Why the whole Harry Maguire situation is Gareth Southgate and Manchester United’s fault

Poor Harry Maguire….

It’s finally go to a stage where I actually feel sorry for Harry Maguire now.

I completely agree with Michail Antonio, when he says it’s become embarrassing now. And even Harry Maguire’s Mum has chimed in now, saying that she wouldn’t wish this kind of abuse on anybody.

But how did we get here?

Harry Maguire joined Manchester United in the summer of 2019 for £80 million and still, even to this day, I don’t understand why. He had been at Leicester City for 2 seasons and for my money, hadn’t been particularly outstanding, much less be worth anywhere near £80 million. He wasn’t involved in any of Leicester City’s recent successes, not being in the team that won the Premier League in 2016 or won the FA Cup in 2021. The buy was baffling in all honesty.

But you can’t blame Harry Maguire for that. A big club like Manchester United comes along, offers your club a massive fee and offers you massive wages. Anyone in their right mind would be taking that offer, I don’t care who you are.

The blame is down to Manchester United, who seem to have one of the worst scouting teams in European football.

So in that sense, Harry Maguire was destined to fail from the very beginning.

Manchester United, for some reason which I cannot fathom, pay outrageous money for players who just don’t cut it. The spent £80 million on Harry Maguire, and look at what they have spent on failed players over the last 10 years:

PlayerSigned FromFee
Antony Martial AS Monaco£30 million
Paul PogbaJuventus£89 million
Henrikh MkhitaryanBorussia Dortmund£30 million
Eric BaillyVillarreal£30 million
Romelu LukakuEverton£90 million
FredShakhtar Donetsk£47 million
Aaron Wan-BissakaCrystal Palace£45 million
Donny van de BeekAjax£40 million
Jadon SanchoBorussia Dortmund£73 million
Lisandro MartínezAjax£49 million
AntonyAjax£82 million
Mason MountChelsea£60 million

By my calculations, that a whopping £665 million spent on players who haven’t improved the team at all, and I’m sure I’ve probably missed off a lot of other players from that list, including Daniel James which has just popped into my head. It really is astounding.

I’m not a highly paid employee of Manchester United, but for me none of those players in the above list are good signings, even at say £30 million. I honestly don’t know how a massive club like Manchester United decide on spending this kind of money on these kinds of players.

So back to Harry Maguire.

Manchester United have a reputation for vastly overpaying for players, leaving most of them in a position where they don’t perform well for the club (shocking) and then have a depreciating asset on extremely high wages.

That’s why from the list above, only Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Bailly and Lukaku aren’t there. The other players are on crazy money and why would you want to walk away from that?

Maguire got a lot of flack for not moving to West Ham United in the summer, which was reportedly very close. However it collapsed because the defender couldn’t agree a severance package with Manchester United.

People will say he should have gone regardless just to get first team football, but when have you seen a footballer walk away from money. They have agents working for them, making sure that they get exactly what they’re worth, or in Maguire’s case what they’re due. If he was on a long contract and was due to be paid a certain amount, you would be stupid to leave that on the table, especially the way Manchester United have treated him.

And then we come to Gareth Southgate’s role in all of this.

He will clearly pick Harry Maguire for his squad, regardless of whether he never plays for Manchester United.

Harry Maguire would have had a chat with Southgate about his England place, especially considering there is a massive tournament next summer. Most International managers usually say that they need to be playing regular football but obviously Gareth Southgate has said you’ll be in the squad no matter what – hence why Maguire wasn’t really going all out to join West Ham United.

So when it comes to this whole mess, there’s no-one to blame except Manchester United and Gareth Southgate.

The bottom line is that it’s not Harry Maguire’s fault he’s not being picked for Manchester United, and it’s not Harry Maguire’s fault he’s being picked for England.


Previous Wins of UEFA Europa League

The UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) represents competitions including UEFA European Championship, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

UEFA Europa League was previously referred to as ‘’UEFA Cup’’ which was first played in 1971-72 season. Prior to this during 1955-1958 the European inter-Cities cup was held and included 11 teams competing for the ‘’Fairs Cup’’. It was held annually and grew rapidly in popularity to increase to 64 teams competing by the last cup which was played in 1970-71. At this point UEFA took over and relaunched the football competition as the ‘’UEFA Cup’’. It was due to a rebrand in 2009-10 season that the competition is known today as the ‘Europa League’’ but still considered the same competition.

So whilst betting online at Paddy Power can help you get an idea of the favourites to lift the Europa League trophy, could the previous wins throughout the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League give you a better insight?

The Most Important Past Wins since 1971/72

The Most (club) Wins – Sevilla (5)

Team Winners Runners – Up
Seveilla 5 0
Juventus 3 1
Internazionale 3 1
Liverpool 3 1
Bonussia Monchengladback 2 2
Tottenham 2 1
Real Madrid 2 0

Sevilla, one of the oldest football clubs in Spain, can boast in knowing that they are the most successful club in the Europa league competition having won the title five times:

Year Result
2016 Sevilla 3 – 1 Liverpool
2015 Sevilla 3 – 1 Dnipro
2014 Sevilla 4 – 2 Benfica
2007 Sevilla 3 – 1 Espanyol
2006 Sevilla 4 – 0 Middlesbrough

The Most (club) Finals – Held by Sevilla (5)

The Biggest Game Win – Sevilla 4 – 0 Middlesbrough (2006)

With the most wins you also get the most (club) defeats – Benfica (3)

Year Result
2014 Sevilla 4 – 2 Benfica
2013 Chelsea 2 – 1 Benfica
1983 Anderlecht 2 – 1 Benfica

The Most Wins (player) – Jose Antonio Reyes (5)

Top player Jose Antonio Reyes has reached record five UEFA Cup/Europa League winner’s medals. Reyes played in Atletico Madrid wins in 2010 and 2012 and in Sevilla during 2014,2015 and lifting the trophy in 2016.

The Most Wins (managers)

Giovanni Trapattoni (3)

One of the most successful managers, Giovanni Trapattoni has won seven UEFA competition titles, matching Alex Furguson and Carlo Ancelotti wins. Including three wins in the Europa League with Juventus 1976/77 and 1992/93 and FC Internazionale Milano in 1990/91.

Unail Emery (3) – Winning 3 times in a row with Sevilla in 2014, 2015 and 2016

The Most Wins by Country

Country Winners Runners-Up
Spain 10 5
Italy 9 6
England 8 6
Germany 6 8
Netherlands 4 3

Spain holds the most wins with the following 4 teams:

Sevilla – 5 Wins (2006, 2007, 2014, 2015, and 2016)

Real Madrid – 2 Wins (1985, 1986)

Atlectico Madrid – 2 Wins (2010, 2012)

Valencia – 1 Win (2004)

The Youngest Winners (players)

Player Age Year Result
Robin van Persie 18 2002 Feyenoord 3 – 2 Dortmund
David de Gea 19 2010 Atletico Madrid 2 – 1 Fulham

The Most Gaols scored in a Match In 2001 a match between Liverpool 5 – 4 Alaves saw the highest number of gaols scored to date in the Europa league at a single match.

The Most Goals scored by a player – 40 goals in total by Henrik Larsson (playing for Feyenoord, Celtic FC & Hetsingborgs IF ).


Abolish International Football? Here’s My Ingenious Solution!

Every time International football comes around I die a little inside. Anyone following my Twitter feed will know that I hate International football with passion, and there’s a few reasons why:

  • It breaks up the Premier League campaign, when all I care about is watching and following Arsenal.
  • Because our squad is full of International players, it is inevitable that we will pick up injuries.
  • And even if they don’t come back injured, then they’re shattered from flying half way across the world.
  • England will never win anything again.
  • English footballers are some of the most overrated and over pampered footballers going. The British media make out they’re world beaters and then they get found out against other International sides.
  • England play some of the most boring football known to man. I don’t even watch them any more because it is less interesting than watching paint dry.
  • International football just funds the corrupt organisation that is FIFA and Sepp Blatter.

And the Jack Wilshere situation shows how ridiculous International breaks are. Who cares about who players for which country? I could name a million players that technically shouldn’t be playing for their “country” but do so.

Football is a global sport and International football isn’t as important as everyone makes out. We have ex-Arsenal man Eduardo, who is Brazilian, Deco was the same but played for Portugal, and most of the World Cup 98′ winning France squad weren’t really French – but what is French? You had Zidane (Algeria), Vieira (Senegal), Desailly (Ghana), Pires (Portugal), Djorkaeff (Armenia) and Henry and Thuram could be classed being from Guadalupe.

Personally, none of that bothers me and if you qualify to play for a certain International team then good on you I say. Plenty of Welsh, Irish and Scottish players were basically English. How Tony Cascarino ever played for the Republic of Ireland I’ll never know.

But I’m not completely oblivious to the demand of International football. People do like it (for some reason) and I admit, I do get caught up in the hype surrounding the World Cup and European Championships. What I would like to see, is a complete overhaul of International football.

In the summer, the years we don’t have a World Cup or European Championships, we should just have all of the qualification group games played within a 2 month period. There would be no distraction to domestic league campaigns, and no backlash from the Football Associations of different countries.

And more importantly, it would capture the imagination of the fans again. Obviously it wouldn’t be like a proper World Cup or European Championships, but having a qualification tournament in the summer would allow the fans to get completely behind their team without this ridiculous situation where domestic and International games are mixed together.

And furthermore, there wouldn’t be arguments from International managers and club managers about injured players, blah blah blah.

Really, FIFA should sign me up now, I’m a genius.


So Would You Have Harry Redknapp or Roy Hodgson As England Manager?

As parts of Harry Redknapp’s autobiography start to come out in the Daily Mail, today’s serialisation touches on his opinions on the England managers role, and how the FA are “clueless”.

He said:

“I wouldn’t trust the FA to show me a good manager if their lives depended on

“This isn’t about them giving the England job to me or Roy Hodgson, but English football being run by people who really haven’t got a clue – and they get to pick the England manager.

“Everyone said I was the people’s choice, the only choice. All the senior players seemed to be up for me to get the job.

“I got quite a few text messages at the time from players saying they would love me to manage England: Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry.

“But the FA went for Roy Hodgson to be the England manager – a man who is more their cup of tea.”

But do you agree with that?

Personally, I think Harry Redknapp would have been the better choice for England manager. I know Woy Hodgson has more International experience (coaching Switzerland, Finland and the UAE) and has vast European coaching experience, but for England I just think ‘Arry would have been the perfect choice.

Forget the fact he used to manage the idiots down the road, he would have been the most popular choice.

The fact of the matter is, yes technically, Roy Hodgson is the better manager. He’s managed International teams, European sides and won trophies across Europe. But that’s not what England need.

They need the a manager with a personality, a manager who can relate to the players. The truth is the vast majority of the England team are overpampered, overpaid nancy boys who need a buddy. Harry Redknapp is that man. He will lift moral, and get the best out of the limited brain capacity most of the England players have.

Roy Hodgson is too technical and like when at Liverpool, the players will probably not understand his methods. England need a man who can get the players motivated and perform at their best.

So who do you think is the best man for the job? Redknapp or Hodgson?


Mancini, Benitez, Mourinho & The Managerial Merry-Go-Round

A few weeks ago, you wouldn’t have thought that the two managers of the Top 2 clubs in England would no longer be in their jobs before the season was over, but that’s exactly what’s happened.

Alex Ferguson retired and had his official send off on Sunday in front of thousands of his adoring fans at Old Trafford, while Roberto Mancini had a far less glamourous send off, being officially sacked yesterday.

The official statement from Manchester City was that he failed to meet any of the seasons targets, except for Champions League qualification, and in today’s football – however harsh the sacking was – it’s par for the course.

Looking around Facebook and Twitter, the outrage from City fans was, quite frankly, ridiculous. All the “Thank you for everything Roberto” posts were nauseating and some football supporters really need to get a grip of themselves. For me, Roberto Mancini is possibly one of the most overrated managers of all time.

Let’s look at his track record shall we? At Inter Milan, he won 3 Serie A titles but all 3 of those were helped hugely by the effects of the Calciopoli scandal, where Juventus were relegated, and AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina were docked points.

During his time at Manchester City, he won the Premier League – only after almost losing to QPR on the last day of the season and scoring a last minute winner. And I don’t need to tell you about his record in Europe at both Inter and City, which was shockingly poor, considering the talent at his disposal.

I’m sure he’ll be just fine this afternoon, having a nice cup of tea thinking about the reported £28 million pay off he has to worry about.

Along with the new vacancy at The Etihad Stadium, a job has opened up at Everton. With Mourinho a dead cert to become Chelsea manager next season, people are looking to who could become the new boss at Goodison Park.

I know his name has been banded around for the Everton and possibly Wigan jobs but for me, Rafa Benitez would be excellent at Manchester City. He has extensive knowledge of the Premier League, has a good track record of managing egos and is astute in Europe. If Rafa was appointed at Manchester City, I would put them as favourites for the league ahead of Manchester United. If Rafa and Mourinho join City and Chelsea respectively, then it would be a really 3 horse race for the title next year. Arsenal and Tottenham would again be fighting for 4th position unless big changes were made.

But at least it would be a more interesting season. Manchester United pretty much cruised to the Premier League title this season and we need another competitive year. Arsenal are always capable of stringing a decent run together but it’s only usually in the final months of the season. If we have this massive war chest that people are reporting then we could compete, but does Arsene have the ability to pick the best talents? He’s been working on a shoe-string for so long it’s hard to know if he would spend the money on players that are truly world class.