Harry Maguire put in a strong performance as England beat Iran on Monday (Picture: Getty)
Gabriel Agbonlahor has called out fans for criticising Harry Maguire and has demanded they apologise to the England and Manchester United defender.
Maguire put in a strong performance in central defence as England smashed Iran 6-2 in their World Cup opener in Qatar on Monday.
There had been much debate over whether Maguire – one of Gareth Southgate’s most trusted players – should have started the match, with some even claiming that he should not have been included in England’s 26-man squad.
Maguire has had to deal with limited game time at United this season and he faced scrutiny over some of his performances.
But the 29-year-old has been a consistent performer for his country, helping England reach the World Cup semi-finals in 2018 and the Euro 2020 final.
Maguire has knocked up 49 caps for England in total and Agbonlahor has urged people to apologise to him.
‘For me, Maguire was outstanding.’ he told talkSPORT. ‘When the team got announced I looked through Twitter and all it was was ‘I can’t believe Maguire is starting’.
‘I was thinking to myself, all those people who doubted him should apologise. Harry Maguire was outstanding.
World Cup 2022: your FAQs answered
World Cup 2022: Start date, schedule, teams, kick-off times and TV
How can England get to the 2022 World Cup final? Best and worst routes
Where to buy England home and away World Cup kits and how much they cost
Who are the BBC and ITV World Cup 2022 presenters and pundits?
When does the Premier League resume after the World Cup?
Read the latest World Cup news on Metro.co.uk’s dedicated page.
‘A threat in the air in the attacking box, defensively he was solid.
‘Yes for the first Iran goal he could have done better, but sometimes you switch off when the game is so easy.
‘I thought he was outstanding. Let’s get behind him now. All the sheep who say he shouldn’t be playing and he’s awful, get behind him.
‘Give him the confidence because he’s going to be starting every game for England. His passing was good, defensively he was sharp.
‘Sometimes a manager can get more out of a player. Harry Maguire knows he’s got the trust of Southgate.
‘Yes he’s not been playing for Manchester United, but the manager trusts him and is going to play him.
‘All the people were saying on the show yesterday, and social media, that Maguire can’t start.
‘Me and Ally were saying he’s going to start. He’s not going to bring him to the tournament and not play him.
‘He showed yesterday that he’s going to play every game. Get behind him, stop being sheep on social media and say he’s not good enough.
‘I’ve seen people bring banners over here saying you won’t win …read more