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Home   /   “An absolute joke.” – Gareth Southgate – England 3-0 Ivory Coast

Harry Maguire’s name was booed by England fans last night when read out before their win against Ivory Coast.

“There are real England fans and then there are some that get influenced by whatever,” said England manager, Gareth Southgate on the reaction to Maguire’s inclusion in the squad. “I don’t know if it’s social media or former players’ opinions but I thought the reception was a joke. An absolute joke. What he’s done for us and the way he has performed for England has been phenomenal. I don’t get it.”

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“I remember a few decades ago when some players were booed in an England shirt – it’s never been acceptable,” said Southgate, a former England player himself. “I’ve never got it. Why would people play any better because of it? Fans should always get behind their team.”

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Maguire was a crucial part of the England squad that reached the Euro 2020 final last summer. The first time England have reached the final of a major tournament since 1966. However, despite being captain at Manchester United, the world’s most expensive defender has had a lot of backlash for his errors in the league this season.

“In my opinion, he’s the best centre back at his club as well. It’s ludicrous”, added Southgate. “Every time he steps onto a football pitch every action is analysed to death. I can’t remember a player having that sort of spotlight on him.”

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Jack Grealish, who assisted Sterling’s 45th-minute goal, said after the game, “Personally I think it’s ridiculous. Harry’s been unbelievable for us in the World Cup and Euros. I think even tonight he was brilliant.”

England dominated against the Ivory Coast with Sterling stealing the show. Before scoring right before half-time, the Manchester City star set up Ollie Watkins in the 30th minute to break the deadlock.

Former Tottenham Hotspur player, Serge Aurier was sent off at Wembley after receiving a second yellow card in the 40th minute.

Tyron Mings scored England’s third of the match in the 93rd minute when his header was too much for Ivory Coast’s goalkeeper, Badra Ali Sangaré, to get a hand on.

England have now won both international friendlies scheduled for this break. With the Qatar World Cup set for the end of the year, the Three Lions will want to replicate their nearly unbeaten record of 2021 leading up to the tournament.

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