England boss Gareth Southgate has pledged to stand by under-fire defender Harry Maguire amidst the large swathes of criticism aimed at the defender.
Harry Maguire was given his marching orders after two bookable offences during England’s 1-0 Nations League defeat to Denmark on Wednesday.
The Manchester United captain received a pair of first-half bookings for rash challenges on Yussuf Poulsen and Kasper Dolberg to continue a miserable few weeks on and off the field.
Christian Eriksen scored the only goal for Denmark shortly afterwards, dispatching a 35th-minute penalty after Kyle Walker was harshly adjudged to have impeded Thomas Delaney.
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.
Southgate heaped praise on England’s performance with 10 men and felt they had “come through as a more resilient group” after an international break that also featured wins over Wales and Belgium.
But much of the conversation afterwards centred upon Maguire, who missed England’s September internationals after being arrested while on holiday in Greece and found guilty of assault and attempted bribery.
However, Southgate remained supportive of the defender and urged critics to take a 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 for 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.”
Harry Maguire has had to deal with the pressure of being the world’s most expensive defender and playing for United.
Furthermore, the Manchester United defender 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.
However, his appeal and pending retrial nullifies that conviction.
But, he has struggled to find solace in his football amid a ragged opening to 2020-21 with United, who lost 6-1 to Tottenham in their last Premier League outing.
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.
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.”
“He’s a top player. He’s a massive part of what we do,” Southgate told Sky Sports.
“He is having a period where he’s having a lot of sticks thrown his way. He’s big enough to come through that. He has our support and his club will be the same
“We have total belief in him. He’s been getting all sorts for a while, from some people who should know better.
“None of us like to be in the centre of that sort of storm. When you’re a bit older you can rationalise it and come to terms with it.
Harry Maguire will return to club duty after the international break and will hope to help get Manchester United’s season back on track after a disastrous start to the campaign.
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