‘The dearth of presence of Harry Maguire in that defence is simply apparent for all to see. Folks will query, “how good actually is Harry Maguire?” However you solely actually see it when he’s not enjoying. What we’re seeing tonight is a really frantic defence.’
These are the phrases of former Manchester United captain Gary Neville on Sky Sports activities after the Crimson Devils conceded 4 objectives at dwelling to Liverpool final evening within the absence of centre again and present captain, Harry Maguire.
The England man has are available for lots of criticism since his famed £80 million transfer from Leicester Metropolis in 2019 and there has additionally been controversy after he was charged with aggravated assault and making an attempt to bribe a police officer whereas on vacation in Mykonos, Greece, final summer season.
However United supervisor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stood by his participant all through and would seem to have been vindicated final evening, as a defence missing the injured skipper was torn aside by a decimated Liverpool aspect.
However is it so simple as that? The other opinion was additionally expressed final evening by the intrepid Every day Document reporter and Switch Podcast host, Duncan Castles.
‘Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Manchester United. Six dwelling League defeats, 27 dwelling League objectives conceded with one dwelling recreation nonetheless to play. Most dwelling objectives conceded for 51 years (with the most costly defender within the historical past of the sport in his group). ‘Progress’.
It’s straightforward accountable yesterday’s defeat on the skipper’s absence however as Castles suggests, there’s an argument that the issues are there whether or not he’s enjoying or not. 4 instances this season United conceded three objectives at Previous Trafford when Maguire was enjoying. And while it was one worse nonetheless yesterday, Lindelof and Bailly may no less than provide the excuse that they’ve not often performed collectively; it takes time for defensive partnerships to gel.
None of United’s present centre backs are of the identical calibre because the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Jaap Stam, Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister. However none of them are as unhealthy as they appear to be proper now and the hazard is that United will splash numerous money this summer season shopping for a brand new companion for Maguire, solely to see the identical issues occurring once more.
Maguire appears a greater participant in an England shirt, Lindelof appears a greater participant in a Sweden shirt. Each regarded far, much better gamers at their former golf equipment.
Goalkeeper Dean Henderson additionally got here in for lots of criticism after final evening’s efficiency and he, himself, has changed one of many membership’s biggest goalkeepers of all time, David de Gea, after two seasons of error-strewn and disorganised performances interspersed together with his previous genius.
Henderson, like all these others, regarded a much better keeper at Sheffield United than he does at Previous Trafford.
And while Luke Shaw has excelled this season within the left again function, his understudy, Alex Telles, who was most likely FC Porto’s finest participant for the earlier two years and regarded one of many world’s finest full-backs, has regarded shaky and unconvincing when he has are available.
They can not all develop into unhealthy gamers in a single day. The issues with United’s defence go deeper than any particular person.
The buck certainly has to cease with the defensive teaching setup at Previous Trafford, or in reality, the dearth of 1. How can such a prestigious membership fail to make use of a single specialist defensive coach? United have two goalkeeping coaches, however not one defensive coach. It’s horrific and negligent.
Time and time once more this season, the Reds have conceded objectives from set items. These needs to be the best of all conditions to arrange a aspect for and but the errors persist. Two set-piece objectives within the first half yesterday have been the explanation United misplaced to their previous rivals. And but it continues to go unaddressed.
The truth that so many defenders and keepers look so fragile and inconsistent should point out there’s a downside with the teaching. Overlook your Haalands, Sanchos and Varanes. At this second in time, a high quality defensive coach could be by far a very powerful signing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may make this summer season.