Harry Maguire’s mother has lashed out at the “disgraceful” and “unacceptable” abuse received by her son in recent weeks and months.
The 30-year-old has faced an intense amount of criticism for his performances at club and international level, with the spotlight firmly on Maguire during England’s international friendly win over Scotland on Tuesday night.
Maguire came off the bench as a half-time replacement for Marc Guehi, and was mercilessly mocked and jeered by Scotland supporters before scoring a desperately unfortunate own goal in an eventual 3-1 win for the Three Lions.
He has also been the firing line at Manchester United for much of 2023 having lost his place in Erik ten Hag’s starting lineup, and came close to leaving the club to join West Ham United earlier this summer.
That move failed to materialise, with Maguire unable to negotiate a pay-off with United, but he’s continued to dominate the headlines after Gareth Southgate’s selection of him despite not starting any games at club level.
Southgate said after the win over Scotland that the continued criticism of Maguire was “a joke” and insisted that he’s “never known a player treated the way he is”. The England’s manager’s words have now been echoed by Maguire’s mother, Zoe, who took to social media to criticise the “disgraceful” treatment of son.
She said on Instagram: “As a mum seeing the level of negative and abusive comments in which my son is receiving from some fans, pundits and the media is disgraceful and totally unacceptable to any walk of life never mind someone who works his socks off for club and country. I was there in the stand as usual, it’s not acceptable what’s been created, over nothing.
“I understand that in the football world there are ups and downs, positives and negatives but what Harry receives has gone far beyond “football”. For me seeing him go through what he’s going through is not ok. I would hate to have to see any other parents or players go through this in the future, especially the young boys and girls breaking through the ranks today.
“Harry has a massive heart and it’s a good job he’s mentally strong and can handle it as others may not be able to. I wish this sort of abuse on nobody.”
Maguire himself told the Express that he’s able to cope with the continued scrutiny and criticism, saying that doing so actually helps to deflect the pressure away from his United and England team-mates.
“I would not say I am a person who struggles with pressure mentally,” he said. “I have been through a lot in the last couple of years and I have been Manchester United captain for nearly four years. You take a huge amount of responsibility and everything that comes with it, and that is a lot of bad as well as good.
“I would not say I am used to it, but I can deal with it. It pretty much takes the pressure away from my team-mates and puts it all on myself. It makes them play better, for sure. It is a little bit of banter and it is a hostile environment, coming away to Scotland.
“We have given them a goal, which is unfortunate. 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.”
Maguire also acknowledged that his lack of minutes at United has indirectly caused the headlines to “come to him”, but he will instead focus on putting in the best possible performance when given the opportunity to play.
“I finished off last season with two very strong performances for England and I have played in all five matches to help put us where we are in qualifying, so I need to keep performing when I get chosen.
“Listen, at club football, 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.”
What we know
- Maguire’s mother takes to Instagram to defend her son after wave of abuse
- The 30-year-old scored an unfortunate own goal in England’s 3-1 win over Scotland
- England manager Gareth Southgate labelled ongoing criticism of Maguire “a joke”