The fans who booed Harry Maguire during England’s 3-0 win over the Ivory Coast have been condemned by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate, as well as talkSPORT hosts Jamie O’Hara and Jason Cundy.
It was a largely stress-free evening for England at Wembley as goals from Ollie Watkins, Raheem Sterling and Tyrone Mings sealed the win on a night that also saw former Tottenham man Serge Aurier get sent off.
But there were unsavoury scenes in the early stages of the match as there were boos heard when Maguire’s name was read out over the tannoy and also when he took his first few touches of the match.
And O’Hara sent a message to those fans, branding them ‘disgusting’, while Cundy labelled them ‘a disgrace’.
“I think that’s a disgusting thing to do for a player that’s never let England down,” O’Hara said on The Sports Bar. “I think he’s always been very good for England.
“How can you boo a player that’s playing for your country BEFORE the game?”
“If you booed Harry Maguire, you’re a disgrace,” Cundy added. “Absolute disgrace, no need for that whatsoever.
“You’re a coward, you wouldn’t do it if you walked down the road. You wouldn’t have the balls to do it if he walks down towards you in the road.
“He’s had bad press, some fair, some unfair. At that level you’ve got to expect some criticism. But to boo an England player that’s done nothing wrong for his country, at Wembley, when his name is read out… if you booed him, you’re a disgrace.”
Maguire has endured a tough season at club level, with Manchester United’s hopes of finishing in the top four hanging in the balance.
The defender came under fire after a video emerged on social media of him stopping a game of rondo during a training session with England.
And England boss Southgate believes social media is a huge part of the problem, likening it to ‘the Wild West.’
On the boos of Maguire, Southgate told talkSPORT: “I don’t get it at all.
“I must say the fans to my left, the core group, kept playing his song and kept trying to get behind him.
“But we’re either all in this together or not. He’s a massive part of this team and has been a key player for us.
“Where this environment is being created, I know it’s starting with club, but I know Manchester United fans at Old Trafford get behind their team.
“Why we think anyone would play better when getting a reception like that I don’t get.
“I think social media is like the Wild West at the moment, which doesn’t help. Idiots sat at home write one line, we don’t know anything about them or about their lives and we report it in the paper as a story.
“All of this is fuelling some of this vitriol which is out there.
“He’s a top player… we’re with him and he’s a player we’ll need playing well if we’re to have a chance in the World Cup because we won’t play a pair of centre-backs with a handful of caps between them and win a World Cup.
“We’ve got a great connection with our fans, we don’t need something like that because it’s not going to help the team play better.”
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