HARRY MAGUIRE will once again be on the sidelines as today’s Manchester derby gets underway.
And judging by the stick he had this week, most people would love to have him there when England begin their World Cup adventure next month.
Well, it might not be the popular view right now, but here’s one thing… if I were to pick the side to face Iran on November 21st, Harry would be there for sure.
You don’t have to tell me he’s been having a rough time lately. Maguire is such a straight guy, he would tell you that himself.
Yes, he deserves a few ricks, although getting heartache as bad as he is doesn’t get any easier.
But Harry is a really decent boy and the only thing he won’t do is shy away from it. He’s also a strong enough character – and a good enough player – to get through this.
In the big games – and they don’t get any bigger than the World Cup – you need a big presence and he certainly is. On the pitch and in the dressing room.
To be honest he wasn’t great against Germany but he never let England down in Russia and if he gets the chance he certainly won’t in Qatar either.
I would have him in the middle of a back three with John Stones and Kyle Walker or Eric Dier on either side. They are fast enough to deal with the full-back positions.
Let’s say Harry isn’t the best mover. Let’s put it this way, if he was walking around the paddock you wouldn’t be in a hurry to spend millions on him!
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I remember the first time I saw him when he was at Sheffield United and thought ‘this boy could be exposed today’.
But he was great, headed everything, won every tackle and was man of the match.
He’ll never be the fastest, but he’s what I call a “proper” defender, like Steve Bruce. Throws himself into challenges, never hides, blocks everything, body and soul every time.
You need guys like that just like the silkier footballers.
And in my opinion they are no more solid than Harry.
Erling Haaland would certainly have a harder time beating Maguire than Lisandro Martinez this afternoon at the Etihad.
Martinez is clearly a good defender, a real contender and growing into the job at United.
But he’s 5ft 9in and gives the Norwegian over six inches – and Pep Guardiola will tell Haaland to pull on him. If he does, it’s not a competition.
However, it hasn’t been a contest in every game he’s played this season because nobody has come close to stopping Haaland from stopping.
I know Haaland’s goals scored wherever he was, but even by his standards, 14 goals in 10 games – including two hat-tricks – is a good start.
He wasn’t great against Germany but he never let England down in Russia and if he gets the chance he certainly won’t in Qatar either.
Redknapp on Maguire
He doesn’t mind becoming the Premier League’s top scorer, he could break the record of 34 goals in one season.
I remember Clive Allen finishing 49 in all competitions in the 1980s, but Haaland is so good that it really wouldn’t surprise me if he ended up reaching half a century.
On the other hand, when so many top players are making killer passes and creating such good chances, a finisher as good as he is will always end up with a hatful.
The boy has an arrogance and self-assurance – he’s certainly not shy – but then again, there’s a very good reason for it.
Haaland is an absolute monster of a player. Pace, power, size… he’s the Full Monty, all right.
I just don’t understand how United can stop him. And even if they do, this City team is so good, there are nine others who could do just as much damage.
The way they started the season they will win the title at a gallop – and I expect that is exactly what they do today at the Etihad.
United have improved and gotten some decent results but they are still a long way off and there is only one result for me. And a comfortable one at that.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6347310/man-utd-maguire-should-start-world-cup-redknapp-england/ Harry Redknapp: Harry Maguire is what I call a ‘proper’ defender… The Man Utd star was set to start for England at the World Cup