England coaches left impressed by Harry Maguire following his appointment as Manchester United skipper
The 28-year-old was handed the armband last year, in the midst of his first season at Old Trafford. While he may have struggled initially, he has since risen to the occasion.
His leadership is apparent for United and England, as both teams struggle in his absence. The Red Devils failed to keep a clean sheet during his absence last month while the Three Lions were far from convincing in their opening two games at the Euros.
Maguire made his much-awaited return in yesterday night’s 1-0 win over the Czech Republic. He did not look out of place and made a mockery of his lack of match fitness. Moreover, the defence too looked much calmer with the United ace calling the shots.
It will come as no surprise to Southgate, who is well aware of the defender’s abilities. The very fact that he has been able to rise to the occasion of being named United skipper rather than wilt under the pressure speaks volumes of his attitude.
“When you become the captain of Manchester United the impact that must have on your confidence, and the improvement in his leadership and his desire to step forward and have an influence on the wider group shines through.”
No lack of leaders
While Kane is the skipper of the national team, it can be argued that the likes of Jordan Henderson and Maguire are the real leaders on the pitch. It is apparent from the way the players around them respond when they take to the field.
With Wolverhampton Wanderers skipper Conor Coady also in the squad, Southgate has no lack of leaders. This is a welcome change from the rudderless sides of the recent past.
“The dressing room doesn’t need as much voice from the coaches before a game as perhaps it did a couple of years ago..”
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Maguire may not be the best defender in the world and his massive price tag is often used as a whip to beat him. He is however a highly competent player who offers leadership and presence at the heart of the defence. While some may still disagree, the effect on the pitch is clear for all to see.