If it really is coming home- Euro 2020 for England- I am referring to, so many people should be praised. It wont just be about the manager, the players or backroom staff, but certain players will be praised more so than others. One of those must be Harry Maguire.
A player who is a rock in Gareth Southgate’s rock-solid defence and a true leader. At the heart of a back line that hadn’t conceded a goal going into Wednesday’s semi-final against Denmark
Maguire, a true leader in the making
There is something to admire about Maguire which makes him so likeable. Whether it is the honesty and courage in which he plays or his down to earth personality he has off the pitch.
He has always been a player that any manager has always put his trust in. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made Maguire Manchester United’s captain withing a few months of signing him from Leicester City.
Despite two clean sheets in the opening games of the tournament, Southgate couldn’t wait to bring him back into the side. If fit Maguire I feel would always start in this outstanding England side.
Solskjaer, Southgate and the FA stick by him
A defining moment in Maguire’s career came at the start of last season when Solskjaer, Southgate and the FA stood behind him. They all were fully prepared to defend his reputation in the most testing of circumstances.
In October, United were thrashed 6-1 by Tottenham. Maguire was sent off against Denmark at Wembley during the international break. Most people felt- including myself- that he needed a break away from the game. His form was affected by what was reported on the front pages and not the back.
After being arrested following an altercation with a police officer while on holiday in Greece last summer, his form dipped. Being thrust into the limelight for the wrong reasons is difficult to handle for anybody.
The turning point of his form happened a few days after the defeat to the Danes. Maguire capped an outstanding game by scoring in a win against Newcastle.
England look a solid unit with Harry back in the side
England look such a more controlled team with Harry at the helm. Southgate’s decision to recall him for the past three games has been vindicated. He has brought a quality to England’s defence; which other players have failed to do so.
The ease and comfort with which Maguire plays out from the back is a breath of fresh air. Sending accurate passes into midfield or coming forward for a set piece with a powerful header to boot.
Yes, he isn’t at the level of previous defender generals like John Terry, Tony Adams, Rio Ferdinand and Sol Campbell. However, give him time and he will soon surpass the previous mentioned lieutenants.
England fans have already taken to Maguire in a unique way by signing his name. Always a sign that you are winning over the doubters. After all Harry really is “One of our own.”