Stuart Pearce has defended Manchester United defender Harry Maguire after his poor showing against Germany in the UEFA Nations League game. The game ended 3 all.
It can be recalled that the ThreeLions lost 1 nil against Italy last Friday. Regardless, Gareth Southgate ensured that the Englishman remained in the side for the game against Germany at Wembley.
However, Maguire would want to forget the clash as soon as possible as he gave away a penalty that allowed the visitors to open the scoring and also conceded possession before Kai Havertz scored the second goal for the Germans.
Regardless, Pearce, who played 78 games for the Three Lions was impressed by the player’s performance, noting that the 29-year-old has a very strong mentality and is one that anyone would love to go to battle with.
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‘I think the kid has got character,’ Pearce told talkSPORT.
‘He has been under the microscope a fair bit for the last calendar year, potentially, I don’t know how long, I am not a social media buff.
‘Still, he puts himself out there, and he keeps going, and he does not go under.
‘He has an injury late in the game, and he is at the halfway line going through a German player. Not to let his teammates down.
‘Sometimes, they are the individuals you want to go to battle with.’
Despite the poor performance, Southgate noted that Maguire still has a big chance to keep his place in the team for Qatar 2022. This would also be the case even if he struggles for a place in Erik Ten Hag’s setup at Manchester United.
‘That’s always going to be a challenge, especially regarding how much football they’ve had,’ Southgate said.
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‘I know everyone will focus on Harry, but there were some very important moments Harry delivered during the two matches.
‘Luke was another example of someone who is an outstanding footballer, so what do we do? Not pick Luke Shaw because he’s not playing enough football or do we pick a player who can do what you saw tonight?
‘That’s always going to raise debate, but I think in these moments we’ve got to back our best and our most experienced players, unless we’re in a situation where it’s almost untenable and impossible to pick them.’