Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has finally had his say on the criticism he has been subjected to from fans over the last year.
Last season, when United exploded and fell apart under Ralf Rangnick and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the English defender found himself on the short end of most United supporters’ fury, who heaped the blame on him due to his extensive and numerous error-prone ways that led to the team conceding a multitude of goals.
Maguire became a laughing stock and the poster boy of United’s shortcomings. The defender was not helped by the fact that club bosses paid a world record fee for a defender for him, yet he was constantly making mistakes that would cost his side dearly.
The culmination of all this deriding was that the former Leicester City player saw hundreds of fail videos and compilations of his errors posted on social networks. Things boiled over when Maguire started being booed by his own fans who grew tired of him.
It got so bad that the player and his family received a bomb threat, which led to the police conducting a thorough sweep of his home.
Maguire spoke to The Times and said, “I still didn’t really switch on to what was being said about me, I try my best to ignore what goes off on the outside world. No one likes being spoken about in a bad way. It’s just a human trait we all have.”
“The bottom line is, when you’re in the spotlight, that’s going to happen. And I totally understand that. But when my family reads it, or things go to an extreme, then it’s probably tougher for them to understand.”
On why he seems to have the biggest target on his back, Maguire blamed the shameful act of only watching short reels and highlights of the game on social media as opposed to the traditional way of watching an entire 90 minutes of football.
He added, “Increasingly, fans prefer short, consumable, high-octane hits of football moments, rather than the time-consuming reality of a whole match. Which is a shame for the game, really.”
Another reason he gave that contributes to his vilification is online football fandom where the significance of opinion has become bigger than ever. As per Maguire, since most fans don’t watch football with their own eyes, they tend to be swayed by mob mentality and adjust to the dominant groupthink opinions.
He relayed in his interview that these fans are influenced by a few individuals with a vitriolic point of view or by highlights that negatively inform against a certain individual or player. Simply put, most fans cannot separate the team’s failures from an individual’s.
Maguire alluded to The Times that he may have fallen to this vice and become a victim of a critical mass of online opinion that paints him as be a bad player.
- Get all the match build-up, articles, news, puzzles, nostalgia and humour
- Online football content like you’ve never seen before
- No ads, no clickbait, no fake news – just 100% pure United
- Instantly delivered to your device with easy and secure online ordering
- Click Preview or go to unitedmatchmag.com to see more or buy for just £1.25/$1.50