Harry Maguire worried about social media impact on football

Harry Maguire thinks fans have stopped giving games their full attention credit:Bang Showbiz
Harry Maguire thinks fans have stopped giving games their full attention credit:Bang Showbiz

Harry Maguire thinks social media is ruining football.

The Manchester United defender believes many fans rarely give a full game their undivided attention and many prefer to digest the events of a match via brief online clips.

He said: “It must be a small percentage of people who actually sit and watch 90, 95 minutes of a game without being on their phone or doing something else as well. I think most of the game will be watched on highlights or on social media. Which is a shame for the game, really.”

And the rise of online discussion platforms has lead the England player to believe football has become a "game of opinions", but because so few watch the sport "with their own eyes", he worries it has led to individuals being singled out unfairly.

He told The Times magazine: “Football is a game of opinions. You could do an action and someone could say, ‘Well done,’ and another person could say, ‘It’s your fault.’ Or you could concede a goal and one person could blame one centre half and another person could blame another centre half...

“But it’s a team performance game. So if you lose games, individuals get portrayed as being in bad form. And for sure, individuals might not be performing as well as they can do, but the more you get spoken about, the more people talk about you.”

Harry tries not to pay attention to what fans say about him.

He said: “Even reaching the finals of the Euros and getting into the Team of the Tournament, I still didn’t really switch on to what was being said about me. I try my best to ignore what goes off on the outside world.”

But he acknowledged it isn't so easy for his loved ones.

He said: “They’re probably reading it a bit more than I am. And obviously people’s opinions probably affect them. No one likes being spoken about in a bad way. It’s just a human trait we all have.

“The bottom line is, when you’re in the spotlight, that’s going to happen. And I totally understand that. But when my family reads it, or things go to an extreme, then it’s probably tougher for them to understand.”