Gareth Southgate wrapped his arms around Harry Maguire.
England (ranked No. 4 in FIFA) defeated Scotland (ranked No. 30 in FIFA) 3-1 in a friendly at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland, at 3:45 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
England, who are competing in Group C of the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers, drew 1-1 with Ukraine on Oct. 10. Despite fielding a full-strength squad that included Harry Kane, James Maddison, Bukayo Sakho, Jude Bellingham, and Declan Rice, the Three Lions conceded an early goal. Kyle Walker’s equalizer leveled the scores, but it wasn’t enough to turn the game around.
This time, it was against Scotland. They are on a roll in Group A of the Euro 2024 qualifiers, beating Cyprus (3-0), Spain (2-0), Norway (2-1), Georgia (2-0) and Cyprus (3-0). That makes them an excellent sparring partner for England.
The home team Scotland started with a 3-4-2-1 formation. Che Adams, John McGinn, and Scott McTomana lined up in a triangular formation, looking to score. The midfield consisted of Andy Roberston, Callum McGree, Billy Gilmore, and Aaron Hickey. In defense, Kieran Tierney, Jack Hendry, and Ryan Forteus combined. Angus Gunn wore the goalkeeping gloves.
The visitors, England, lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation. Kane, a world-class striker, played up top. Marcus Rashford, Bellingham, and Phil Foden provided support in the second line. The midfield was led by Rice and Calvin Phillips. The back four was Kieran Trippier, Mark Gehi, Louis Dunk, and Kyle Walker. Aaron Ramsdale was in goal.
In a nerve-wracking battle of wills, the balance was finally tipped. It was England who took the lead. In the 32nd minute, it was Bellingham who found Walker and Foden. The pass was exquisitely played through the opposition defense. The ball was saved by Rashford and Walker took a bold shot. The ball deflected off Foden, who was looking for an opening in the box, and into the net.
The gap quickly widened. In the 35th minute, Bellingham rattled the opposition with a brilliant move on the edge of the box. Foden picked up a backheel and crossed into the middle. The ball was met by Kane and with Robertson unable to deal with it fully, Bellingham cut back and calmly slotted it into the back of the net. The first half ended with England leading 2-0.
In the second half, England brought off Gehi and brought on Maguire. 15 minutes into the second half, Scotland responded by bringing on Ryan Christie and Lyndon Dykes for Adams and Gilmour. The chase was on. In the 22nd minute, Robertson passed to McGinn and then overlapped high upfield himself. McGinn played it back to Robertson. His bold attempted shot hit Maguire and went into his own net for an own goal.
England took off Foden and Rashford and brought on Sakho and Ebebechi Eze to consolidate. The final nail in the coffin came in the 36th minute when Bellingham’s pass after a breakaway allowed Kane to stumble and finish. The game ended with a 3-1 victory for England.
Despite the victory, Maguire was not immune to criticism. He was dogged by controversy from the moment he was named to the squad and was criticized for a crucial own goal. Maguire hadn’t proven himself with his club, Manchester United, or with the England national team. 먹튀검증
Southgate rallied around Maguire. According to the BBC, after the game, Southgate said, “I’ve never seen a player manage himself like Maguire. He’s been so loyal and an absolute part of England’s second most successful team in decades. He is amazing every time he steps on the pitch. Maguire is a top player and we are all with him,” he said, defending his errant protégé.
There was even some taunting directed at Maguire at Hampden Park. Southgate said: “From the Scottish fans’ point of view, it can be. I don’t have any complaints. But it’s a result of the outrageous treatment of Maguire over a long period of time. It’s not just the Scottish fans, it’s England commentators and pundits,” he said of the unfair treatment.
Chris Waddle, who represented England as a player, and legend Michael Owen agreed with Southgate. Waddle told ‘BBC’ Radio 5 live: “Give Maguire credit. I didn’t see him concede the ball. The only fault is the own goal. It must have been impressive to go abroad. If he had come back to England after that, he wouldn’t be getting half the criticism he is getting now. The criticism of Maguire is ridiculous.”
On ‘X’ (formerly Twitter), Owen wrote: “I’ve long wondered why Maguire gets so much abuse. I’m glad Southgate has spoken out. I don’t know Maguire personally but he seems like a really good player and a decent guy. He’s never let England down and yet he’s constantly ridiculed,” he wrote, calling for an end to the senseless criticism.
Maguire has been linked with a move away throughout the summer transfer window. United signed him for a hefty transfer fee of €87 million in 2018. After a decent start to his career, he became increasingly disappointing as the season progressed. New manager Eric ten Hagg was even forced to play flanker Luke Shaw at center back in place of Maguire.
West Ham United have been linked with a move. Last month, Sky Sports reported that “West Ham United have agreed a deal with Manchester United to sign Maguire for £30 million. Agreeing personal terms is not expected to be an issue, but there is still work to be done. “West Ham are cautiously optimistic that a deal can be done,” said a source close to the deal, suggesting Maguire would leave United. However, the deal ultimately fell through. The deal ultimately fell through after Maguire made it clear that he wanted to stay at Old Trafford and compete for a starting spot.
Maguire has been criticized again for his costly mistakes on the international stage. Southgate and former England internationals have argued that the criticism of Maguire has gone too far. The UK’s The Guardian even called it a “meme”.