Harry Maguire should be supported through bad form, not booed for it as he was for England at Wembley - Sue Smith

I was at England’s game against Switzerland on Tuesday and like a lot of people, I was shocked by the booing of Harry Maguire. It was out of order.

I understand fans need to have a voice but to boo a player from your own team before they have even kicked a ball is wrong.

It has happened before to the likes of Raheem Sterling, Ashley Cole, David Beckham and John Barnes and I am just not a fan of it.

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There are always club rivalries but if you go to an England game it should be to support all the players and if they are not in the best form, help them through it.

WEMBLEY BOOS: England's Harry Maguire did not deserve the jeers in London, says Sue Smith. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

I wrote last week how the change of environment could help Maguire, who has been playing poorly for Manchester United, but to get booed like that must have been painful. People said he will not care but he will.

The former Sheffield United and Hull City centre-back was in the team of the tournament at last summer’s European Championship when everyone was singing his name.

Selecting him was Gareth Southgate’s choice and no amount of booing will change his mind. You might disagree with some decisions but why go against England’s most successful manager since Sir Alf Ramsey?

He showed he knew what he was doing when he ignored criticism to start Sterling last summer and the Manchester City winger was England’s player of the tournament.

SUPPORTED: Harry Maguire was supported by his teammates after being booed at Wembley. Picture: Nick Potts/PA Wire.

You live with it when you get booed by away fans, but it is hard to take from your own. It just shows the pressure of wearing an England shirt and a Manchester United shirt.

Fortunately the crowds in women’s football are much more supportive and even when they boo the opposition it is in a pantomime way.

I do not remember any of my England team-mates having to put up with that and even now with the profile of the Women’s Super League rocketing and the brilliant news of a record Champions League crowd at the Camp Nou, I still do not think it is like that.

Behaviour like that even creates a rift amongst the fans.

It was a real minority and all the fans I spoke to afterwards could not believe it but I was interviewed over the tannoy before the game and it reminded me how sound echoes around Wembley. A couple of hundred people can sound like thousands.

One person starts booing and so many others join in.

Someone said he should not have cupped his ear when he celebrated a goal for England earlier in the season and they are probably right. Hopefully he has learnt from it and will quietly get on with his business next time like Sterling.

But come on.

Maguire played well on Tuesday, stepping into midfield for the move which ended with the first goal, but not everyone is as strong as him. Some will be thinking it could be them next.

The expectation of a country desperate to win something after such a long time can wear players down. Even those playing for big teams can often be more free to express themselves at club level.

England have a real chance to win this World Cup so we need to get behind the players. We should be supporting Maguire to get him out of the dip he is in.