The Manchester United captain seemingly can’t catch a break as last season’s poor form has carried over into this campaign and big decisions over his role are being made two games in
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is giving serious consideration to dropping captain Harry Maguire for the visit of Liverpool on Monday.
Maguire started in both of United’s defeats to Brighton and Brentford and new centre-back signing Lisandro Martinez was hooked at half-time with United 4-0 down at the Community Stadium.
Saturday night’s 4-0 hammering at Brentford ensured United sat bottom of the Premier League table for the first time since August 1992, while Ten Hag became the first Red Devils manager in 100 years to lose his first two games at the helm.
In both outings, Maguire was partnered alongside Ten Hag’s most expensive recruit to date – £55million-man Lisandro Martinez. While the Argentine has faced question marks over his ability to keep up with the physical side of the Premier League, given he was a Ten Hag recruit it seems unlikely that he’ll come out of the team.
But something needs to change and it looks as if the manager feels like that ‘thing’ is Maguire. The Manchester Evening News report that Ten Hag is keen on the idea of partnering new boy Martinez with former Real Madrid star Raphael Varane to deal with the attacking threat posed by Jurgen Klopp’s side.
During the club’s pre-season tour of Australia, Maguire was the subject of boos and jeers from his own supporters. In response, Ten Hag simply claimed that the only thing Maguire could do to “slow” the negativity was to play well.
“Maguire we heard but you see, if you perform, it slows down,” Ten Hag explained. “I think he, the team, impressed by the way we played. I don’t think it’s the [thing] to find out if I understand it.
“It’s about how we can change it. So it’s the team and Harry himself performing. That is what we’re working on; that is the only focus.” Unfortunately for the defender, he has done very little to slow the jeering so far this season.
Ten Hag defied a lot of critics when he insisted Maguire would remain club captain, but dropping himself before the end of August is surely going to undermine the defender’s dressing room authority.