England coach Gareth Southgate condemned the “ridiculous treatment” of his defender Harry Maguire and described this incessant criticism as a “joke” after England’s win over Scotland (3-1) in a friendly in Glasgow on Tuesday.
The Manchester United centre-back earned his 59th cap, but his performance was overshadowed by an own goal. He sat on the bench at the start of the game and was booed mercilessly when he came on after the break.
Harry Maguire, part of the ideal eleven for Euro 2021, has been the target of ridicule at Manchester United for some time, despite being an important part of Gareth Southgate’s England team.
“That’s a joke,” said the coach. “I have never seen a player treated like this, not by the Scotland fans but by our own commentators, pundits, no matter who they are,” he added.
After the game, Southgate initially described the goal as “unfortunate” and added of Maguire: “It’s fine, it’s great. “We won a nice game, he played a great role in that game.”
The coach said he had no complaints about the Scottish fans’ behavior but added that it was “a consequence of the ridiculous treatment the player has suffered for a long time”.
“He is an important pillar of the second most successful English team in decades. It is an essential element of this time,” he assured.
In any case, the English fans chanted Maguire’s name during the second half at Hampden Park: “Harry Maguire, win 3-1”, after Harry Kane’s goal, which followed goals from Foden and Bellingham in the first period.