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Football

Revealed; Error prone Harry Maguire has largely been dreadful this season

Harry Maguire; Photo Credit - GiveMeSport

Manchester United defense was served a notice on Tuesday by the good side of Atalanta when they shared a point in their UEFA Champions League match that saw them remain number one although they tie points with Villareal.

Cristiano Ronaldo came to the rescue of Manchester United netting two goals to cancel the host’s lead in Bergamo.

Despite earning a priceless point that should now ensure that Man Utd progress into the Champions League knockouts, question marks are again being raised about Man United defense.

Once more, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side struggled in defense as Duvan Zapata and Josip Ilicic caused all kinds of havoc.

Man United have now conceded 13 goals in their last five matches and much of the spotlight has been on the performances of one Harry Maguire.

The 28-year-old has often been unfairly targeted by fans and critics since his 2019 move from Leicester, mainly because of the inflated high wages he was brought in with, which made him the most expensive defender in history.

But in his first two seasons, Maguire was largely steady for United and he enjoyed a superb Euro 2020 as England reached the final, only to be beaten on penalties by Italy.

However, there is no doubt that Maguire’s performances have fallen off the proverbial cliff this season.

Whether it is a Euro 2020 hangover, an injury niggle he had been suffering from a calf problem last month or something else, Maguire has been largely dreadful in 2021-22.

Indeed, InStat reveals that Maguire has incredibly already made nine errors leading to opposition goals in this campaign.

Starting most recently, Maguire was at fault for Zapata’s 2-1 goal for Atalanta on Tuesday as he first played the Colombian onside before missing his tackle as the striker slotted past David de Gea.

Maguire was to blame for two of Liverpool’s goals in the 5-0 thrashing on October 24.

Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool: Player ratings as Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah star amid gifts from Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and co | Football News | Sky Sports

Harry Maguire collided with Luke Shaw on Liverpool’s 5-0 win against United; Photo Credit – Sky sports

On Diogo Jota’s 2-0 goal he collided with Luke Shaw in the build-up, allowing Trent Alexander-Arnold to cross for the Portuguese to tap in. And on Mohamed Salah’s 3-0, he was caught sleeping as the Egyptian raced in front of him to turn home after Maguire had initially made a block.

A few days earlier, Maguire lost Merih Demiral on a corner, which resulted in the Turkey center back heading home to make it 2-0 to Atalanta. Fortunately, Man Utd launched another comeback to win 3-2 with Maguire actually scoring his team’s second goal.

Maguire made four further errors leading to goals in the 4-2 defeat at Leicester, being at fault for every goal his former side scored.

Solskjaer admits starting Maguire was a mistake vs Leicester

Harry Maguire in action against Kelechi Iheanacho; Photo Credit – United In Focus

With Man Utd 1-0 up on the half-hour mark, Maguire was pick-pocketed in possession by Kelechi Iheanacho. The Nigerian then passed the ball to Youri Tielemans who curled the ball over De Gea to make it 1-1.

With the scores tied in the 77th minute, Maguire then failed to clear a corner as his poor header went straight to Patson Daka. The Zambian’s strike eventually found its way to Caglar Soyuncu to put Leicester 2-1 up.

After Marcus Rashford had made it 2-2, Leicester immediately scored again from the kick-off as Maguire lost Jamie Vardy, who slashed the ball in. And then in the 90th minute, Maguire was marking Daka at a free-kick but allowed the forward to sneak in behind him to score.

The ninth Maguire error and his first of the season is perhaps a little harsh to be blamed on the defender. It was during Man United’s 2-1 defeat to Young Boys on September 14.

With United 1-0 up, Maguire failed to clear a cross from the right which resulted in Nicolas Ngamaleu scoring. In truth, the ball was slightly behind Maguire but this goal has been credited as a mistake by the defender.

Given we are only just in November, the fact Maguire has already made nine mistakes leading to goals is a concern. According to InStat, the 28-year-old made 10 in the whole of last season, so he has almost reached that number already.

One thing that should be recognized, though, is that eight of the nine errors this season have all occurred since Maguire returned on October 15 from 20 days out with a calf injury.

Perhaps the England centre-back is still not fully healed? Whatever the reason, he must improve and improve fast especially with Man City up next this weekend.

 

I am a Multimedia Journalist with five years of experience from Digital to Broadcast Media{Radio and Television}. Interested in reporting Current affairs happenings within and across the borders. I have excellent attitude towards working with others and communication skills extremely patient and persistent with the ability to formulate unique ideas and hand eye co-ordination. Ability to work under minimal supervision, curious, hardworking and polite. In another life I am a News Anchor and Reporter.

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