Rio Ferdinand blasts Southgate for benching Chelsea’s star in favor of Harry Maguire.
Manchester United defender Harry Maguire has struggled for his club for the past two years.
He has subsequently lost his post under Erik ten Hag, as well as his captain band.
Maguire, on the other hand, is still a regular for England, and despite only playing four minutes of Premier League football this season, Maguire was chosen to start England’s latest Euro qualifier against Ukraine, alongside former Blue Marc Guehi.
Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has spoken out against it, believing it is an unfair to young players like Chelsea’s Levi Colwill who are attempting to break into the group.
“If England was on a knife-edge situation, I’d get it, but they’re going to qualify, they’re the best team in their group by a mile,” Ferdinand remarked on Vibe With Five when asked about Southgate’s choice to select Maguire.
“My main concern is the confidence and morale of the other players in that position.” He’s effectively admitting he has no alternative center-halves he can rely on.
“John Stones, England’s best center-back at the moment, is injured.” Marc Guehi enters and seems to be able to comfortably step up to every level he is asked to go up to.
“Maguire hasn’t played yet, and he’s probably thinking to himself, ‘Thank God Gareth Southgate is manager because no one else would play me like this.'”
“I’m sure the other players are thinking, ‘wow, that’s unbelievable to see someone who doesn’t play a minute of football, doesn’t start for their club, comes in and wears the England badge.'”
“It used to be that you had to perform miracles at your club for a long time to even get a call-up, let alone a start.” And that appears to have altered dramatically.
“If I were one of the other young centre-backs – [Lewis] Dunk, by the way, what he’s doing at Brighton, new manager, the way they’re playing football, he’s the captain of that team, he’s probably sitting there thinking, ‘if I can’t get a game now, I might as well just throw it in.'”
“You’ve got Levi Colwill, a young player, coming through.” I used to be the young kid who thinks, ‘wow, he obviously doesn’t rate me’ if there are individuals in my path who aren’t playing [for their club].
“Even if it’s only a smidgeonofapercentage point, that’s enough to knock you off your game in terms of confidence, because when you go to an England camp, you’re sitting there at training thinking, ‘I know he [Southgate] doesn’t rate me, because the proof is in the pudding.”
“I can’t wrap my head around how you say it’s because we’re lacking in experience; I can’t understand that as a former young defender.”
“I don’t think [Fikayo] Tomori is even the biggest one; he’s just one of a bunch.” Colwill, Guehi, and Tomori are among them right now.
“The most important thing for me is that Gareth has no idea how good they are at this level.” They may do anything they want at the club level, but when you have the chance to play at the international level, it’s a different type of football, a different style, and a different tempo. You’ll never know how excellent these men are unless they’re tried and tested and given a chance to play some games, so when are we going to find out?
“What happens if Stones or Maguire falter in a tournament and these guys are thrown in at the deep end?” Is that when you’ll find out because it’s not the correct way to prepare for a tournament, you want to see what these people have, can they perform, there are points on the line, it’s a bit different under pressure with the Three Lions on your chest.
“Guehi has done well, but there are others there, give them the opportunity, give them a chance, I just think the message it sends to the rest of the squad can’t be right.”