Maguire urges United to show ‘arrogance’ on the ball
Harry Maguire says Manchester United must start improving when in possession after enduring another frustrating weekend.
Making the trip to Southampton on Saturday for the early kick-off, 20-time English champions United led at the break after a lovely goal from summer arrival Daniel James, who has three PL goals from four matches.
However, Saints levelled the scores through towering defender Jannik Vestergaard in the 58th minute before Kevin Danso was handed a second yellow card 17 minutes from the end, reducing the hosts to 10 men.
The Red Devils pushed for the winner, but they were unable to break the opposition’s defence for a second time, meaning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have drawn their last three away league 1-1 and are without a PL victory on the road in six.
United have collected just five points from a possible 12 on offer and this is their worst beginning to a Premier League season since they only picked up four points under Sir Alex Ferguson in the inaugural 1992-93 fixtures.
Supporters should not despair though as Ferguson, who retired from coaching in 2013, ended up winning the title during that campaign, one of 13 he delivered during a trophy-laden period as manager.
It looks unlikely Solskjaer will be able to repeat the Scottish tacticians’ heroics due to the lack of squad depth in United’s ranks compared to defending champions Manchester City and six-time European champions Liverpool.
One positive to come out of the first month of the season is the performances from England international Maguire, who joined from Leicester City this summer for £80million, making him the most expensive defender in the world.
The 26-year-old was named man-of-the-match on his debut, which ended in a 4-0 victory against Chelsea in the opener, and he is forming a decent partnership alongside Swedish centre-back Victor Lindelof.
When asked about the Red Devils’ start to the campaign, Maguire says the team have dropped points and he believes the players need to show more of a swagger when they have the ball.
“We can definitely improve, especially on the ball. We gave the ball away far too much. We were too sloppy and we need to improve on that and show arrogance and be confident on the ball,” he was quoted as saying by Goal.
“We’re Man United – we want to control games. There were spells where we didn’t control the game, and we got punished.”
Domestic action takes a break for a fortnight as the first international games of the season are soon upon us and Maguire has been included in England’s squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo.
The defender is expected to start both games, although it is unclear who will be next to him in defence due to the absence of injured Manchester City star John Stones.
James Mason grew up in Northumberland so is entrenched in both the football and golf scenes. A low handicap golfer, he also follows Newcastle United and predicts big things under Rafa Benitez.