David Beckham Urges Harry Maguire to Ignore Criticism and Focus on Football
David Beckham has urged Manchester United defender Harry Maguire to keep ‘focusing on his football’ and ignore the sort of criticism he received in his career. The former United captain has faced intense criticism over his performance over the last 18 months.
The centre-half was targeted by Scotland supporters after scoring an own goal during England’s 3-1 win at Hampden Park in September with Gareth Southgate ‘livid’ with the treatment he has received from supporters, media and pundits. Maguire’s own mother has hit out at ‘disgraceful abuse’ her son has received with his manager Erik ten Hag calling for the ‘disrespect’ to stop.
Asked what advice he would have Maguire, Beckham told Stick to Football: ‘Harry [Maguire] has to keep doing what he’s doing. He’s got to focus on football, which he does. He’s a good lad – he’s had a great career. Has the criticism got too much? I think it has.’
After England crashed out of the World Cup against Argentina with Beckham sent off that night, the United star received torrents of abuse up and down the country, targeted by rival supporters on a weekly basis with an effigy of the midfielder seen hanging from a lamppost during a trip to West Ham. Reflecting on that period, Beckham said: ‘It [getting sent off at the 1998 World Cup] was a low point – but we all go through those moments, and it was my turn after the World Cup.
‘I did make a mistake and I was obviously punished for it – but we all make mistakes, and I was thankful that I had the right people around me to get over it. It was more than just about the football in the end – that was the tough part. I had people doorstepping my grandparents’ house. I would go out for dinner in London and people would spit at me or punch the windows when they saw it was me at the lights. And that is in London where I am from. It was tough, but thankfully I had good people around me.’
Beckham’s advice to Maguire is to stay focused on his football and ignore any criticism or abuse he may receive from fans or media. He should also be thankful for the support of his family and friends who will help him get through any difficult times.
It is important for players to remember that criticism is part of the game and it is up to them to stay focused on their performance and not let any negative comments affect their confidence. It is also important for players to remember that they are role models for young people and should handle any criticism in a respectful manner.
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