Gareth Southgate and several England stars have hit out at their own fans, as Harry Maguire was booed by a large section of the England fans at Wembley.
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Harry Maguire, 29, was booed before and during England’s 3-0 friendly win against the Ivory Coast on Tuesday.
The criticism comes on the back of Maguire having a tough season for Manchester United, as the Red Devils’ captain has been heavily criticized by pundits, fans and even his own manager Ralf Rangnick has urged him to improve.
When Maguire’s name was read out over the PA system at Wembley before the game, a large chunk of the 73,000 fans present booed.
During the start of the game he was booed when he got on the ball and it continued.
Harry Maguire played well as he was involved in two of England’s goals and stepped out of the back with the ball on multiple occasions.
Still, it was about what happened off the pitch which dominated the post-match chat.
Maguires name greeted with boos just before England's game against Ivory Coast pic.twitter.com/7triPt5Vbx
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 30, 2022
Southgate, Kane lead criticism of their England fans
Following the game England boss Gareth Southgate, who has staunchly defended Maguire and has continued to pick him despite his dip in form at club level, slammed the actions of the England fans.
“I thought the reception was a joke. An absolute joke,” Southgate told our partners in the UK at Sky Sports. “What he’s done for us and the way he has performed for England has been phenomenal. I don’t get it. We’re either all in this together or we’re not. He’s in an England shirt and not only should you support someone in an England shirt regardless but when he’s played at the level he has, it should be total commitment behind him. So, I don’t get it.
“He was pretty faultless, stepping out from the back for the first goal and was involved in the second goal. This team is totally united. We recognize people have difficult moments but he’s top player and will come through it.
Southgate added: “Don’t think for one minute the other players won’t be looking at that thinking, ‘that could be me one day’. And that’s been one of the problems with playing for England. Players have thought, ‘do I want to go because when it turns a little bit difficult the crowd are going to turn on me.'”
Harry Kane, the current England captain, added this: “We’ve worked hard to rebuild our connection with England fans in the last few years so to hear Harry Maguire booed at Wembley before kick off was just not right. The fact that he’s been brilliant on the pitch and given us all so many great memories makes it even harder to understand. He doesn’t deserve that reception. He’s got full support in the changing room and should have the same from every England fan.”
Then Declan Rice, widely-regarded to become the next long-term captain of England, said this: “Total embarrassment from whoever booed tonight. Harry Maguire has been incredible every single time he’s put on the England shirt. Absolute nonsense. Back your own players. Especially with a major tournament coming up.”
Jack Grealish added that the treatment of Maguire was ‘ridiculous’ and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson said it was ‘just wrong’ and praised Maguire.