England’s Harry Maguire has downplayed the reaction from Scotland fans during Tuesday’s friendly at Hampden Park, characterizing it as “a little bit of banter,” and expressing his ability to handle it.
Scottish fans engaged in mocking behavior, ironically applauding Maguire’s passes, with the Manchester United defender eventually scoring an own goal in England’s 3-1 victory.
Maguire commented, “It pretty much takes the pressure away from my team-mates and puts it all on myself. It makes them play better, for sure.”
England manager Gareth Southgate condemned the “ridiculous treatment” directed at Maguire during the game, labeling the criticism the defender has endured as “a joke.”
Maguire played a pivotal role in England’s campaigns at the 2018 World Cup, where they reached the semi-finals, and Euro 2020, where they reached the final. However, a dip in form led to the 30-year-old losing his starting position at Old Trafford and the captaincy of Manchester United.
Despite his club struggles, Maguire continues to be a regular presence for the England national team. He was a halftime substitute at Hampden Park because Southgate rotated the squad for a friendly.
Maguire has faced considerable criticism in the media and on social media, resulting in him being booed by both England and Manchester United fans in various matches. Southgate had no objections to the Scottish fans mocking Maguire and attributed it to the “consequence of ridiculous treatment of him for a long period of time.”
Reflecting on the game in Glasgow, Maguire remarked, “It is a little bit of banter, and it is a hostile environment, coming away to Scotland. We knew coming here, when you hear the national anthem and the way they disrespect that, we knew it would be hostile, and in the second half, I got most of it. I am happy to go with that, don’t worry about that.”
While Maguire has featured in four of his last five games for England, he has made only one appearance for Manchester United this season, coming on as a substitute in their loss to Arsenal. He has played a total of 491 Premier League minutes in 2023.
However, Maguire, who was nearly transferred to West Ham during the summer, is optimistic about getting more playing time with Manchester United as they embark on campaigns in the Champions League and Carabao Cup this month. He stated, “I want to play games; I want to play football. The first four weeks were hard because it was one game a week and the manager didn’t select me, but we have lots of games coming up now, and I am sure I will play lots of games.”