England were victorious in their heritage match against Scotland to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first game played between the two nations. Gareth Southgate’s men won 3-1 thanks to goals from Phil Foden, Jude Bellingham and Harry Kane but it was the goal they conceded that had social media buzzing in the immediate aftermath.
With England 2-0 up at half-time came the introduction of Harry Maguire, replacing a solid Marc Guehi in central defence, and after a decent start the former Manchester United captain turned an Andy Robertson ball past of his goalkeeper and into his own net reigniting hopes of a second-half Scottish comeback.
Following the own goal, The Independent’s Miguel Delaney posted on X: “Who is more luckless, Harry Maguire or Stephen Kenny? Whatever you think of their abilities, both have suffered some twists that are just down to pure bad fortune.”
Such was the debate around Maguire on social media. Is his downward spiral a matter of decling skills or bad luck at the wrong time?
Samuel Luckhurst from the Manchester Evening News tweeted:
“Maguire is stuck in a neverending cycle of negativity that will only end when he leaves United. Heckled by Arsenal and Scotland fans this month and things have gone wrong for him in both games. He gives opponents hope. Element of lucklessness and carelessness.”
While, talkSPORT’s Rory Jennings said: “Harry Maguire is an absolute calamity. A walking disaster. A punchline. So bereft of any talent or natural intuition about how to defend.
“The only good thing that can come from this is that hopefully that OG will finally dispel the myth that ‘Maguire has never let England down.’”
Meanwhile, the England manager, already facing criticism for picking Maguire in this September squad when he has hardly played for Manchester United, came to the 30-year-old’s defence in his post match interviews blaming pundits and commentators for the vitriol he’s received.
“It’s a consequence of ridiculous treatment of him for a long period of time,” Southgate said when asked about the reception Maguire received from both sets of fans.
“It’s a joke, I’ve never known a player treated like he is, not by the Scottish fans, but by our own commentators, pundits, whatever it is, they have created something that is beyond anything I have 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.”
The Guardian’s Jonathan Liew fired back at the England boss referencing Southgate’s defence of Jordan Henderson’s move to Saudi Arabia by saying:
“Wouldn’t it be great if the England manager could defend LGBT rights with the same energy he defends Harry Maguire.”