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27th Oct 2021

Man United player questioned decision to give Maguire captaincy in clear the air talks

Reuben Pinder

The squad held clear-the-air talks after the defeat to Leicester, which clearly did them a world of good

Manchester United are in disarray. The players have lost faith in their manager’s ability to coach them, they’ve just lost 5-0 to their arch rivals in the most humiliating fashion, and they’ve got a 36-year-old vanity project up front who refuses to run.

It wasn’t just the Liverpool result that threw them into this (relative) crisis either – their first half performance against Atalanta midweek and a capitulation against Leicester a few days prior had alarm bells ringing around Old Trafford already.

It has now been reported by The Times that the squad held ‘clear the air’ talks after the Leicester defeat, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer asking for his players’ opinions on how they might go about turning their fortunes around. To quote their report: “some of them did not hold back.”

One player is reported to have questioned the decision to give Harry Maguire the captaincy just six months after he had signed from Leicester.

Maguire joined the Red Devils in the summer of 2019, and was awarded the armband in January 2020 when Ashley Young left for Inter Milan.

While Maguire is a natural leader, there are longer serving, higher achieving players in the squad and it seems at least one of them felt aggrieved enough to voice their disapproval.

During these crisis talks, it is also reported that one player called out some teammates for an apparent lack of motivation in training, while another grilled his manager over his reluctance to drop under-performing players.

It feels like a matter of time before Solskjaer is shown the door by his superiors at Old Trafford, who need to arrest this slump before toxicity sets in among the squad.