Harry Maguire warned off Twitter as Man Utd coaches reveal on and off pitch concerns

·3-min read
Man Utd defender Maguire Credit: Alamy
Man Utd defender Maguire Credit: Alamy

Harry Maguire ‘focuses too much on social media criticism’ according to his Manchester United coaches, who have also made clear what concerns them about what he does on the pitch.

Maguire has found game time hard to come by at United under Ten Hag this season, and felt the need to defend himself against criticism at both club and international level last week.

“I know people obviously look at me not playing but when I’ve played, I think in my last eight or nine starts for Manchester United we have won,” Maguire said.

“I can’t remember losing a game for Manchester United, it must be the third week of the season. So my influence is still there. But of course I love playing for my country and in 50-odd caps I feel like I’ve never let my country down.”

According to ESPN, the Manchester United coaches believe ‘that Maguire can, on occasion, focus too much on social media criticism despite being advised to stay off Twitter in the immediate aftermath of matches’.

It’s claimed a spat with Cristiano Ronaldo last season, which saw the Portugal international ask Ralf Rangnick directly to replace Maguire as skipper, didn’t help. Rangnick declined but Maguire felt affronted.

The United coaches have also revealed their issues with Maguire on the field, and have advised him on the areas of his game he can improve.

They like his ability on the ball but ‘have concerns about his tendency to rush out to win challenges and a perceived lack of mobility’.

Maguire said last month that Ten Hag had been open and honest with the players about what he expects from them and that no-one is guaranteed a place in the starting XI.

He said in February: “I’m the club captain and I have a big responsibility on and off the pitch, so it was nice to get on and help the lads. The manager has been asked numerous times about my role in interviews and he tells me honestly that he believes in me, but this is football.

“The lads who are playing and starting, Raphael is playing really well and we’ve seen the manager’s ideas, what he wants, and he does like a left-footed centre-back playing. So it’s high competition for places, but this is Manchester United. We want to win trophies, big trophies, and to do that you need competition.

“The manager speaks to me daily, he really respects me and believes that I’m a top centre-half with all the attributes to play in his team. But also he understands that the players who are playing – and I understand that the players who are playing – are playing very well.”

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