Harry Maguire deserves endless amounts of praise for his return to form at Manchester United.
Manchester United Football Club is a pressure cooker like no other. You’re consistently under the spotlight as soon as you walk through the Old Trafford entrance door.
The situation and stress only increases for players who join with a large transfer fee. Take Harry Maguire for example. He cost £80m. From minute one, he was further under the duress, with the eyes of the world just waiting for his first mistake.
To Maguire’s credit, he started sharply. The Englishman looked solid at the heart of the back four under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, though as time wore on, the situation changed.
He’d make a few grave errors, with United supporters starting to get on his back. This is a cycle that’d play out for a couple of years, including Erik ten Hag’s first season in charge.
The summer rolled around. Many expected Maguire to move on, with a move to West Ham United being heavily touted by the media. The Englishman left fans frustrated as he’d chosen to stay and fight for his place. At the time, it looked like an unwinnable battle for the ex-Leicester City man.
Things can change very quickly in football. Lisandro Martinez is out until 2024. Raphael Varane is out of favour. Jonny Evans is injured. Maguire was presented with an opportunity. So far, he has been nothing but flawless.
Harry Maguire has been absolutely massive for us in recent weeks. Credit where credit is due 👏 pic.twitter.com/xWfvvsjVlm
— ☈ ⌖ (@CantonasMind) November 5, 2023
Maguire’s game is built on toughness. No single fixture epitomised that more than the Fulham game. He took a blow to the head early. Ninety percent of players would have succumbed to the injury and gone off. Instead, Maguire toughed it out, put his body on the line and put in a Man of the Match performance during a late 1-0 win. It truly was an outstanding display of mental fortitude and skill.
The 30-year-old’s return to form is all about his incredible character. I’ll be the first to admit I thought his Old Trafford career was done. Instead, he’s risen to the challenge and stood up when this club needs him the most. We have to give him just as much praise as we gave him slander. It says an awful lot about the man.
Be it playing on the left side of defence, or the right Maguire never moans. He just goes about his job in the best way possible. It would have been easy for him to kick up a fuss when stripped of the armband, or benched week-in-week-out. Instead, he kept working hard in training, patiently waited for his chance and grabbed it with both hands. That tough personality is something that many of his teammates could use…
You have to think about what sort of situation we’d be in without Maguire right now. An inconsistent Victor Lindelof and a struggling Raphael Varane would be the only fit centre-halves at the club right now.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that we have to be thankful for Maguire and his positive mental attitude. He’s definitely earned a lot of trust back from large sections of the Old Trafford Faithful, myself included.
Yes, he’ll make the odd mistake. That’s just the nature of the position in the modern day game. Centre-backs take more risks than they have done in the past. This time around, though, when that does happen, we have to support our player rather than call for his head. We are called ‘supporters’ after all. I’ll be the first to admit my guilt in that regard. But now, he has my full backing.
Do you think Harry Maguire can keep his place in the side when everyone returns to fitness? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.
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