Harry Maguire has not shown enough “consistency” this season due to “small mistakes” with big consequences, according to Rio Ferdinand.
It has been a turbulent season for Manchester United captain Harry Maguire. He has been in the limelight for a string of mistakes. When the club’s form has been underwhelming, fingers of blame have been pointed towards senior players like the defender.
Maguire has faced his fair share of criticism, which continued after United’s 1-1 draw with Burnley on Tuesday.
More dropped points meant United slipped out of the top four, although they do have a game in hand over the closest club they are trying to catch.
But if they do miss out on the Champions League, there will be plenty of fall-out. From what remains of the season, they must iron out mistakes to prevent that happening.
But such mistakes are happening all too often – and their captain has regularly been a guilty party.
After the draw with Burnley, Maguire was once again questioned by ex-United defender Ferdinand, who highlighted what he could have done better for the goal they conceded.
Ferdinand told BT Sport (via the Mirror): “This comes from Man Utd attacking. Two or three of them lying down, playing forward and running forward. It’s about feet, that bit of skill is beautiful; can it be prevented?”
“There’s [Scott] McTominay, he’s your protection. All he’s got to do, Maguire, is keep pushing him away. He hasn’t got to overcommit; as soon as he overcommits, it’s a great piece of skill, this pass is sublime. If Kevin de Bruyne does that [Wout Weghorst pass] we’ll all be going crazy.”
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Ferdinand continued with his analysis: “This touch across Maguire takes him completely out of it. I don’t think Maguire is quick enough to have got there to affect that situation once it got beyond him.
“It’s about stopping it at the source. Once he has the big number nine, keep him facing [away from] the goal. He’s got the security of McTominay in front of him, he can deal with him a little bit. These are small mistakes leading to big moments.”
Too many bad outings from Harry Maguire
Man Utd as a club have been inconsistent all season. Indeed, they have only won back-to-back games on three occasions.
Their current run is the fourth time they have gone two games in a row without a win. And Maguire is deemed to be one of their least consistent performers.
Ferdinand acknowledged this theory and suggested it may have come as a consequence of his summer exertions with England at Euro 2020.
That said, he must “erase” bad performances like this one – in which he could have even been sent off.
The pundit said: “This season, you’ve seen that [too many below-par performances].
“I’m not sure if that’s a hangover from the Euros physically and mentally, I’m not sure. There hasn’t been the consistency of a player you’d expect of that stature.
“Behind closed doors he will take responsibility for that. He doesn’t need to come out here and go crazy and he’ll iron it out.
“The challenge he made just over the halfway line, he’s lucky to stay on the pitch because I feel the striker is running in on goal. It’s a performance he’ll like to erase and get into the next game as quick as possible. But these things happen.”