Harry Maguire has spoken out after being booed by large sections of the fans at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday.
Despite struggling this season, Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney was named to England’s side that faced Switzerland and the Ivory Coast. He didn’t play against the former, but he did start the friendly versus the latter on Tuesday.
However, Maguire’s selection by Gareth Southgate was met with boos by Three Lions fans, who booed when his name was read out as the lineup was announced. Southgate, Jordan Henderson, and Declan Rice have all condemned the booing fans.
And now, Maguire has spoken out about the boos that his name elicited. The United captain responded with a caustic comment that appeared to be directed at people who had mocked him, which was retweeted by the official England account.
“Enjoyable week playing for my nation,” Maguire tweeted, accompanied by a heart and an image of himself playing. The defender played the entire 90-minute game as England cruised over Ivory Coast.
For the first time in their history, the Three Lions faced Patrice Beaumelle in their second game of the calendar year. England dominated for much of the encounter, with central midfielder Jude Bellingham earning man of the match honors.
The hosts created numerous chances, but it took until the half-hour mark for Raheem Sterling to lay a superb ball across the six-yard box for Ollie Watkins to tap in. After 15 minutes, Sterling got on the scoresheet himself, thanks to a well-worked team play that saw Jack Grealish send the ball back to the England captain, who fired in.
Ivory Coast skipper Serge Auirer was sent off after earning two yellow cards between the two goals. England struggled to capitalize on their additional man, failing to score a third goal until the 93rd minute, when Tyrone Mings headed home Phil Foden’s corner.
Following the victory, Southgate was taken aback by the jeers directed toward Maguire. And, despite praising the United captain, England manager Gareth Southgate chastised those who had jeered.
“I believed the reception was a hoax, a complete hoax.” What he’s done for us, and how he’s performed for England, has been incredible. I’m not sure what you mean. “Either we’re all in this together or we’re not,” Southgate said to Sky Sports.
“He’s in an England shirt, not only should you support a player in an England shirt whatever, but when he’s played at the level he’s played at and put in the performances for us that he’s put in, there should be entire devotion behind him.”
“I’m not sure what you’re talking about. For his performance, he was faultless; he stepped out from the back nicely, and he was also engaged in the second. We’re a team, we’re completely united, and we understand that everyone has difficult times, but he’s a top player, and he’ll get through it.”