Manchester United fans defend Harry Maguire after he faces boos in final pre-season game
Manchester United fans have come out in defence of Harry Maguire after the centre-back faced boos from the crowd in their final pre-season game on Sunday.
The Man United and England international was unfortunately subjected to prolonged periods of boos from sections of the 50,000+ strong fans inside Dublin’s Aviva Stadium as he and his teammates faced Athletic Bilbao in a 1-1 draw.
It seemed as though the number five had just as good a reception as any when the squad walked out onto the pitch but the jeers were clearly audible after Maguire‘s mistake led to the opening goal.
After misplacing a short pass to United youngster Dan Gore, the Spanish side broke quickly and took the lead. You can hear the booing begin almost as soon as the ball goes in the back of the net.
While plenty of the visiting supporters in the Republic of Ireland’s national stadium seemed to be involved, many more were clearly behind the struggling centre-half as they tried to drown out the boos with cheers and applause.
In contrast, a large chunk of the response online seemed fairly supportive, with many insisting, “You don’t have to like him, but you don’t need to boo him”, “Embarrassing booing one of your own players” and some even going so far as to say they “sickened and embarrassed that there was so many ‘fans’ booing Harry Maguire.”
Although they had no problem recognising that the 30-year-old was at fault for the goal, the overriding sentiment seemed to be: “you don’t boo your own players. Ever. Simple as that”.
Even ex-pro turned pundit Andy Townsend came out in passionate defence of the former United captain, stating that the reaction was simply “too far”. The behaviour comes nearly a year on from Luke Shaw arguing that Maguire receives “more stick than anyone [he’s] ever seen in football”.
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Many were also quick to point out that despite slipping up for the opening goal, Maguire also assisted Facundo Pellistri for the equaliser in the dying embers of the game and fought hard throughout the game to make up for his previous lapse in concentration.
The likes of Everton, West Ham, Spurs and more are rumoured to be interested in signing the defender who has been left somewhat in limbo over the past couple of seasons and given the persistent trouble he facing from his own club’s fan base.
Maguire was said to be training as many as “three times a day” to try and fight for his place in the starting line-up and was also applauded by countless Reds for his “classy response” to being stripped of the captaincy last month.
Everyone knows Maguire’s time at United hasn’t exactly been plain sailing but it’s fair to say his treatment at times has been questionable. Nevertheless, there are plenty that feel the negativity is misplaced and believe he still has plenty to offer.
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Featured Image — Man United (via Twitter)