Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has “fallen short” in the Old Trafford dressing room, according to Jamie Carragher.
The Liverpool veteran is the latest to criticize Maguire, who has come under fire for his performances this season and was under pressure to throw the armband over to superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. However, England defender Harry Maguire was dealt a new blow on Tuesday, when he was booed by his own fans ahead of the Three Lions’ routine 3-0 victory over Ivory Coast at Wembley, much like United fans did when Maguire was substituted during their Champions League loss to Atletico Madrid earlier this month.
The 28-year-dilemma old’s prompted Carragher to offer his own interpretation, as manager Gareth Southgate called the treatment “an absolute joke” and teammate Harry Kane launched a no-nonsense defense on social media. “Maguire’s issue in turning it around at Old Trafford is his lack of power in the United locker room,” the ex-Anfield star said in a Telegraph piece.
“Maguire has been looking over his shoulder since last summer during a dispute over whether he or Cristiano Ronaldo should be captain. He has failed to assert his leadership rather than reassert it. His performances have suffered as a result.” Along with his criticism of Maguire’s leadership, Carragher also offered a warning to him for when the Red Devils finally hire a new manager.
“Elite coaches are driven to play a high-line defense,” the player-turned-pundit continued, echoing comments made by former United centre-back Rio Ferdinand about the under-fire skipper’s ability. Whoever takes over at Old Trafford this summer will follow in the footsteps of Sir Alex Ferguson.
“That doesn’t sit well with Maguire, especially given the amount of dysfunction in the United team to which he is frequently exposed. This is going to be a problem for him in the future. In a squad that defends deep, it is simpler for a centre-back to hide their flaws. That is more difficult at the top level, and Maguire has become an easy scapegoat for a slew of United issues.”
Fortunately for Maguire, the international break provided much-needed rest ahead of a crucial final stretch that will determine whether or not United qualify for the Champions League next season. Ian Wright, a former Arsenal player, has urged United’s £80 million man to recover from the jeers, telling ITV: “We know, we saw, what the England fans are about.”
“We witnessed how they are at the start of the Euro final and how they are at the end of the final.” We’re seeing Harry Maguire get a lot of flak, and that’s due to the fact that he plays for one of the most prestigious teams in the world, so he’ll get it on top of it. Don’t worry about those fans, they should be focused on Harry Maguire’s performance and his pass for the second goal. They’ll be ecstatic if Harry Maguire scores in the World Cup!”