Maguire accepts Man Utd players must take responsibility for Solskjaer demise

By Sports Desk November 22, 2021

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire accepts the players must take responsibility for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's tenure as manager coming to an end.

Following Saturday's humiliating 4-1 defeat at Watford, during which Maguire was sent off, it was confirmed on Sunday that Solskjaer's reign as boss was over.

The Norwegian had arrived in December 2018 and steadied the ship initially after Jose Mourinho's sacking, while he went on to preside over a second-place finish in the Premier League last term.

But after significant investment in pre-season, including the signings of Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo, United have gone backwards – Saturday's loss at Vicarage Road leaves them eighth in the Premier League with 17 points after 12 matches.

Solskjaer had routinely been criticised in the media for a perceived lack of tactical acumen, with a common perception being United were regularly bailed out by moments of individual inspiration rather than the team being great as a collective.

Individual quality seemingly was not enough this season, with United's 21 goals conceded only exceeded by Norwich City and Newcastle United (27 each), and just Arsenal (four) committing more errors leading to goals than the Red Devils (three).

Solskjaer paid the price, but Maguire acknowledged the players have more than played their part in his downfall.

"It's been really hard for us as players because of the amount of respect we have for the boss [Solskjaer] and the period he's been here," Maguire told reporters ahead of Tuesday's Champions League tussle with Villarreal.

"We've been on a journey together and it's never nice to see a man lose his job. We've shown as a group of lads how much we wanted to succeed.

"The result on Saturday wasn't good enough but the recent results have ultimately not been good and it's a result-based business. Unfortunately, Ole has paid the price for that and we [the players] have to take responsibility for that."

Although United's Champions League campaign has been far from straightforward, they do at least go to Villarreal at the top of Group F, level on seven points with the Yellow Submarine.

Michael Carrick, who was among Solskjaer's coaching staff, will be in charge for at least that match and potentially more, until United appoint an interim manager to guide them through to the end of the season.

Now Maguire is urging the players to dig deep to put things right, concerned that their issues have been spiralling out of control.

"I think in football you go through ups and downs. As players, it's probably the toughest time for you at club level," he continued.

"The recent performances haven't been good enough. When you're not doing it collectively, the results show. It snowballs from one thing to another.

"We've got to find something within ourselves; we've got to move this club forward. We've got to find something within us to put in a performance."

Whatever happens next, Solskjaer will be watching on as he would have prior to his return in 2018.

"Everybody's got a huge amount of respect for Ole," Maguire added. "He's a legend of the club and he'll always remain a legend here.

"One thing he said is that he'll be supporting us and wanting us to win every game."

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Liverpool plan move for Napoli's Spain international Fabian Ruiz Rumour Has It: Liverpool plan move for Napoli's Spain international Fabian Ruiz

    Liverpool are in the market to add depth and quality to their midfield.

    The Reds are currently second in the Premier League, after four straight wins.

    Liverpool have scored a Premier League-high 44 goals in 15 games.

     

    TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL CHASING FABIAN RUIZ

    Liverpool want to sign Napoli's Spain international Fabian Ruiz next off-season to bolster their midfield, reports Fichajes.

    The Reds view the 25-year-old as an ideal player on an upward trajectory in his career.

    Georginio Wijnaldum exited Liverpool for Paris Saint-Germain last off-season with no obvious replacement added.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Fichajes reports that Atletico Madrid are considering a move for Ajax's Argentinean left-back Nicolas Tagliafico.

    - Milan are interested in Fiorentina's Nikola Milenkovic and Real Madrid's Luka Jovic as they look to add depth to their squad reports Gazzetta dello Sport.

    - Inter are tracking FC Zurich's 20-year-old Switzerland international defender Becir Omeragic claims Calciomercato.

    - The Athletic reports that Southampton will sign ex-Chelsea and Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero as emergency cover. Caballero, 40, is a free agent.

  • Ajax boss Ten Hag 'ready' to coach abroad amid Man Utd links Ajax boss Ten Hag 'ready' to coach abroad amid Man Utd links

    Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag said he is "ready" to coach abroad and would be "happy to take up that challenge" amid reported interest from Manchester United.

    Ten Hag has been linked with Premier League giants United, who are eyeing a long-term manager following the interim appointment of Ralf Rangnick until the end of the season.

    Ajax's Ten Hag has impressed in his time in Amsterdam, where the 51-year-old has delivered two Eredivisie titles and embarked on a memorable run to the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals.

    Ten Hag's men have been the entertainers of Europe this term, dazzling their way into the Champions League round of 16, while topping the Eredivisie ahead of rivals PSV by a point.

    "I think I'm ready for it [coaching abroad]. I would be happy to take up that challenge," Ten Hag told De Volkskrant, with Ajax managing to score 48 goals while only conceding twice in the league this term.

    "But I'm not chasing it. If it turns out that that step will never come, I will not say that my coaching career has failed.

    "But I think I have sufficient competencies to take on that challenge."

    The Rangnick era, albeit on an interim basis, started with a 1-0 win for United at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

    Rangnick became the sixth German to manage in the Premier League and the first German to win his first game in charge in the competition (Felix Magath, Jurgen Klopp, Jan Siewert, Daniel Farke and Thomas Tuchel all failing to do so before him).

    Following the victory against Palace, six of the last seven managers (including caretakers) have won their first game in charge of United in all competitions, with Louis van Gaal being the only exception during this period (a 2-1 loss to Swansea City at Old Trafford in August 2014).

  • Vlahovic? 'Too early' to talk about future as Viola star enters history books – Prade Vlahovic? 'Too early' to talk about future as Viola star enters history books – Prade

    Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade said it is "still too early" to discuss Dusan Vlahovic's future as the wantaway star entered the Serie A history books.

    Vlahovic is set to leave Fiorentina after opting against signing a new deal in Florence, with the Serbia international's current contract expiring in June 2023.

    The 21-year-old has been linked to Serie A champions Inter, Juventus, Premier League holders Manchester City, Manchester United, Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich, LaLiga titleholders Atletico Madrid, Tottenham and Arsenal.

    Amid the growing speculation, Vlahovic maintained his red-hot form with another goal in Sunday's 3-2 victory over Bologna.

    Vlahovic became only the fourth player in Serie A history to score 30 goals or more in a calendar year aged under 22 after Giuseppe Meazza in 1930, Felice Borel in 1933 and Antonio Valentin Angelillo in 1968.

    Prior to taking his season haul to 13 goals in 16 games, Prade was asked about Vlahovic.

    "It's still too early to say what will happen with him," Prade told Sky Sport Italia pre-game.

    "We are in a delicate moment and talking about the transfer market would be wrong for everyone.

    "He's being a professional, [coach Vincenzo] Italiano is happy with this and so are we."

    Before Vlahovic, only three Fiorentina players in the three points for a win era (since 1994-95) have managed to score at least 13 goals in the first 16 Serie A games of the season – Giuseppe Rossi, Luca Toni and Gabriel Batistuta.

    Since 2004-05, only David Suazo (14/14), Romelu Lukaku (12/12) and Vlahovic (12/12) have converted 100 per cent of penalties taken among those who have attempted at least 12 in Serie A during this period.

    Fiorentina are sixth in the standings – level on points with Juventus, and seven points behind fourth-placed Atalanta.

    The Viola have collected at least 27 points in the first 16 Serie A matchdays for the first time since 2015-16.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.