You’ve poured petrol on fire – Ex-Chelsea striker slams Southgate over Maguire


Former Chelsea striker, Chris Sutton has slammed Gareth Southgate over the England manager’s passionate defence of Manchester United defender, Harry Maguire, saying his speech will have ‘poured petrol on the fire’.

Maguire’s inclusion in the Three Lions squad for this month’s internationals was criticised by some fans and pundits because of his lack of game time for Man United, having made just one substitute appearance in the Premier League this season for the Red Devils.

The centre-back was also given a particularly rough time when introduced at half-time of England’s friendly 3-1 win over Scotland on Tuesday with the Hampden Park fans mocking and jeering him, especially after he scored an own goal.

Speaking at his post-match press conference, Southgate criticised the English media and pundits for creating the situation and labelled the criticism and scrutiny Maguire has faced as a ‘joke’.

However, Sutton, who may have been one of the targets of Southgate’s ire after branding Maguire a ‘training ground player’, has now blasted the England boss and believes he has made the situation even worse for the former Leicester City star.

“Southgate poured petrol on the fire with what he said after Tuesday’s game, suggesting “idiots” are to blame for the “joke” that is Harry Maguire’s situation,” Sutton told the Daily Mail.

“Southgate will have to share some of that blame now, though, because he has attracted more attention to the defender.

“Arsenal fans celebrated when he was brought on against them. Scotland supporters cheered his every pass.

“It went wrong for Maguire in both of those matches and he can expect more of the same treatment the next time he plays because, thanks to Southgate, rival fans know they are getting under skins.

“I sympathise with Maguire because it is a big ask for a player who is hardly playing for his club to perform for his country. But the criticism will not stop. Certainly not now.”

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