Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira has accused the media of showing a lack of respect for Manchester United captain Harry Maguire in their reaction to his inclusion in England’s World Cup squad.
Vieira was asked about Maguire being part of Gareth Southgate’s 26 while his own player Marc Guehi was excluded but surprised those present by saying he backed the senior man.
Maguire is fourth-choice centre-back at Manchester United and reports suggest that he could be sold next summer at a massive loss because of his lack of pace.
But he has 48 caps for England and Vieira – a World Cup winner with France – knows the value of experience at international level.
“I think sometimes you guys (the media) show a lack of respect to Maguire and to some of the players who have been selected in the national team.
“Maguire is a top player who has a really strong character. Sometimes you can play well and sometimes you can play badly, but that doesn’t take away the quality that he has and the personality that he has.
“The England national team will benefit from that.”
Maguire has rarely performed badly for England and was named in the Team of the Tournament as England reached the final of Euro 2020.
In contrast, Guehi has played just three times for England and at 22 would be expected to play a big part for England going into 2023.
The centre-halves named by Southgate were Maguire, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Ben White, John Stones and Conor Coady, leaving Guehi and Fikayo Tomori on the outside looking in.
“Regarding Marc, what he had to do is to keep being consistent with his performances,” said Vieira, who is likely to lose just two players to the World Cup in Joachim Andersen and Jordan Ayew.
“Marc, if you compare him to Maguire, the difference is Maguire knows things that international level which Marc doesn’t know yet.
“The manager has to make a decision about what he wants for that tournament. Again, Marc, or anybody else, should respect that decision and make a judgement at the end of the tournament.
“The manager knows the player better than we do. The manager knows what he wants from players and how he wants to play the game. The nation has to trust, believe, and be behind the manager.
“Then, when the tournament is finished, everybody can express their opinion.”
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