Gareth Southgate, the manager of England, has spoken out against the abuse of Harry Maguire. He called the way the Manchester United center back has been treated “a joke”
Maguire came on in the second half of tonight’s friendly international match against Scotland at Hampden. He was taken off as captain of Manchester United and told he has no future at Old Trafford.
The Tartan Army footsoldiers booed the defender every time he touched the ball, even though the guests were up 2-0 when he came on. He also scored an own goal when he turned an Andy Robertson cross into his own net.
But Southgate was glad to hear the away fans chanting the 59-times-capped player’s name during the 3-1 win, and he defended the 30-year-old with great emotion after the game was over.
“From the point of view of a Scotland fan, I get it, and there’s nothing they did that I don’t like,” he said.
“But the way Harry is treated is a result of the stupid things that have been done to him for a long time.
“It’s a joke. I’ve never seen our own pundits and analysts treat a player the way they do with him. It’s very important to me.
“For decades, he has been an important part of the most successful England team. He has been dependable and important, and the balls he shows every time he goes out there are absolutely amazing. He is a great player, and we all support him.
“After the game, Harry was fine. We had a good win, and he was a big part of it. As usual, he talked to the reporters. Everything about him is a huge testament to how good he is.
Southgate was happy with how England played against Scotland, even though he had been criticized after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Ukraine in a Euro 2024 qualifier in Poland.
“We wanted to give a controlled performance on the ball so we could calm down the great crowd,” he said.
“We were really dangerous when we passed behind the defense, and we did great work when we didn’t have the ball.” It was a great showing that led to a great outcome. Just that I think we played very well. We were able to stop Scotland from being a threat.
“Jude Bellingham did a good job. We thought that Scotland might have trouble because of its location. If you let them, their center can control games, but we didn’t let them.”
Southgate added, “The Scottish fans should be very proud of what Steve Clarke is doing and how far the team has come.”
“I’m sure there will be a reaction to the result here, but we’ve already had that reaction for three days since the Ukraine game, and that’s important to know.”