United armband raises expectations – only Maguire’s club form can quell England boos – The Athletic


Historically, when a Manchester United player has fallen victim to England fans, the cause has been his performance at international level.

David Beckham – reviled for his red card against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup; Phil Neville – targeted for conceding a penalty in a loss to Romania at Euro 2000; Wayne Rooney – criticized for targeting supporters after Algeria’s 2010 World Cup draw.

When Harry Maguire was booed by many at Wembley on Tuesday night, the reverse appeared to be true. The reaction in the stadium to the announcement of his name was felt to be a judgment on his selection after a troubled campaign for United.

It’s hard to believe that those who expressed their displeasure with Maguire against the Ivory Coast were motivated by his contributions in an England shirt. He was a stalwart of Gareth Southgate’s side in this country’s finest period since Alf Ramsey was in charge.

Maguire was named in UEFA’s Euro squad last year and in November became the most successful defender in England history. He has seven goals in 42 caps, one behind Glenn Hoddle in the all-time charts. At the other end of the pitch, England have conceded five goals in Maguire’s last 19 international appearances.

Clearly, he endured a tough campaign with United, becoming a lightning rod for scrutiny. There is often a referendum on his inclusion among the fans.


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