GARY Neville reckons Gareth Southgate will ‘seriously’ consider dumping Harry Maguire at the World Cup.
But Monday Night Football colleague Jamie Carragher believes the abuse suffered by the Manchester United star was exaggerated.
Despite not starting a Premier League game for more than a month, Southgate kept his faith in Maguire by bringing him up from behind against Italy and Germany.
However, his decision didn’t pay off after the 29-year-old conceded a penalty in the tie against Germany and also lost the ball, resulting in their second goal.
Speaking on MNF, Carragher said: “The criticism of Gareth Southgate for playing against him, because he didn’t play for Manchester United, I thought was nonsense.
“He was England’s best centre-back just by his performances in the two tournaments.
“He was in the team of the tournament at the last Euro.
“So Gareth Southgate had to pick him just to see where he was in terms of fitness.
“So I had no problem picking him for the games, they obviously didn’t go well and that’s a big concern then because he doesn’t usually play like that for England.
“What it does poses a big problem for Harry Maguire and for the manager because he wants to pick him and have him on the team.
“But I don’t think it’s a position he can go into a World Cup with without Harry Maguire playing for Manchester United.”
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Carragher is also questioning his place in the starting XI but completely disagrees with the way the ex-Leicester man was treated.
He continued: “Also Maguire’s state of mind where he’s self conscious, the criticism he’s getting which I think is over the top, I think it’s a bit of bullying.
“I think it’s got to the point, certainly on social media, that you also ridicule the lad when you think about what he did, especially in an England shirt.
“You think of some of the great centre-backs we’ve played with, John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, probably the two best centre-backs we’ve seen in the Premier League.
“But they still have never achieved what Harry Maguire achieved in an England shirt, which was to reach a semi-final and a final.
“I know it’s a team game and Harry Maguire isn’t as good as these players, but he’s achieved a lot in an England shirt.
“But I think that makes it very difficult for him to start in the World Cup when he’s not playing for Manchester United.”
Maguire missed Sunday’s 6-3 defeat at Manchester City through injury, meaning he has played just 10 minutes in his last five league games.
With that in mind, he probably has the best chance of playing time before the tournament starts next month in Europe.
As such, Neville reckons Southgate may have no choice but to explore alternative options at the heart of his defense.
He said: “I think it’s gotten to the point now where the injury he has is his form, I think Gareth Southgate will seriously consider letting him off the team now just to protect him .
“I think he makes mistakes, nothing goes his way and I agree with Jamie, you can’t find his form at a World Cup, especially this one, there are no warm-up games, we finish on Sunday I think.
“Fulham is playing against Manchester United in the last game on November 13 and a week later they are expected to be in shape for the World Cup and he may not have played for United for two or three weeks on top of the few weeks who were He has not yet played for United.
“I just think it’s getting to the point now where Gareth Southgate will think he needs to bring in other centre-backs.”
Neville compared Maguire’s current situation to some of his ex-United team-mates and hopes he can make it on the other side.
He added: “It’s interesting though, you think of Harry Maguire at Manchester United and he’s obviously having a difficult moment there and you think of the players who have been down that road before.
“David Beckham after 1998 when the whole country absolutely beat him and he had to come back and face that.
“You think of my brother in 2000 when he gave away the penalty and had effigy burned outside his house, you think of Wayne Rooney in 2006 when he was sent off [Cristiano] Ronaldo, these are all Manchester United players.
“You think of Marcus Rashford in 2021 when he was racially abused with Jadon Sancho, another Manchester United player [Bukayo] Sake.
“So you look at the Manchester United players who have walked this path before Harry Maguire, he is not alone here, he is not the first to feel his form has been lost or he is being vilified or attacked , and that’s how you feel at the time, it’s just you, all the pressure is on you.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6362278/harry-maguire-jamie-carragher-gary-neville-england/ Neville says time is right for Southgate to dump Maguire as Carragher blasts fans for ‘bullying’ the England defender