This week, Manchester United’s Harry Maguire gave an in-depth and candid interview. Maguire talked about his form, Manchester United’s dismal season, how much he feels about the club and more. Maguire seems self-aware and spoke well during the interview.
Maguire hasn’t always been like this. His pre-match interview before Liverpool thrashed United for the second time this season was a textbook example of a player failing to read the environment, and it went down like a lead balloon with fans. Maguire has had the worst season of his career, but it is now over. Maguire will profit the most from a summer break.
Maguire is anticipated to play a crucial part under Erik ten Hag, and it appears like he can only get better in the coming season. Maguire’s performances can’t go any worse than this. Maguire confessed to The Times that he has yet to talk with Ten Hag, which wasn’t surprising, but the defender’s comment on United’s finest player this season was. It leaped right off the page.
Maguire commented on Manchester United’s season before naming Cristiano Ronaldo as the club’s lone constant performer. “Throughout the season, we were nowhere near good enough. We were surrendering too many goals while not scoring enough “Maguire explained.
“It just spiraled out of control. You could see towards the conclusion of the season that the confidence and belief in the group were lacking. Apart from Cristiano [Ronaldo] and his goals, no player at the club has performed at a level that is comparable.”
Supporters, journalists, and experts all agree that Ronaldo and David de Gea have been the club’s best performances this season. It was thus interesting that Maguire did not bring up the latter when discussing the subject.
It’s only fair to give Maguire the benefit of the doubt for not identifying De Gea, but it’s also reasonable to infer that the goalkeeper’s removal from the interview was intentional, which means Maguire may have purposefully avoided naming De Gea.
De Gea has had a fantastic season at Old Trafford. After some concern about his future during the summer, he had a renaissance and recaptured the No. 1 title emphatically. De Gea has made a mockery of the issue between himself and Dean Henderson, and he’s really been more consistent than Ronaldo, who, if you’re being picky, had a barren festive period.
As a result, the suggestion that De Gea is contributing to United’s troubles is startling. Despite being a world-class shot-stopper, De Gea is a goalkeeper who has failed to develop with the game. His delivery is poor, his aerial presence is limited, and he’s not at ease sweeping up from the back. De Gea is at his weakest when the ball is at his feet, which cannot happen in 2022.
While it’s difficult to comprehend considering De Gea has been fantastic this season, it’s not untrue. With De Gea, United is immediately at a disadvantage at the back, with his errant passes inviting pressure directly onto the backline.
Luis Enrique has continuously ignored De Gea as Spain’s manager, and actions speak louder than words. When Robert Sanchez of Brighton left the Spain squad in March, there was still no room for De Gea. Arnau Texas, 20, of Barcelona B, was brought up to replace Sanchez. Enrique is aware of the reality, and Ten Hag will have to confront it sooner or later.
De Gea’s positional understanding does not help his defense. That’s an ironic remark given how horrifically vulnerable United’s backline has been this season and the world-class saves De Gea has routinely produced, but the Spaniard sticking to his line allows the opposition to attack more freely. This has happened a lot this season. United has been utterly incoherent.
Maguire will be aware of this because it has a significant impact on him and his teammates in central defense. Maguire is certainly annoyed by De Gea’s inability to play higher up the field, which could explain why he didn’t mention him in his interview.
Although United supporters will say that Maguire must first take care of his own affairs, he may believe that De Gea’s shortcomings in this area have made his job more difficult than it has to be. Maguire will almost certainly want a modern goalkeeper to back him up.
Joe Hart spent ten years at Manchester City before Pep Guardiola deemed him an unfit goalkeeper for his approach.
De Gea appears to be heading for the same fate as Hart, although with Ten Hag at Old Trafford.