Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Senior Man Utd star at breaking point with Ten Hag, as ’embarrassing’ situation prompts talk of move to ‘small team’

Man Utd pair David de Gea and Harry Maguire

Rio Ferdinand would “strangle” someone if Erik ten Hag did to him what he’s done to a senior Man Utd star whose situation at Old Trafford has been termed “embarrassing”.

Ten Hag has quickly got to grips with Manchester United and has received acclaim for the way in which he’s handed several flashpoints.

He showed no fear in benching Cristiano Ronaldo after reaching the conclusion the Portuguese great was not the right fit for his system.

Ten Hag was a key voice in the decision to sever ties with Ronaldo prematurely. It’s not a coincidence the club’s results have dramatically improved since Ronaldo left.

Elsewhere, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand lauded the United boss for the manner in which he handled a disciplinary issue with Marcus Rashford.

Rashford is United’s man of the moment, but a bout of lateness resulted in his surprise benching versus Wolves on New Years’ Eve.

Scholes and Ferdinand loved the way Ten Hag put the club’s top performer in his place and in doing so, sent a message to the rest of the squad.

However, Ferdinand, as well as former United right-back Paul Parker, aren’t as enamoured with the Dutchman’s treatment of Harry Maguire.

The 29-year-old club captain has tumbled down the pecking order this season and despite impressing with England at the World Cup, has not seen his situation improve since.

On the contrary, Ten Hag has even deployed left-back Luke Shaw in Maguire’s customary left-sided centre-back role in three of the last four matches.

Responding to Maguire’s humbling snubs, Ferdinand urged his fellow centre-half to “leave now”.

Furthermore, he claimed that if Sir Alex Ferguson had done the same to him involving Patrice Evra, for example, he’d have wanted to “strangle” Evra.

Ten Hag is “disrespecting” Maguire – Ferdinand

“If you’re him you have to leave now,” he said on his Vibe With Five YouTube channel. “Luke Shaw’s playing centre-back instead of him.

“That’s like me going back after the World Cup, playing well, everyone saying ‘he’s done really well’, and [then] Patrice Evra is playing centre-back.

“I’d want to strangle Patrice! I would’ve smashed Patrice in training to make sure he’s not available, and I’d be going to the manager and saying, ‘are you taking the p*** out of me, boss?’.

“I’d have walked straight into the manager’s office and said, ‘you’re disrespecting me’.

“Harry Maguire’s got to move. I think he stays because of the games and they can’t get someone else in. He plays in the cup games.”

Maguire “too nervous and too slow” to play for big clubs

Former two-time Premier League winner, Paul Parker, also took a dim view of Maguire’s situation at Old Trafford.

Parker termed the debacle “embarrassing”, and urged Ten Hag to strip Maguire of the captaincy if he’s not going to play regularly.

Parker also suggested Maguire should leave, though reckons his game is only suited to a “small team” near the bottom of the league.

“Honestly, the situation with Harry Maguire is embarrassing now,” said Parker (via the Mirror). “The way he is taking away the armband from Bruno Fernandes is miserable. He should never do that.

“Erik ten Hag needs to take the decision now to take away the armband from Maguire for good. But I’m not sure that he will find a new club in January. It will be very tough for a sporting director to convince the fans that he is a good signing at any club.

“Maybe he could go out on loan but then it will be a small team from the bottom of the league. He can’t play for a top side like Man City, Liverpool or Newcastle because they are defending with a high line.

“He needs to play for a team that defends with a low block because he is too nervous and too slow to play for a big club.

“But I think he is quite happy at Man United and most likely he will settle and enjoy his time on the bench because he knows that any other club would be a step down from Man United.”

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