Should ‘too stoical’ Maguire be stripped of captaincy?

Date published: Thursday 15th October 2020 12:06

Harry Maguire is in the news. Which means that Harry Maguire is in Mediawatch, being 'too stoical'.

Harry Maguire is just ‘too stoical for his own good’. But taking away the captaincy might help. Really?


Let’s get stoical…

We have to start with Harry Maguire and the extraordinary collective amnesia around the events of this summer.

The idea that events in Greece just happened to him (fact: he was arrested and then convicted) or that his conviction was overturned (fact: it was not) seems to have seeped into the media’s consciousness.

‘So unlike the incident that led to his arrest in Mykonos in August, there was no recourse to appeal,’ writes Dave Kidd in The Sun before calling him an ‘upstanding bloke’ and suggesting that ‘sometimes, though, a man can be too stoical for his own good’. Yes, that’s definitely his problem, just ‘too stoical’.

‘Southgate swears by Maguire, including him in his squad days after his arrest and even considered recalling him immediately after he successfully appealed against his convictions.’

Woah there. No he did not ‘successfully appeal against his convictions’; he won the right to appeal, which in Greek law means that his conviction is nullified. He will still face a retrial in a more senior court. It is not over. And that senior court is unlikely to conclude that he is just ‘too stoical’ to be convicted if the evidence is compelling.


Stats entertainment

Wonderful bit of opportunism from The Sun website with this ‘news’:

‘Arsenal new boy has better defending stats than Man Utd captain Harry Maguire on Fifa 21…despite playing in midfield’

Top, top bantz. Top, top SEO.

We could point out that Harry Maguire has better defending stats on Fifa 21 than all of the actual Arsenal defenders but that would be giving credence to the notion that any of this sh*t actually matters.


Captain, not my captain

The Manchester Evening News have a solution to Harry Maguire’s woes: Take away the Manchester United captaincy.

Because of course that will make him feel loads better.

‘As a well-paid celebrity and captain of United it is perhaps understandable why so much social criticism is targeted at Maguire, but that doesn’t make it acceptable. As a human being he deserves some compassion and Solskjaer might need to lessen the burden on him in the short-term at least.’

Yes. And there would definitely be no ‘social criticism’ aimed at Maguire if he was stripped of the captaincy; that would pass without any comment at all. People would barely notice.

‘With such an intense fixture schedule ahead the suggestion of giving Maguire time off seems too costly at the moment, but by giving the captain’s armband to talisman Bruno Fernandes it would at least ease the pressure on the England defender and let him concentrate on his footballing duties.’

Yes. He would just shrug stoically and magically become a much better footballer if his manager made such a public statement, implying a lack of trust in his captain.

‘United owe it to Maguire to ease the burden on his shoulders at such a troubling time and with such an obvious candidate in the squad there would be no shame in making a captaincy change.’

They ‘owe it to Maguire’ to strip him of an honour? Are they saying he should be grateful?


Buend it like Sancho

It’s almost sweet how the Manchester Evening News are still pretending that there is a Jadon Sancho ‘latest’ to sell their ‘Manchester United news and transfers LIVE’ stalwart.

We clicked and the Sancho ‘latest’ is that ‘Manchester United must change transfer stance to sign Jadon Sancho alternative’, which is one hell of a way to suggest that your club sign Emiliano Buendia from Norwich.


LIVE and kicking

The MEN are not alone in this desperation to pretend that there is any ‘latest’ or LIVE news about Jadon Sancho when the transfer window is actually closed. Liverpool Echo here:

‘Liverpool news and transfers LIVE – Kylian Mbappe £361m bid, Adama Traore linked, Jadon Sancho exit’

The ‘bid’ is from Juventus for a player Liverpool absolutely cannot afford and the ‘Jadon Sancho exit’ is not a ‘Jadon Sancho exit’ at all but a ‘Jadon Sancho staying absolutely still’, according to the latest reports from Germany.



Mount Everest

Over in the Daily Mirror, Andy Dunn writes about Jack Grealish and how his exclusion points to a ‘cautious’ coach. ‘This is an England team that needs a creative X factor to take it up a notch…Grealish is more likely than Mount to provide it.’

Indeed, he writes of Mason Mount:

‘He does not have the impudence of Grealish. He does not have the vision of Grealish. He does not have the unpredictability of Grealish.

‘Again, it should not have to be a straight choice, but finding a place for Mount and not for Grealish tells you of a cautious coach.’

‘It should not have to be a straight choice’ is interesting because Dunn namechecks Grealish 11 times and Mount seven times in his article. And how many times does he namecheck Marcus Rashford? Zero. Zilch. None.

And this despite Rashford playing on the left, which would be Grealish’s most natural position. And this despite Rashford creating fewer chances and having a much lower pass completion rate than Mount on Wednesday night. And this despite the Mirror themselves giving him 5/10 – lower than Mount’s 6/10.

It should not have to be a ‘straight choice’ but you made it so. Casting Mount in the role of the anti-Grealish is unhelpful and very bloody unfair to a talented 21-year-old footballer.


Recommended reading of the day

Jonathan Liew on Mason Mount

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