Man Utd‘s Harry Maguire breaks his silence on receiving bomb threats and boos from his own supporters ahead of England’s next few matches.
He relived the horror of his family being at the centre of a bomb threat and insists a “line” was crossed and police were called.
The Red Devils captain was targeted in April when police investigated allegations of a bomb threat at his family home.
That was the lowest point in what was a stormy season for the Three Lions defender who has often been made public enemy number one due to his bad form.
Maguire was left “extremely shaken” and his family had to move out of the house for a number of days until police officers declared it safe before £80million centre-half was not selected for United’s next game.
The world’s most expensive defender insists he will accept criticism – but says the bomb threat shows that things have got completely out of hand and continue to with serious action needing to be taken.
Maguire said: “Obviously I’m in a position where I’m going to be criticised, Manchester United paid a large sum of money for me, it is one of the most loved clubs in the world and also one of the most hated in the world as well.
“We know we are under the most scrutiny. I totally accept criticism when we concede goals or make mistakes, I’m big enough to accept people getting on my back and saying I can improve. There is a line where we are human beings, I do have a family. People ask if it affects me. My mentality is that it doesn’t affect me too much but when it comes to bomb threats, it is more about family.
“My fiancee Fern, I’m just happy my kids are at an age where they don’t read things and see things on the news. If my kids were an older age, they could see things and go to school and people are speaking about it, that is when it affects you a little bit more.”
England tends to prove pivotal for Maguire as he leaves his bad form at Man Utd behind to switch his attention to never letting his country down, though even that changed during the friendly with Ivory Coast at Wembley in March.
A section of England fans heavily booed his name when it was read out and each time he touched the ball with Gareth Southgate described the fans as an “absolute joke” as he launched a passionate defence of Maguire.
Maguire said: “From my England debut, the England fans have been amazing with me, I have had some amazing times. I’ve been involved in some of the biggest games. I have been involved in the biggest games of our country’s recent history.
“The journey I have been on since my debut five years ago to now I have had amazing times with the fans, and I am not going to let the minority, I don’t know how many it was, 10-20 people doing that in the Ivory Coast game to affect my relationship with the England fans, no.
“I think I was more surprised rather than taking it all in, I was a bit shocked to be honest. Like I said, I’ve had such a good relationship with the England fans throughout my journey with the England team.
“I wouldn’t say I was hurt and upset. Obviously I know my family and my friends might have been affected by it but I was more surprised really.
“There was a lot of young lads in the team that day, a lot of young people in the stands, lots of kids watching who inspire to grow up and be an England footballer so for them to hear that for somebody who’s been involved in a such a big part of the journey over the last five years, it’s sad to see.
“But I’m sure there will be many good times ahead when the England fans will show again their support and love because I’ve been an England fan in my time, I’ve been to the Euros and followed them in France and I know how passionate and how supportive they are of their country.”
Maguire, who said he had yet to speak with the new Man Utd manager, Erik ten Hag, did not pull his punches on the club’s dismal season.
“You could see towards the end, the confidence wasn’t there,” he said. “We can look at individual performances but every player has not performed to a level … apart from Cristiano [Ronaldo] with his goals.
“But if you look at individual performances, it’s hard when you’re playing in a team when collectively we’ve not been good enough.
“Football’s my life. I care about every day at the club. For it to end the way it has – sixth in the league, knocked out of the cups in games we should be winning … it was disappointing from the start to the end.”
Maguire was told, given his form, that it was a good thing for him that the finals were not about to begin in their usual June slot.
“That’s fair to say,” he replied. “After the season we’ve had, all Manchester United players … I mean, there’s only me here in the squad now. Are we among the favourites for the World Cup? Definitely and rightly so.
“In the semi-final against Croatia in Russia [in 2018], we had the talent to win that game but we didn’t have the mentality or belief.
“The big thing now is that we have a lot of players who play in big European games for their clubs week in, week out, fighting for the biggest trophies. That experience is crucial in tournaments.
“We were a penalty shootout away from winning in the biggest pressure in football – the Euros at Wembley [last summer]. If we can deal with that, I’m sure we can deal with the pressure of a World Cup.”
Fans reacted as Man Utd’s Harry Maguire breaks silence on receiving bomb threats and boos…
@utdHarryy: Leave the club @HarryMaguire93
@CamToTheRescue: If you really cared you would step down as captain and give the armband to someone better equipped at actually leading this team.
@Liam_Murray39: As a Utd fan i like Maguire, he’s been good for alot of the time but last season he was very poor and as Captain I think he bore the brunt of fans frustrations of a terrible season overall. If he shows the character I know he has, he’ll fight through it and come back stronger
@wearz: That’s all well and good but he’s blocking other better CB’s from not only playing but even getting into the England squad. If he wasn’t at Man U he would be nowhere near. That’s thanks to Southgate
@alistairbryson1: If he cared about taking the club forward, he should realise he ain’t the man to do it. Good, 1 in 4 for Leicester isn’t enough. Promoted beyond his abilities, basically because he is English and the scouting department under ole was a shambles.
@chedmiester: It’s a great interview, hopefully he can gain some confidence back in these games, kick on under Ten Hag next season and help England win the World Cup as he’s certainly one of our best and most experienced CBS in the big games now.
@PumpUpThePixel: Take the bombs threats away (that’s bad, of course it is)….but we’ve heard this every week. Every single week.
@anirishway: Media & fans need to leave him be next season & let him grow as a player under their new Manager ⚽️ I feel this is a make or break campaign for him 🤔 if he isn’t up to scratch then he’ll be shown the door 👀