Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag defends Harry Maguire in his press conference
During his press conference(h/t Mirror), Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag defended United defender Harry Maguire. The 30-year-old faced additional criticism and mockery following his own goal for England in their game against Scotland in the international break.
England secured a 1-3 victory, and in the second half of the game, Maguire came on as a substitute. Scottish fans mockingly cheered his every touch, targeting the Englishman.
England manager Gareth Southgate expressed his frustration, labelling the treatment as “a joke.” He specifically called out pundits, commentators, and fans for their continuous and relentless targeting of Maguire. The abuse and criticism escalated to the point where Maguire’s mother took to her Instagram account to post an emotional message in support of her son.
Ten Hag held the press conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford. The Dutchman addressed the reporters (h/t Mirror), saying:
“I have said many times, that it is disrespectful, doesn’t deserve it, he is a great player, gives great performances. It is crazy but how it works. Harry has to block this. You see his career, a lot to come, he has to block it with good performances.”
Before the new season began, Ten Hag stripped Maguire of the captaincy, selecting Bruno Fernandes as his successor. The Red Devils boss made this choice due to the English defender losing his first-team status, with Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane ahead of him in the pecking order.
During the summer transfer window, West Ham United negotiated a deal with United for the 30-year-old, with a £30m fee agreed upon. Unfortunately, the deal fell through and he stayed put at Old Trafford.
United acquired Maguire for £80m from Leicester City in August 2019, but he failed to justify the steep price tag with his performances at Old Trafford.
Maguire faced constant criticism and mockery throughout his United career. While some criticisms were justified, one could argue that he has become somewhat of a scrapegoat for systemical deficiencies.
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With United set to play numerous games this season, including Champions League matches, we hope Maguire seizes every chance to redeem his United career and create lasting memories for fans.