Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick defends club captain Harry Maguire after being booed by England fans
Speaking ahead of his side’s Premier League clash against Leicester City tomorrow (h/t Manchester Evening News), Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has jumped to the defence of club captain Harry Maguire, who was booed by a few England fans during the international break.
Turning out for his country at Wembley Stadium against the Ivory Coast, Maguire’s name was booed by a few fans attending the Three Lions’ game when his name was announced before the match took place.
Rangnick was critical of these fans, saying that Maguire was his captain and a very valuable player of the team, insisting that these kinds of incidents would not take place at Old Trafford as the entire Red Army would be supporting the team.
“He knows my position towards him, he’s been a very valuable player, and the captain of the team and the club, and also my captain. I didn’t understand what was going on at Wembley, but I’m pretty sure it won’t happen in our stadium with the Red Army behind the team and the club also behind the captain.”
Maguire has not had the best of seasons at United, with the defender looking low on confidence and out of form. He has struggled to keep the rearguard in the best shape against strong opposition and has been prone to committing schoolboy errors this term that has led to some cheap goals being conceded.
Now back from the international break, Maguire and Co. will need to stay focussed and ready for a return to Premier League action, as they look to help United climb up the table and finish in the top four of the league table in order to qualify for the Champions League next season.
When quizzed about the fans’ reaction to Maguire over the international break, Rangnick said that he was pretty sure he would not find such an incident taking place at the Theatre of Dreams, and that it was pretty unusual to hear about fans booing a player’s name at an international game.
“I don’t speak to them in person but I’m pretty sure that this will not happen in our stadium. For it to happen in an international game before an international game is pretty unusual.”
Although Maguire has had a bad season at the club level, it was peculiar to see fans boo him while turning out for England. After all, the player has been instrumental for the Three Lions, helping them to a World Cup semi-final and Euros 2020 final in recent international tournaments.
Despite his poor form for the club, he was selected for the games over the international break by Southgate as a sign that showed that there was still some belief in Maguire’s ability. The fact that the manager dropped Marcus Rashford for terrible performances this season should prove that it certainly isn’t a bias to have United players in the England squad.
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We have seen instances where Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale have been booed at Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, but fans at Old Trafford know better. Although there were some sarcastic cheers when Maguire was taken off against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, boos never rang out directed at one player.
Players have in the past spoken about how supportive the home fans are, and the atmosphere created by the supporters in the stadium is magical. Despite his poor showing all season long, Maguire has never once been booed by his own fans.
As captain of the club, there is a good chance that the Englishman takes to the field tomorrow to face his former side Leicester City, and we should expect the Old Trafford crowd to show their support to their skipper, especially given the events that transpired at Wembley Stadium earlier in the week.