Football fans are notoriously tough to please and critics’ pencils get ever sharper when you’re playing with a huge price tag on your head.
Harry Maguire made the headlines this summer when he completed an £80m move to Man United, making him the most expensive defender in the world.
He didn’t look like it last night after an uncharacteristically sloppy performance culminated in him clumsily tripping Kosovo striker Vedat Muriqi, conceding a penalty that Muriqi got up and converted himself.
It wasn’t a typical England performance all round, though, and while the 5-3 win was entertaining for the fans it would have really worried Gareth Southgate.
England were 5-1 up at half-time, after conceding a goal in the very first minute, but lost the second half 2-0 to a Kosovo side that were happy to swarm forward in search of goals.
Harry Kane even missed a penalty as England gave Southgate plenty to think about.
Maguire came in for some strong criticism on Twitter ahead of his club’s Premier League match against Leicester on Saturday.
Here are the best reactions on Twitter:
Maguire is useless unless it’s all in his favour. Cumbersome and slow!
Oh and 80 million. ????????
— East Lower MBE (@ArsenesGlasses_) September 11, 2019
Maguire is not even close to Van Dijk lmao.
— UTFR (@Pogtouch) September 11, 2019
There are people who think Harry Maguire is better than van Dijk????????????????????????????????????????????????
— Si senor (@kuttan_prem) September 11, 2019
When you’re the most expensive defender in the world, you’re always going to be compared to Virgil van Dijk, arguably the best centre-back on the planet.
Van Dijk had an amazing 18/19 season for Liverpool but Maguire has started strongly for Man United.
His 19/20 numbers on WyScout will give United fans plenty of cheer – Maguire has completed over 80% of 84.92 total actions per 90 minutes, has a near 90% pass success rate and has won 70% of his defensive duels and 75% of his aerial duels.
Van Dijk has completed 81% of 77.24 total actions, has a 90.9% pass success rate and has won 62.5% of his defensive duels and 76.9% of his aerial duels.
On those stats there’s barely a cigarette paper between the two of them. And Maguire is still settling into his new side.
— NooriSepet (@noorisepet14) September 11, 2019
Harry Maguire disaster class against a bunch of hench men from a low budget action film? Hate to see it
— stëve. (@stevehaynes98) September 11, 2019
England’s defending was worrying last night and both Maguire and Michael Keane looked poor.
Maguire made the headlines after giving away a clumsy penalty when it looked easier to clear the ball but one mistake does not define a defender and we’re tipping Maguire to bounce back strongly on Saturday.
???????????? Maguire is a shambles
— Arsenal Dan (@rsenalDan) September 10, 2019
You were woeful
— S O C I E T Y (@DaveCharging) September 10, 2019
Real concerns in defence for England. You'd probably still say Maguire/Stones No1 pairing, although Maguire poor tonight. Not sure Keane is good enough. Wouldn't be surprised if there is a new centre-back face or two in next squad (Coady?), or Mings given a go.
— Hector Nunns (@senornunes) September 10, 2019
Michael Keane and Harry Maguire at the back when you have a fully fit Joe Gomez ????
— Josh Dishman (@joshdishman14) September 10, 2019
Harry Maguire,Barkley and Keane all utter rubbish
— David Gibson (@dgibsonbird) September 10, 2019
Imagine paying 80m fir Maguire and watching him defend like bambi on ice tonight
— Jay Dowson (@jay_dowson) September 10, 2019
My word Maguire was shocking today. Hopefully, he won't take that form into the upcoming games.
— candylover (@candylover9531) September 10, 2019