The mother of Harry Maguire, Zoe, has robustly condemned the backlash her son has faced, calling it “disgraceful and utterly unacceptable”.
In recent times, 30-year-old Maguire has been under scrutiny following a dip in form that led to his exclusion from the Manchester United’s starting eleven. Despite his vital role in the England squad, at United he now finds himself behind the likes of Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, and Victor Lindelof in the centre-back hierarchy.
After an unfortunate own goal against Scotland whilst coming on as a substitute, Maguire became the subject of ridicule. Addressing the criticism from “certain fans, pundits, and media” aimed at her son, Zoe Maguire took to Instagram to voice her frustration.
In her post, she shared: “Seeing the volume of negative and hurtful comments directed at my son from some corners is both disgraceful and completely unacceptable. He dedicates himself to both his club and country, and witnessing what he’s enduring is truly heartbreaking. The critique Harry faces transcends mere football critique. No parent or player should have to witness or experience this level of negativity.”
She further added her concerns for young talents rising through football’s ranks and expressed gratitude for Harry’s resilience. “Thankfully, Harry is mentally tenacious. Such abuse shouldn’t be inflicted upon anyone.”
Following the Scotland match, England’s manager, Gareth Southgate, staunchly defended Maguire, describing the backlash as “ludicrous”.
Maguire, for his part, commented on his resilience in the face of criticism. Speaking to The Express, he mentioned, “Whilst I wouldn’t claim to be immune to pressure, having shouldered the responsibility of being Manchester United’s captain for nearly four years, I’ve certainly become accustomed to handling both the highs and lows.”
The defender further elaborated, “In reality, by absorbing this criticism, it takes the spotlight off my fellow players, perhaps even boosting their performance. The Scotland match atmosphere was predictably charged, and I was the focal point of much of their fans’ attention in the second half. I can handle it; let them aim it at me.”
With injuries plaguing Varane and Martinez, Maguire remains optimistic about getting ample game time for Manchester United. These injuries could pave the way for him to make the starting line-up against Brighton & Hove Albion this coming Saturday.