Manchester United defender Harry Maguire has made a very poor start to the season.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has urged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to take Harry Maguire out of the firing line at Old Trafford.
The £80m defender has made a terrible start to the new season and was sent off during England’s Nations League defeat to Denmark on Wednesday.
Even prior to the red card at Wembley, Maguire has been part of a woeful Manchester United back-four that has leaked 11 goals in 3 league games, including the 6-1 annihilation by Tottenham.
Of course, the former Leicester City and Hull defender had his preseason thrown into disarray when he was found guilty of three charges in Greek court this summer.
Manchester United face Newcastle this weekend and Rio Ferdinand believes it would be best for the team and Harry Maguire if he was rested.
‘In these situations – that I’ve been in as well – you sometimes need to be taken out of the oven. Ole has a big job on his hands and I think quite an important role to play in this. Whether maybe it’s time to give him a little rest, let him gather himself and build that confidence back up,” said Ferdinand.
He adds: “I got brought off in one game, I think it was Middlesbrough away, the manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] spoke to me and said: ‘get yourself back to basics, train well and you’ll come back in.’ That’s what happened and I was fine. It’s just sometimes that bit of pressure being taken out that can actually help you.”
Ferdinand, who won six Premier League titles during his time at Manchester United, added: ‘When you’re going game-to-game every three or four days, it’s very hard to see through the fog. But when you’re taken out of the firing line, you get time to sit back and actually analyse yourself, your performance, your preparation, your recovery – all aspects of what goes around a football match or 90 minutes.
“It’s then about rebuilding yourself and playing simple. Effectively trying to get through a game without being seen. It might sound silly but that’s the way I used to look at it when I was lacking a little bit of confidence. Because at the moment you’re being seen for all the wrong reasons.”
The big problem for Maguire and United is that the Red Devils face a gruelling fixture list over the next month.
Aside from the tricky trip to St James’ Park on Saturday, they face Paris St-Germain and Chelsea in quick succession.
That is followed by a tough game against RB Leipzig in the Champions League before they take on a resurgent Arsenal at Old Trafford on November 1.