In pictures: Watford v Man Utd
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Harry Maguire has been maligned in the wake of Manchester United’s 4-1 defeat to Watford which led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking. The Red Devils captain was sent off midway through the second-half after a costly defensive lapse as his woes in a red shirt continued.
Maguire became one of the first signings under Solskjaer at Old Trafford and arrived from Leicester City as the most expensive defender in history.
Solskjaer immediately saw the England international as a leader in his squad and was quick to make him first-team captain just months after his arrival.
Maguire replaced veteran full-back Ashley Young as the club’s skipper, after Young joined Inter Milan in January 2020.
Ever since, Maguire has been an ever-present through the highs and lows under Solskjaer but he has been particularly poor this season.
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And Solskjaer has now been dismissed following a string of embarrassing defeats and United sit eighth in the league table.
Maguire has spearheaded a defence that has conceded 19 goals in seven games, and his form after returning prematurely from a calf injury for the 4-2 defeat to Leicester last month has been labelled in some quarters as disastrous.
United’s humiliation against Watford was a particular low point for Maguire, who will now miss the Chelsea game this weekend through suspension.
Maguire was dismissed for a second yellow card after clumsy play on the ball that left him scrambling and hacking down ex-United midfielder Tom Cleverley.
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And in the wake of his sending off, it has been reported that Maguire’s teammates begrudged him taking the armband so earlier on in his United career.
The Manchester Evening News claim some United players ‘resented’ Maguire becoming captain so quickly and one even questioned why the defender and Brazilian midfielder Fred weren’t dropped for below-par performances.
Maguire is under unprecedented levels of scrutiny for his showings right now with United’s defence currently leaking a worrying number of goals.
United defensive great Rio Ferdinand believes Maguire needs to be dropped after a draining period in an attempt to rediscover his form.
“Harry wouldn’t like to hear this but I just think sometimes you need to be taken out of the firing line,” Ferdinand told his FIVE YouTube channel.
“He’s had a long summer, a successful summer with England to a certain degree.
“He’s played a lot of football, comes back to United and physically and mentally it looks like there’s a hangover there.
“He won’t take himself out of it, I wouldn’t either, I’d try and play myself through it, but at the moment his performances haven’t been up to the level required, for him, for Man United.”
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