Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Harry Maguire told he can rebuild career as Man Utd Treble winner details drastic Erik ten Hag plan

Harry Maguire of Manchester United - West Ham United v Manchester United, Premier League, London Stadium, London

Harry Maguire may have been cast as one of the fall guys of Manchester United’s demise, but TEAMtalk has been told by Wes Brown why he can become one of the best and most important players under new manager Erik ten Hag.

United captain Maguire became a symbol of United’s failure last season, as the Red Devils slumped to a sixth-placed finish. Despite the efforts of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then Ralf Rangnick, they served up their most disastrous season of the Premier League era.

That has left many suggesting his time at United may come to a close. Indeed, Roy Keane has been one of Maguire’s strongest critics, hitting out at his performances and the way he’s handled himself in the media.

Furthermore, a damaging report also claims some senior United stars have questioned Maguire’s role in the team.

However, Ten Hag has quickly come out and spoken out in defence of Maguire.

And now, speaking at a event, Brown suggests the 29-year-old can still emerge as the leader Ten Hag badly needs as he looks to rebuild United’s shattered aura.

“Some of the criticism thrown at Maguire was over the top, but this is how football works these days,” Brown told TEAMtalk.

“People get on social media, they start wading into players and momentum builds behind that criticism. Harry has been a victim of that.

“He has been booed by England fans, written off by United supporters on Twitter and it all seems pretty harsh.

“I get it that fans are disappointed, we all were after what we saw last season. So it is inevitable that people will pick out certain players and blame them.

Ten Hag can get the best out of Harry Maguire

“Maguire has been at the top of that list and I get it. He’s the captain and he hasn’t been playing well, so he will get hammered.”

Brown believes the appointment of Ten Hag is a very good one as far as Maguire is concerned. He reckons the defender will thrive under his management and put his troubles of 2021/22 behind him.

“When you are playing for Manchester United, the standards and expectations are on a different level to most other clubs. All of the players didn’t reach that last season.

“We know Harry is a good defender. At the Euros last summer, he was one of the best players in the tournament. That wasn’t long ago.

“There were times in my career when I was playing bad and there is nowhere to hide when you are at a club as big as United.

“Now it’s all about how Harry bounces back from the position he finds himself in. And I’m sure Ten Hag will want him in his team if the Maguire of 12 months ago is revived.

“I hope Maguire uses this summer to clear his head, come to pre-season with a new mentality and start again.”

Brown believes the leaders that drove United’s success during his time at the club were sadly lacking last season.

Harry Maguire, as United captain, highlighted his role in that failure too. As such, Brown believes Ten Hag may consider taking the armband off him if he can find a leader in the Keane mould.

“You looked out there last season and I wondered if they had anyone driving them,” Brown added.

“Players such as Harry Maguire, [Paul] Pogba, Cristiano [Ronaldo] have done so much in the game. But something was sadly lacking and leadership was an issue.”

Leadership important at Man Utd

Brown continued: “I played alongside one of the great Manchester United captains in Keane. He demanded certain standards from people. That’s what you need at a big club.

“Some people thought Roy went over the top in the way he used to rip into us at United. But I never had a problem with it.

“All he is asking for is the basics; work as a team, get stuck in. When we didn’t do that, he couldn’t accept and he would often come in at half-time and hammer us.

“The boss (Alex Ferguson) used to let him do it because he knew we respected Roy and he was part of the manager’s team, but that kind of player has been lacking at United over the last couple of years.

“I see Roy on Sky Sports losing it now and it does make me smile because he is the same guy now as he was 20 years ago in that United dressing room, but home truths need to be spoken.

Ten Hag confidence boost for Harry Maguire

Erik Ten Hag wants to get the most out of Donny Van Der Beek and Harry Maguire at Manchester United

“If United had someone like Roy Keane raising standards in the dressing room now, maybe the players would have responded because there was a lot of talent in that club.

“The trouble is, attitudes were not right and the mentality of the players was all wrong. That’s what Ten Hag has to fix next season.”

United, meanwhile, have reportedly agreed a deal for Frenkie de Jong amid claims of when an official announcement will arrive.