Harry Maguire said bomb threat to his family from fans was crossing the 'line'. Photograph:( AFP )
Manchester United star Harry Maguire recently opened up on his struggles in the recently-concluded season and responded to his critics. The England centre-back also called out those who made a bomb threat to his family.
Manchester United captain Harry Maguire had a disastrous season as the club struggled across competitions. United endured a turbulent season where they failed to make it to the knockout stage of the Champions League before finishing a disappointing sixth in the Premier League. It was yet another trophyless season for the Red Devils, who saw former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer getting sacked midway through the campaign before Ralf Rangnick took over in an interim role.
However, the results didn't improve for United even under Rangnick, who publicly criticised players and exposed the woes in the United dressing room while sending several ultimatums to the management and the owners about fixing the issues prevalent at the club.
Maguire found himself on the receiving end of dire criticism after an average campaign. While he was slammed on several occasions on social media and booed by fans on the pitch, the England defender said the 'line' was crossed when his family received a bomb threat for him not giving up United's captaincy.
Maguire alleged a bomb threat had been made to his family in April this year owing to his poor performances on the pitch. The England footballer said he is ready to face criticism which comes along with the pressure of playing for a club like United but said involving his family and issuing a bomb threat was crossing the line.
“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," Maguire told reporters.
“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," he added.
Maguire was also booed by a section of English fans after his poor performance in England's friendly against Ivory Coast at Wembley in March this year. The England centre-back said he was left shocked by the reception from the fans as he has enjoyed a great relationship with them since his debut.
“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," said Maguire.
“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," he added.