Manchester United have some significant problems at the moment – and captain Harry Maguire has had his say.
Their next run of fixtures is also relatively kind on paper. Out of their next six opponents, only West Ham are currently in the top half of the table.
But United currently have some much deeper-reaching issues. The first is that their recent form has been exceptionally poor. The Red Devils have won just two of the last five games in all competitions. Most recently, they lost 1-0 to Wolves at Old Trafford.
After that game, club legend Rio Ferdinand referred to the players’ body language as “concerning” in an honest analysis on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube channel.
And fellow former United star Gary Neville posted on Twitter: “It’s not good enough. It really isn’t!”
The Red Devils have also changed their manager this season. Interim boss Ralf Rangnick has received some of the blame for his side’s recent woes, having now taken charge of six games at the club.
The players have recently attempted to shoulder some of that blame, with Maguire the latest to speak out about the current situation.
What has Harry Maguire said?
The United captain stated (quotes via Daily Telegraph): “We are letting the fans down and have to come out fighting. This team finished second last year. We’ve a bigger and better squad this year so we have to show the right attitude.
“We have big players in the team, leaders. I’m sick of repeating myself, but it can’t continue like this. We need to go on a proper run, starting Monday [FA Cup tie against Aston Villa].
“I’ve obviously seen a lot of criticism and a lot of it is absolutely correct. From what the fans and ex-players have said, we get it. A lot of it is justified, and we all have to take massive responsibility, myself as captain as much as anyone, if not more.
“We need to start winning and playing well as a team.”
Manchester United fans react to Maguire’s comments
It is fair to say that there has been a mixed reaction to Maguire’s remarks from Manchester United fans – but plenty have taken a philosophical view as to why he and his teammates are currently struggling.
As the club captain himself has stated, it has been common for United players to address significant issues this season. However, the team’s form is failing to improve on the pitch.
Understandably, in that case, the senior players have received criticism from fans for their performances. But there is also a belief amongst some that the problems go beyond the players or the manager.
What have the fans said?
One fan wrote on the r/reddevils subreddit: “United fans are always so desperate to find scapegoats and easy targets. In reality the problems are deeper and more nuanced than one defender.”
They claimed: “I think for Luke Shaw and Maguire, there was legitimate burnout from playing so much including the Euros.
“It’s probably more evident with Shaw as last season he was genuinely on fire for most of the season … I think it was mismanagement from the coaching staff not to trust our backups and give them both a rest.”
Other fans jumped to the defence of Harry Maguire.
One said: “Sick of people acting like [Maguire] is a poor player. I’ll admit he has been bad this year but he was legitimately in with a shout of TOTS last season and carried our defence.”
Another added: “I don’t think he is at the level of Virgil van Dijk and I think we did overpay, but I still believe he is a solid defender going through a very bad patch.”
A third wrote: “We severely missed him last season when at the end of last season when he was injured … We talk all the time about how players are tired, but Maguire, who played the most minutes in Europe last season and every minute of the Euros, doesn’t get any benefit of the doubt.”
Featured Image Credit: Getty