England head coach Gareth Southgate has defended the selection of Harry Maguire after the Three Lions played a 3-3 draw against Germany in the Group C of UEFA Nations League on Monday. Southgate had selected the Manchester United defender despite his lack of game time at the club.
Germany took a 2-0 lead at Wembley Stadium but the hosts were able to bounce back as they scored three goals in the span of 12 minutes. Luke Shaw and Mason Mount were able to equalize for Southgate’s team before their skipper Harry Kane put them in front in the 83rd minute through a penalty.
But Kai Havertz scored his second goal of the night as the visitors equalized in the 87th minute. In fact, two out of the three goals which England conceded, were caused by Harry Maguire’s lapse in defense.
“I know everybody will focus on Harry, but there were some very important moments that Harry delivered during the two matches. Luke was another example of somebody that, you know,’s an outstanding footballer. So what do we do? Do not pick Luke Shaw because he’s not playing enough football or do we pick a player that can do what you saw tonight? And that’s always going to raise debate. But I think in these moments, we’ve got to back our best and our most experienced players unless we’re in a situation where, you know, it’s almost untenable and impossible to pick them,” Southgate said after the draw vs Germany.
Southgate revealed he wants to keep an open mind and keep backing his players to the hilt.
“We would be foolish not to keep an open mind to especially players that have worked with us before, who we know, that know us and can slot in pretty comfortably. I think the way Eric Dier has played across the two games is a really good example of that. He didn’t need a big adaptation. He fits in with the group immediately. So those guys, in particular, we’re monitoring closely. But also we’ve got to keep an open mind on others because in certain positions we don’t have a lot of depth. And, you know, we’ve still got to be analysing is there somebody that can come in and improve the squad that we’ve got?” Southgate added.
England could not even win a single match in Group C out of the six games they played. The Three Lions lost three and drew three games.