‘I’m sorry’ – Merson admits he ‘went too far’ with criticism of Man Utd star, discusses phone call

·3-min read
Merson chats with Southgate Credit: PA Images
Merson chats with Southgate Credit: PA Images

Paul Merson has admitted that he “went too far” with his criticism of Harry Maguire and the pundit called the Man Utd defender to apologise.

Maguire’s reputation has gone down the toilet somewhat over the past year.

The defender was heavily criticised last season as Man Utd endured a troublesome season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.

Man Utd newbie concern; Maguire is fine for England and would have been for Chelsea

The two managers kept faith with Maguire despite calls for him to be dropped. Looking back now, this was perhaps to the centre-back’s detriment.

The club captain could arguably have done with a few weeks out of the limelight and he has continued to struggle at the start of this campaign.

Maguire started United’s first couple of games of the 2022/23 campaign under Erik ten Hag. But he has now lost his place to Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.

The Red Devils spent a total fee of around £85m to sign Maguire from Leicester City back in 2019.

Merson said back then that this transfer fee for Maguire was “ridiculous”. 

The ex-Arsenal attacker has admitted that he called the defender to apologise as he regretted making these comments:

“I don’t want to be right on that – I’d rather be wrong,” Maguire told The Telegraph.

“I want England to win the World Cup and Harry Maguire to get the winning goal. It was just my opinion.

“I rang up Brendan Rodgers and said, ‘Can you get me Harry Maguire’s number?’ I didn’t feel comfortable with myself.

“I needed to ring him and say, ‘I don’t agree with the £80m, but I shouldn’t have said that and I’m sorry’. I went a little bit too far.

“He couldn’t believe it. Probably thought it was a joke. I don’t think he has had a fair crack. He’s struggling and he’s playing on the left when he’s right-footed.”

Merson went onto speak about the view people have of him over social media. He insists that he has “good knowledge” about football:

“I don’t like it when people go on [social media] and say, ‘He’s clueless, sack him, he hasn’t got a brain’. I’ve got good knowledge on football even if I get it wrong sometimes. Talk to me about politics, I’ve not got a clue,” Merson added.

“Football, I played all my life. Under the top managers. I know my football. I’ll sit with anybody over a table and talk football.

“I confidently stood on Sky the other day with Gary Neville, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Roy Keane. The hardest part is when you have to be critical of one of the best players who’s ever played football.

“(Cristiano) Ronaldo was a hundred times better player than me and I’ve got to say Man United are not going to win anything with him in the team.”


The article ‘I’m sorry’ – Merson admits he ‘went too far’ with criticism of Man Utd star, discusses phone call appeared first on Football365.com.