Complete salvation can only come if great difficulties are overcome, but the confidence Manchester United and England have shown in Harry Maguire is beginning to pay off, as it did on Thursday when England defeated the Irish Republic 3-0.
It was on this same pitch that Wembley entered the new depth 29 days ago, after the centre had been sent to Denmark just 31 minutes after the home defeat of the English League of Nations.
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This poor performance – with two late reports illustrating his slowness – came after his inactivity in September, when he was convicted of grievous bodily harm, resisting arrest and attempted corruption during his summer holiday in Greece.
After Maguire appealed against the decision, his form for England and England fell so low that Ole Gunnar Solskiers’ side lost 6-1 to Tottenham. The old, unified Rio Ferdinand legend has even led many people to ask the 27-year-old to rest for his own good.
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Instead, Maguire has since played every minute of the United Premier League, and perhaps his best result of the season was last Saturday’s victory at Everton.
And here at Wembley, Gareth Southgate supported Maguire at a press conference by giving him the bracelet for the first time, making him the 124th member of the Wembley family. Captain England’s player. The big man took the lead from the front and scored the first goal in the easy 3-0 victory.
The title of Maguire, 18 minutes after Harry Winks’ cross, owes a lot to his consistency: The defender defeated Irish captain Shane Duffy and defeated Darren Randolph with a header. But it also calmed down the English team, which was nervous at first, even though they faced a tired team in a rare international friendship.
Fault! The file name is not specified. After a difficult summer and a red card last month against Denmark, Harry Maguire scored a good goal and a good team effort against Ireland. Photo by Nick Potts
Ireland lost Seamus Coleman in their last training session at Wembley on Wednesday night. James McCarthy had already left the team for family reasons, Aaron Connolly was injured, Harry Arter rested and John Egan replaced him just 14 minutes after the head-on collision.
Jack Grilish was able to compete against his English opponents and represented Ireland at a level of up to 21 before changing loyalties, and his hesitation was partly based on whether he would be able to fit into a more competitive team. That problem still exists, but Grealish continues to take important steps to be part of the strongest and most influential side of England by assessing and flattering the cheek of a player who has played more than three international matches.
Southgate was also praised by Grealish and his Aston Villa teammate Tyrone Mings, who hinted he would be involved in the international breakthrough again.
Both boys played on Sunday, and we’re watching the next two games. We’re so aware of this that it’s almost the tip of your consciousness that you just wanted to get through the game without getting hurt, like everything else, which is actually a strange situation.
We are very satisfied with both, so we have not let them down for performance reasons, that’s for sure. Tonight we were in a good position to make changes at a time that suits us physically.
Fault! The file name is not specified. – set
Dominic Calvert-Lewin scores another goal for England against the indifferent Republic of Ireland. See all action on ESPN+.
When Maguire again caused problems in boxing and England reviewed their possessions with impressive speed, 25-year-old Gadon Sancho was in space for 31 minutes and Dortmund’s winged Borussia turned the low for Randolph and doubled the homerun.
What followed was like a training game. Dominic Calvert-Levin added on the 56th minute. A few minutes after Cyrus Christie’s goal on Bucayo Saca, a third of the time, the keeper was under heavy pressure in the penalty area.
Southgate, who defended England for a week against Liverpool’s injured defender, Joe Gomez, explaining why his boss, President Greg Clarke, had to resign after racist remarks at a parliamentary selection committee hearing, felt comfortable enough in his technical room to present Foden his first hat after breaking the COWID 19 rules in Iceland, and made his debut with 17-year-old Jew Bellingham, who is now the third young man to play for England after Theo Wolcott and Wayne Rooney.
I thought we were a bit slow at first, but that’s understandable because it’s a team that didn’t work well together. But as time went on, our attack on the wings was good, Southgate said. It was an important experience for seven players.
We knew we had three experienced keynote speakers and that it was important to give the team some stability. Before, we weren’t as strong physically as we sometimes were, but we had good techniques.
Two midfielders used the ball very well and their combinations with the middle and three ahead were sometimes very exciting. We’ve got players between the lines spinning and running on defense. We didn’t try as much in defense as we could, but we created a lot of good chances and we used the ball very well.
Maguire of course played a full 90 minutes, the only disturbing moment was when Ronan Curtis tried his luck from 20 meters to test Dean Henderson’s goalkeeper on a break for his debut for Nick Pope. He even added almost a quarter for England at the end, when he started far from Rhys James’ corner. The love train may not run on the same frequency as the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but there are signs that it’s on the move.
Even stricter tests are carried out before the Maguire can be reliably repaired. And if England gets a Sunday at the League of Nations against Belgium № 1, Maguire – no, because the defender goes out at the red card near the trailer.
It was England’s first victory over Ireland since 1985, but it was considered absolutely inevitable from the moment England emerged.
But in the end the evening went as well as Maguire and Southgate had hoped. Both men have had to deal with a sudden entrance on the field lately, which seems to be a success in itself.