Rio Ferdinand says Gareth Southgate is placing ‘blind trust’ in Harry Maguire for England’s World Cup campaign
Posted by  badge Boss on Nov 10, 2022 - 10:42AM
Harry Maguire has started just three games for Manchester United this season (AMA/Getty)

believes is placing ‘blind trust’ in Harry Maguire for England’s campaign due to his lack of playing time for this season.

Maguire has started just three Premier League games this term with Erik ten Hag preferring Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez as his centre-back partnership for United.

Southgate, however, has given no indication that he is prepared to drop Maguire for England’s World Cup campaign in Qatar .

But Ferdinand believes England’s defensive issues are a ‘real worry’ heading into the tournament and feels Southgate’s lack of standout options at centre-back could be costly.

‘I’ve always thought if you’re going to win a tournament, you’ve got to have a good defence,’ said Ferdinand.

‘Italy had experience, solid defenders to win the Euros. You can go down the years and you can see that. That’s where we’re probably at our weakest now. Even if there weren’t injuries or lack of form, I feel like that was our weakest area anyway.

Gareth Southgate is adamant that he will stand by Harry Maguire (PA)

‘Kyle Walker, our quickest defender, has been out. Maguire, form and injuries. When you’re looking at it, you’re thinking ‘What are we going to do?’ Harry hasn’t let England down ever. He’s been phenomenal for England. But his form has gone out the window for Man Utd. He’s not in the team, he’s got an injury as well.

‘Going into a tournament, I couldn’t think of another worst-case scenario. I would be concerned about that. But to be fair to him, Harry hasn’t let Gareth down. So as a manager you’re going to go with what you know, with what you’re comfortable with. But he trusts him. It could be blind trust, I don’t know. But he does trust him.

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‘The problem he’s got is it’s not like he’s not sitting there where he has four or five other candidates like in my generation where you’d be able to go, ‘he’s out of form’ or ‘he’s not playing’ or ‘he’s injured’.

‘I had Sol Campbell, Jamie Carragher, Jonathan Woodgate, Ledley King, the list goes on. All of those players start today. There’s no one in there now that you go: ’They jump out as the No.1 candidates to go and play.’ So it’s very difficult. I think that could in the end be our Achilles heel.

‘Is Trevoh Chalobah going to be ready? He’s playing really well. But last month it was Fikayo Tomori. Before that it was Marc Guehi. It’s a real worry.’

Rio Ferdinand’s Tipping Point launches on 11th November exclusively on Prime Video.


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