As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Souness tribute to Man Utd captain Maguire: These faceless pygmies - I want him to do well

Liverpool legend Graeme Souness has paid tribute to Manchester United captain Harry Maguire amid the abuse he is experiencing.

Souness wrote for the Daily Mail: "Maguire is at particular risk of the kind of pile-on we're seeing because a failing Manchester United made him the most expensive central defender in the world and then made him their captain. So he becomes a lightning rod for all United's ills. All the club's failings are piled at his door. Ridiculous. I can't remember a game United lost because of Harry Maguire alone.

"He has been guilty of making mistakes. But if you make a mistake in that position, it generally leads to an effort on your goal. You're relying on having good central midfielders in front of you, putting the ball under pressure, trying to protect you at all times, making sure that if a ball is played through into your area, it's of no great quality. United's players in those central midfield positions haven't been good enough.

"I don't think Maguire has ever been part of a reliable and consistent United back four. Raphael Varane has shown more consistency this year, but you'd never say Eric Bailly or Victor Lindelof would have another big club wanting to sign them.

"It's the level of abuse which is bewildering, though. I witness it at games and it's water off a duck's back to me now. I'm of a certain age and a certain character where nothing really bothers me.

"But if you're a public figure today, you are apparently there to be ridiculed and that seems to be accepted. That's the 21st century. That's 2022.

"I particularly despise the keyboard warriors we have now. Faceless pygmies who will write abuse about someone, knowing that they will never be confronted. Knowing no one will ever find out who they are and who is spouting all this vile hate.

"I've met Maguire once and he seemed a thoroughly decent young man with a very good attitude. It was only a five-minute exchange at the premiere of a Bryan Robson film in Manchester last November but I wanted him to do well because he seems a very good type.

"It has been suggested this week he might speak to a psychologist. Great, if that helps, though I've never been down that road. The psychology of the guys I worked with at Liverpool was pretty straightforward."

Support Tribal Football with this great deal from our partners ExpressVPN. You get an extra three months free with the 12-month plan (a saving of 49%!). All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee if you change your mind. Click here to try now, risk-free for 30 days - and support Tribal Football in the process.

Video of the day:

About the author

Paul Vegas

Have your say

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free