One Man United player is getting special treatment.
Manchester United have been quite poor all season. Nobody is completely free of blame, though it’s hard to lump Cristiano Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood in with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when the former are doing their jobs, when the same can’t be said for the manager.
And while it seems as though Solskjaer’s job will be safe for at least the next few weeks, there is one thing he simply needs to do if his team is to have any hope of being in any way successful this season. Harry Maguire must be stripped of the captaincy.
Maguire is an interesting player, and has been ever since he came to United. Those who rate him think his name should be mentioned alongside the best defenders in the world, while those who don’t feel he would be lucky to be getting his game in the Championship.
The reality, as is often the case, is probably somewhere in the middle. Maguire isn’t terrible, and a number of managers clearly rate him quite highly, but should United have spent £80 million on him? Almost definitely not.
Maguire, however, has been really poor this season. Since he returned from injury, United conceded four goals to Leicester, five to Liverpool, four to Atalanta (over the course of two games), and kept a clean sheet against Spurs.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a Harry Maguire problem
The reason we suggest he should be stripped of the captaincy is not to do with his lack of leadership. For all we know he is an excellent presence in the dressing room.
The issue is that the captain should play every week, and this is not the case with Maguire.
Raphael Varane is miles better than him, and you could make the case that either Eric Bailly or Victor Lindelof would make a partner for the Frenchman.
Bailly walked into the Starting XI against Atalanta this week for the first time since the Europa League final, and put in a performance Maguire could only dream of.
Solskjaer will find it hard to take Maguire out of the team for a few games if he’s still the captain, so he shouldn’t have that luxury.
Someone who is guaranteed to start every game can take that responsibility, like Bruno Fernandes, someone who is quite clearly a leader on and off the pitch.
Maybe this would be the kick in the back that Maguire needs to wake up, because of now, United’s worst player in the Starting XI is the captain, and this should never be the case.