Gareth Southgate calls treatment of Harry Maguire 'a joke' after own-goal for England

Gareth Southgate calls treatment of Harry Maguire 'a joke' after own-goal for England

Gareth Southgate has leapt to the defence of Harry Maguire after the England defender's own-goal against Scotland, labelling the treatment he has received a "joke".

Maguire was at the centre of the drama during the Three Lions' 3-1 win at Hampden Park, turning Andy Robertson's cross into his own net in the 68th minute.

The Manchester United defender had been on the pitch less than half an hour after coming on for Crystal Palace's Marc Guehi at half-time, as things go from bad to worse for the 30-year-old.

Indeed, nothing seems to be going right for Maguire at the moment, after he was stripped of the captain's armband at Old Trafford and guilty of a mistake in the build-up to Ukraine's equaliser on Saturday.

However, Southgate launched a passionate defence of his player after the game, as he took aim at commentators and pundits for their "ridiculous treatment" of Maguire. You can listen to what he said below.

Speaking in an interview with Channel 4, the England boss said: "It's a consequence of ridiculous treatment of him for a long period of time. It's a joke, I've never known a player treated like he is, not by the Scottish fans, by our own commentators, pundits, whatever it is. It's beyond anything I've ever seen."

“He has been an absolute stalwart for us in the second most successful English team for decades, he has been an absolutely key part of that.

"I have talked about the importance of our senior players, he has been crucial amongst that and every time he goes on the field the resilience he shows, the balls he shows is absolutely incredible so he is a top player and we are all with him. Our fans were brilliant with him tonight. I feel fairly strongly about it.”

Maguire is yet to start a fame under Erik ten Hag this season, with the likes of Lisandro Martinez, Rafael Varane and Victor Lindelof all seemingly ahead of him in the pecking order at United.

But Southgate reckons he still has a role to play within the England squad, as they prepare for the Euro 2024 Championships in Germany.

What do you think of Southgate's comments? Let us know in the comments.
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