Former England goalkeeper David James says Harry Maguire's torrid recent displays are a result of a "self-fulfilling prophecy".
The Manchester United defender hit the headlines again this week after his mistakes cost England a couple of goals in their 3-3 draw with Germany at Wembley on Monday night, though James insists his calamitous form is no surprise because fans want him to fail.
"I feel for Harry Maguire on the basis where he doesn’t seem like he can do a lot right in people’s eyes," the 52-year-old ex-Premier League star told GGRecon.
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"I’ve been in that position myself where it’s almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy, where people wait for you to make a mistake and do something that’s not quite right, and that’s what they were expecting."
James said he thought Maguire was an integral part of the England squad, regardless of his form, and backed him to start for the Three Lions at the World Cup.
"I’m a Harry Maguire fan," James added. "Harry’s an integral part of that squad and was a major reason behind why England got to the final of the European Championships. Providing that he’s fit, he’d be in England’s starting line-up and he’ll play well."
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James, who spent nearly two decades in the Premier League across spells with Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City and Portsmouth, came in for plenty of flack over the course of his 53-cap England career.
Despite featuring prominently at two major international tournaments – Euro 2004 and the 2010 World Cup – James spent the majority of his Three Lions career deputising for the likes of David Seaman, Nigel Martyn and later Paul Robinson, meaning that when he came into the side, his performances were usually put under the microscope.
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