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Harry Maguire has been urged to ‘strike back’ at Manchester United team-mate Andre Onana by Jamie Carragher. Onana was seen screaming at Maguire during a pre-season friendly against Borussia Dortmund, with Carragher labelling the goalkeeper ‘disgraceful’ following their on-pitch argument, and the Liverpool hero has laid down a challenge for the United defender to stand up for himself.
Maguire has been the subject of taunts from rival fans and even sections of his own supporters over the last couple of years. The defender’s form has dipped, seeing him drop to Erik ten Hag’s fourth-choice centre-back at Old Trafford.
He reached a new low after coming off the bench to score an own goal in England’s 3-1 win over Scotland on Tuesday. It prompted Gareth Southgate and several of Maguire’s Three Lions team-mates to leap to his defence.
But Carragher was fuming with another of Maguire’s colleagues at Old Trafford. Back in July, United shot-stopper Onana was seen screaming at Maguire after a mistake in pre-season, prompting the 30-year-old to be mocked on social media.
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Liverpool legend Carragher felt Onana was simply playing to Maguire’s critics to improve his own reputation at United and challenged the England star to ‘strike back’.
“Manchester United fans jeered Maguire during pre-season games in 2022 and 2023,” Carragher wrote in the Daily Telegraph. “One of the most distasteful incidents of all occurred during the friendly with Borussia Dortmund in July, when new signing Andre Onana started yelling at Maguire, in my view disgracefully playing to the gallery to endear himself to United fans.
Carragher added: “Obviously, I would not condone Maguire doing the same to anyone showing disrespect, but he could do with some more fire in his belly – to get furious and start to strike back. He does not strike me as such a character. That is why he has become easy prey.”
England boss Southgate offered a strong defence of Maguire after England’s win over Scotland, labelling criticism a ‘joke’ and claiming he is ‘livid’.
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He said: “He (Maguire) has just come out and spoken to the media, which I think shows the resilience and the character of him. We’re now in a situation where, because of people in our own country, the opposition think they can have fun with him. What’s that about?
“He’s been an incredible player for England in one of the most successful teams we’ve had – critical for what we’ve been doing. We allow him to be open to that? It’s a joke, an absolute joke. It makes me livid.
“Thankfully he’s got the support of the dressing room and the people behind him. I thought the England fans in the stadium tonight were absolutely brilliant. I’ve no problem with the Scotland fans – they’re having fun. But what stirs that up is people in our own country. Other players will think: ‘Is that what awaits us?’”
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