Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag reviews Sheriff win
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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has been accused of having a bias against club captain Harry Maguire, and that bias is the reason why he has been out of favour at Old Trafford this season claims Sam Allardyce. The England defender has been out with injury in recent weeks but both Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane have been preferred to the former Leicester centre-back, who has found himself sat on the bench this season.
After returning to the squad for the first time in Thursday’s Europa League 3-0 win over Moldovan side FC Sheriff, Maguire started the game on the bench despite Varane’s absence as Victor Lindelof came in for the Frenchman.
He was brought on at half-time for Martinez however in what looked like a pre-planned change, as Marcus Rashford also came on for Antony, but ex-England boss Allardyce has questioned Ten Hag’s decision behind leaving Maguire out of the side and accused him of picking other defenders simply because he signed them in the summer.
“Playing for Manchester United, I find it strange that he’s not in the team,” Allardyce told William Hill. “Why is he not in the team? Why is the new manager playing new players that he has bought over Harry? Because he bought them?
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“That’s the way it looks to me because they’re certainly no better than Harry Maguire. I want to see him play for Manchester United again. Seeing them the other week play Manchester City – they need him!
“It’s scandalous, what’s happening [abuse Maguire has received]. This is out and out trying to destroy somebody. Everybody’s on his back, and if you’re going to have such a great player, for his country and for Manchester United… to put out what’s been put out, no-one can withstand that pressure. That sort of criticism in every way, shape or form – it’s bound to affect Harry.”
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Martinez is the only centre-back that Ten Hag signed, as Varane and Lindelof were already at the club when the Dutchman arrived.
With Maguire falling down the pecking order, his place in Gareth Southgate’s squad has also been questioned. The 29-year-old’s poor form has continued at international level, but Allardyce believes that he has to go to the World Cup this winter.
“It has been outrageous from the people who are trying to undermine what a talent he [Maguire] is, and what a nice guy,” he added. “That’s particularly worrying for Gareth [Southgate] in terms of subsiding to the pressure. I’ve got to know him over the last few years, and with what he’s done for England, I hope Gareth stays strong and sticks with him, because he deserves it. I hope he stays loyal to Harry, and I hope Harry repays him for that loyalty.”
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