CHRIS WHEELER: Being booed by his own supporters does not bode well for Manchester United captain Harry Maguire… the England defender got a rude awakening in Melbourne which must be a concern for player and club
- Harry Maguire was booed by his own fans in Manchester United’s friendly
- The defender got a rude awakening from United’s supporters in Melbourne
- Anthony Martial could have a future at United after impressing in pre-season
If Harry Maguire thought it would be easy to make a fresh start at Manchester United under Erik ten Hag, the England defender got a rude awakening in Melbourne.
Maguire was booed every time he touched the ball in the first half of a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace at the MCG, which must be a concern for the player and his club considering the majority of fans in a 76,499 crowd were United supporters.
Club sources blamed the ‘pantomime booing’ on a minority of local fans, saying that most of the crowd were behind Maguire.
Manchester United defender Harry Maguire was booed by his own fans against Crystal Palace
But after a year in which he lost his form and place at United, was jeered playing for England at Wembley and then had to evacuate his family from their Cheshire home following a bomb threat, this does not bode well for the United captain.
‘I heard it as well,’ said Maguire’s team-mate Donny van de Beek. ‘I didn’t know what happened. But I think Harry was playing really well.
‘He was aggressive and he won so many balls so that means he has a big personality. I like to see it.’
Donny van de Beek says he heard the booing but thought that Maguire was playing well
Ten Hag has given Maguire a vote of confidence by keeping him as captain but it came with a warning that his place is not guaranteed in the face of competition following the £55.3million signing of centre back Lisandro Martinez.
Aside from the late red card for teenage defender Will Fish, Maguire’s reception in Melbourne was the only setback for United as Ten Hag’s first-choice team went three goals ahead after Anthony Martial scored the first and then had a hand in the other two for Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.
Martial has scored three goals in as many games on tour and is emerging as a strong contender to lead United’s attack at the start of the season in the continued absence of Cristiano Ronaldo.
United boss Erik ten Hag is happy with his team but admits that there is still work to do
Joel Ward headed a late goal for Palace after Ten Hag had changed all 10 outfield players but United have now won all three games under the Dutchman with an aggregate score of 11-2.
At one point towards the end, Ten Hag was picked up by a pitch-side microphone shouting ‘what the f*** are you doing?’ as goalkeeper David de Gea launched the ball downfield when young substitute Charlie Savage did not offer him the option of a short pass.
United’s new manager is clearly a hard taskmaster. ‘I think it’s pre-season and we are happy with the improvement we see but also you see a lot of work to do,’ said Ten Hag. ‘We scored some wonderful goals. The second especially was a great goal.’
United play their final tour game against Aston Villa in Perth on Saturday.
Anthony Martial is emerging as a strong contender to lead United’s attack at the start of the season
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