaps inevitable whenever it appears in the coming weeks.
Oliver Yu

he have Southgate unintentionally increasing the pressure on Maguire?

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Speaking to Sky Sports News, Gareth Southgate launched a staunch defense of Harry Maguire, describing some fans’ treatment of him as a “joke”.

When you think of Southgate’s England team, the first player that comes to mind is Maguire. All of the defender’s 59 caps were under Southgate, to whom his loyalty was unstinting.

But has this loyalty gone too far? Is Southgate now inadvertently helping to intensify the scrutiny on his player?

“He was a fantastic player for England in one of our most successful teams – which was crucial to what we were doing.” “We’re letting him open up about that? It’s a joke – it’s humour; an absolute joke. It makes me angry. “I’ve got no problem with the Scots fans – they’re having fun. But what sparks this is the people in our country. Other players will think: “Is this what lies ahead?”

Gareth Southgate on Harry Maguire

Almost nowhere is Maguire in the spotlight as much as at Manchester United given that he will never rank higher than fifth in United’s defensive pecking order.

But Southgate thinks differently. For him, Maguire is one of the first names on the team sheet. However, with this guarantee of regular matches comes a guarantee of regular scrutiny – and, if things go poorly, regular criticism.

Maguire is not a bad player. But the significant decline in his level in recent years was certainly the result of the ongoing depletion of confidence. But how can that confidence be rebuilt if the only opportunities he gets to do so are to pull on an England shirt, and play in front of a national crowd when he clearly lacks sharpness?

Maguire’s desire to represent his country is admirable – but perhaps it is time for Southgate to let him try to rediscover his form and confidence away from the glare of international football.
Joe is homeless

Where does Maguire stand in Manchester United’s pecking order? Can he revive his career at Old Trafford?

Maguire had the opportunity to leave Manchester United this summer and revive his career but he rejected a move to West Ham because he was unable to agree a financial sum with United.

The proposed transfer seemed like the perfect solution for all parties and a chance for Maguire to remind everyone of the talent that prompted United to pay £80m for him in 2019.

It seemed a strange decision from Maguire, who started this season as fourth – and perhaps fifth – choice to Erik ten Hag at centre-back behind regulars Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Victor Lindelof and even Luke Shaw, who played opposite Maguire last season when injuries struck.

Fortunately for Maguire, injuries could mean he starts against Brighton on Saturday. But he will need a near-perfect performance to move up the pecking order, and when United’s injury crisis subsides, it is difficult to see Maguire as anything more than a rotation option.

Can a set of leadership performances change that? maybe. But despite Ten Hag’s praise of Maguire, there appears to be a disconnect between the manager’s words and his actions.

If Maguire re-establishes himself at United this season and silences his doubters, it will be a remarkable turnaround. He doesn’t deserve the criticism he receives from sections of the United fanbase – both in person and online – but it’s hard not to think an opportunity has been missed this summer.
Raj Ray


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