June 23, 2024

Harry Maguire is under fire after his own goal

Harry Maguire is repeatedly criticized – especially online. Image: Cornerstone

Hardly any professional footballer is criticized as openly and maliciously as Harry Maguire. After an unfortunate own goal in the friendly match between England and Scotland, the defender is once again the target of excessive criticism – but he is also receiving support.

September 15, 2023 at 2:46 pmSeptember 15, 2023 at 5:52 pm

Katja Borger

Harry Maguire really isn’t easy. When he moved from Leicester City to Manchester United in 2019, he became the most expensive defender in the world. Four years later, the England international has not only lost the captain’s armband and his usual place in Manchester, but has also become the target of online ridicule and hatred.

In 2019, Maguire signed a six-year contract with United. The transfer fee amounted to €87 million, a record for a defender. He was not sacked until last August when Josko Gvardiol moved from Leipzig to Manchester City for 91.5 million euros. After performing decently in his first two years at Manchester United, Maguire’s form has finally shown a steady downward trend – including horrific failures. A scapegoat for Manchester United’s lack of success was quickly found: Maguire, it was said, was not worth the money.

Last season, Harry Maguire participated in only 16 official matches in the English Premier League. The team around coach Erik ten Hag no longer relied on the former record defender and tried to get rid of him in the last transfer window. West Ham have shown interest, but disagreements between Maguire and Manchester United over the amount of his severance package meant Maguire was also in the north of England squad for the current season.

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Maguire’s sometimes clumsy nature and his five goals have now led to criticism, which is reproduced in an endless loop online in the form of memes and videos. Experts also agree. This is what former footballer and current TV pundit Rafael van der Vaart said about Maguire: “When I watch an amateur match on Sunday, I find three players who play like him.” It seems to have become almost socially acceptable to verbally attack the England defender. Even Ghana’s parliament was already mocking the England international.

National team

The national team has been a safe space for Maguire for a long time. He was permanently placed under manager Gareth Southgate. Now it seems that the defender is no longer undisputed in the national uniform. In the run-up to the World Cup in Qatar, Southgate did admit that Maguire’s lack of match training with his team was of course “far from ideal”, but he still stuck by the defender.

The fact that the national coach is still relying on Maguire is not sitting well with everyone. The discussions were fueled by the unfortunate goal he scored last Tuesday in the friendly match between England and Scotland. Even when he came on as a substitute, his touches on the ball were always accompanied by whistles from the Scotland ranks – and Scottish fans also seem to view Harry Maguire as a figure who can be criticized without hindrance.

After the match against Scotland, national team coach Southgate described the disdain directed at Maguire as a “joke” and added: “I have never seen a player treated like this before.” He was not referring to the whistles of the Scots, but to criticism from within his own ranks. The coach said that the English media, not knowing its sensitivity, had made the 30-year-old a “joke.”

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According to The Guardian, after Maguire’s own goal, his mother also spoke out and sided in favor of her son. In an Instagram story, Zoe Maguire addressed the public and described the extent of the criticism as “shameful and unacceptable.” She adds that although she realizes “there are ups and downs in football, pros and cons,” what Harry gets goes far beyond football.

But how does the man in the virtual dorm feel? After the match against Scotland, Maguire was calm and focused on what he had already achieved in England: “I had a fantastic World Cup, even though I haven’t played that many games. The fans have always stuck by me. You saw what I did in 59 caps for England.” “.

Italy vs England - UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers, Europe, Europe, Football 2024 Harry Maguire of England greets fans at the end of the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifier match between Italy and England at the stadium...

Maguire scored seven goals in 59 matches with the England national team. Image: www.imago-images.de

His mother also believes her son won’t be broken by the criticism: “Harry has a big heart and it’s good that he’s mentally strong and can handle it, because others might not be able to. I wouldn’t wish this kind of abuse on anyone,” she wrote on Instagram.

Whether intentional or not, if Maguire wants to maintain his fitness for the 2024 European Championship in Germany, he desperately needs match training. This will be difficult at Manchester United. If his direct rivals Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane or Victor Lindelof are fit, he will likely continue to be at the back under Erik ten Hag. Former United striker Louis Saha also sees Maguire’s move as inevitable: “I think the logical step for him is to look for a club that respects him, respects his stature and gives him the opportunity to prove himself at Euro 2024 to play in Euro 2024.” England start eleven.”

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