Ex-England star Ashley Young says booing of Harry Maguire is “borderline bullying” and has dismissed criticism of Gareth Southgate as “bullsh*t”.
- Young urges fans to support Maguire
- Backs Southgate to succeed in Qatar
- Believes England can win the tournament
WHAT HAPPENED? The Aston Villa veteran wants the England faithful travelling to Qatar to support every single player in the team, including centre-back Maguire. Young believes that his former Manchester United team-mate has been subjected to unjust ridicule from fans, but has backed him to block out the outside noise and focus on delivering for England.
WHAT THEY SAID: “You are going to be criticised because you are captain at one of the biggest clubs in the world. But the criticism he is getting has gone too far,” Young has told The Sun. ”He can play well for England and gets booed. He can play well for United and he gets booed. It is borderline bullying.
”But he is a strong character and can deal with it. Get behind every single player. Don’t single them out. Get behind all of them to go out and win this tournament.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Young has also hit out at the critics of Southgate. He insists the manager’s record for the Three Lions speaks for itself and is confident he is the right man to lead them to glory in Qatar. “From the time Gareth has taken over, he has made a difference. These players will be more than ready,” he added. ”With the way the Euros went, I give us every chance of going to the tournament and winning it. The criticism Gareth Southgate is getting is absolutely ridiculous. It is bullsh*t. Because he has not taken a team into the latest final of the Nations League, people think that he should be criticised. Of course, going into a tournament you want to be winning games. But Gareth has totally changed what it is like to be with England.”
IN TWO PHOTOS:
DID YOU KNOW? Young was included in the 55-man provisional squad for Qatar but was ultimately left out of the final roster.
WHAT NEXT FOR ENGLAND? The Three Lions will begin their World Cup campaign against Iran on November 21 and Maguire will hope that he is handed a start by Southgate.