'Man Utd can eat you alive' - Harry Maguire 'feels more loved by England' and plays better for his country than club, says Neville
- Maguire has struggled at United in 2022-23
- Started all three England games
- Neville attributes form to feeling "more loved"
WHAT HAPPENED? Neville, who made 603 appearances for Man Utd spanning 19 seasons, recognised the pressure associated with playing for one of England's greatest football clubs. The former full-back pointed towards the backing from Gareth Southgate and overall positive mood around camp as main factors in Maguire's improved form, after he has struggled for game time under new United boss Erik ten Hag.
WHAT THEY SAID: "I think he feels loved more by England maybe, I think he feels more at home," Neville explained to Sky Sports. "Harry Maguire plays better for his country than his club. I think there are a few players who feel that way, Raheem Sterling. They have a good group, a manager who believes in them, who has selected them regularly.
"Harry is a great centre-back and he has been brilliant in the last two tournaments, he has just had an awful time at United these last 12 months. United is a very unforgiving place, I know that from being there for 20 years, if you just do not get it right that place can just eat you alive - Harry is just getting that at this moment in time."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Maguire has impressed in Qatar after starting all three of England's group games, partnered each time alongside John Stones as part of a back four. While this formula has been tried and tested in previous tournaments, Southgate raised a few eyebrows when he elected the pairing given Maguire's struggles at club level. So far, though, it has paid off with England conceding just two goals as they progressed as Group B winners.
IN TWO PHOTOS:
DID YOU KNOW? Maguire made as many touches in the opposition penalty area in the first half against Wales as Gareth Bale made all tournament (2).
WHAT NEXT FOR MAGUIRE? Southgate is likely to call on Maguire once again when England take on Senegal in the round of 16 on Sunday, with a place in the quarter-finals up for grabs.