Maguire jeers 'won't happen in our stadium', assures Man Utd boss Rangnick

By Sports Desk April 01, 2022

Ralf Rangnick is confident Harry Maguire will not face abuse from Manchester United after he was jeered while on international duty with England.

Maguire's name was booed ahead of England's 3-0 friendly win over Ivory Coast on Tuesday, a reaction that was widely criticised by Gareth Southgate and his Three Lions players.

Southgate described the response at Wembley as "an absolute joke", while Harry Kane, Jordan Henderson, Jack Grealish and Declan Rice all came out in defence of Maguire.

Given the centre-back has played a key role in England's runs to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 final, the vocal criticism appeared to relate more to his club form.

Maguire, who is the United captain, has come under scrutiny in a tough season at Old Trafford.

However, interim United manager Rangnick does not expect he will experience a similar reaction from his home fans at club level.

Asked if he had yet spoken to Maguire about the incident, Rangnick replied: "Not yet, but I speak regularly since I'm here, so he knows my position towards him.

"He's been a very valuable player for the team and the club, the captain.

"I didn't understand what happened at Wembley, it won't happen in our stadium with the Red Army behind the team and our captain. He's been playing well for Manchester United and England in the last couple of years.

"Gareth Southgate said something after the game and Harry Kane. I didn't watch the game, but I heard what had happened after they announced the starting line-up. It's difficult to understand.

"I don't speak to them in person, but I'm pretty sure it won't happen in our stadium. For it to happen in an international game is pretty unusual."

Rangnick was then asked if he could explain why Maguire in particular received such criticism for his United displays.

"I don't think this is a personal thing," he responded. "It hasn't anything to do with Harry himself.

"We know there are one or two players who have been criticised in the last few months. For example, Fred, a very important player for this team, playing regularly for the team and Brazil. I watched his game and he did well.

"Maybe it's still got to do with the high expectations around this club and maybe people tend to compare with former players and legends.

"Fred, we can also speak about Scotty [McTominay] and Harry, they are important players and players with the right attitude."

While Rangnick reserved plenty of time ahead of Saturday's game against Leicester City to discuss how Maguire and Fred fared during the international break, he was less interested by a Paul Pogba interview during his time with France in which he described this as another "dead" season at United.

"I've got enough to do now to prepare the team for the next game," Rangnick said. "Tomorrow's game is another important one, and I don't think it makes sense to interpret or just judge what he has maybe said in an interview, it doesn't make sense.

"That's something you can do if you want. For me, it's only important to judge him."

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    Two goals from Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall either side of a Kelechi Iheanacho strike were enough to see the Foxes back to the Championship summit.

    The victory lifted them above Ipswich, who had moved a point clear on Tuesday by beating Hull, and matched Sheffield United’s 27-point haul from the first 10 games of the 2005-06 campaign.

    Maresca said: “To be honest I am happy. I just said to the players that what you have done today is something that is not normal.

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    Midfielder Dewsbury-Hall broke the deadlock on the hour with substitute Iheanacho doubling the lead 16 minutes later.

    Dewsbury-Hall made it 3-0 in the 90th minute on the rebound after Iheanacho had seen a shot parried.

    Maresca added: “I am especially happy for Kiernan because he is improving in decision-making – in the choice. If you remember – in the first game he was shooting from his house, from everywhere. Now on the edge of the box he is patient.”

    Preston had a great chance to open the scoring late in the first half when Duane Holmes fired wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.

    North End also had a late goal from substitute Ben Woodburn ruled out for a foul on Wout Faes in the build-up.

    Preston’s defeat followed a 4-0 home loss to West Brom on Saturday, but manager Ryan Lowe made it clear he was pleased with his players.

    He said: “It was definitely harsh. I thought we were fantastic for 50-odd minutes until they scored the first goal, which was disappointing on our behalf – we go to ground when we could probably have intercepted it.

    “But Leicester have some quality, they are different class, and we nullified that early on – we caught them out a little bit.

    “We didn’t have much possession but I can’t fault the effort. Late on we were out on our feet a little bit, which was expected.

    “We had the best chance first-half – Duane’s had a fantastic opportunity and it’s gone just beyond the post – but they are a Premier League team in the Championship.

    “They have got a player in Dewsbury-Hall who shouldn’t be playing at this level.

    “But we didn’t fear them. We respected them. They are normal human beings but they have got different qualities to most in the Championship.”

  • Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall at the double as Leicester ease past Preston Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall at the double as Leicester ease past Preston

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    Referee Thomas Bramall took charge of this one after initial choice Darren England was stood down as a result of the fallout over his error as VAR in Liverpool’s Premier League loss at Tottenham on Saturday.

    Leicester bossed the early possession as third-placed Preston looked to catch them on a counter-attack but Abdul Fatawu’s shot – high and wide from a tricky angle – was all the hosts had to show for the first 10 minutes.

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    Leicester were looking frustrated, prompting defender Wout Faes to have a go from distance and the Belgian scuffed it wide.

    Referee Bramall was the centre of attention in the 37th minute by ignoring home shouts for a penalty when Liam Millar barged Mavididi over.

    The half’s clearest chance fell to Preston but Duane Holmes, played through on the left by Ali McCann, fired wide with only goalkeeper Mads Hermansen to beat.

    The second period began with Wilfred Ndidi heading wide of the Preston goal and Dewsbury-Hall curling an effort that also failed to trouble North End goalkeeper Freddie Woodman.

    Holmes was soon back causing trouble at the other end however – and this time he forced Hermansen into a diving save with a low drive.

    Leicester broke the deadlock on the hour – and required a slice of good fortune to do so as Ndidi’s ball towards Jamie Vardy was inadvertently played towards his own goal by McCann, allowing Dewsbury-Hall to seize upon it and slot across Woodman.

    Leicester made sure of the points with a 76th-minute clincher from Iheanacho.

    Dewsbury-Hall moved swiftly to play Ndidi into a position where he could square the ball across the box for the striker to make a simple back-post finish.

    Preston thought they had pulled one back through Ben Woodburn but referee Bramall penalised the substitute for a pull on Faes’ shirt.

    Dewsbury-Hall made it 3-0 in the 90th minute on the rebound after Woodman had parried Iheanacho’s shot. Iheanacho had started the move himself with a ball to fellow sub Marc Albrighton.

  • How does Manchester United’s current struggle compare to previous poor starts? How does Manchester United’s current struggle compare to previous poor starts?

    Manchester United have endured their worst start to a season since 1986, following Tuesday night’s Champions League defeat at home to Galatasaray.

    United have lost six of their opening 10 games in all competitions, a tally not seen since the latter stages of Ron Atkinson’s managerial reign.

    Here, the PA news agency compares their current struggles with previous poor starts.

    37-year low

    Erik ten Hag’s side were booed off the pitch on Tuesday after another disappointing performance at Old Trafford.

    The 3-2 loss to Galatasaray was United’s second in successive Champions League matches – following a 4-3 reverse against Harry Kane’s Bayern Munich – to go with four Premier League defeats.

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    United’s total of six defeats in 10 games is their highest since the 1986-87 season – the year that Sir Alex Ferguson took charge of the club.

    Under Ferguson’s predecessor Atkinson, United lost six of their first eight Premier League games, with a 5-1 win over Southampton in mid-September providing only temporary respite.

    Atkinson was sacked in early November with United in the bottom four of the First Division.

    No defence

    United’s main issues under Ten Hag appear to be in defence, with the Dutchman having watched his side concede 18 goals already this term.

    They have shipped at least three goals on four separate occasions – at home to Galatasaray and Brighton and away to Bayern and Arsenal.

    Goalkeeper Andre Onana is yet to prove himself to be a significant upgrade on David de Gea, while a back four shorn of key injury absentees such as Lisandro Martinez, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw looked all at sea against Wilfried Zaha and co on Tuesday.

    Their total number of goals conceded is higher than the 13 shipped in the first 10 games in 1986-87, and surpasses anything seen in the Ferguson era or subsequently.

    United also struggled defensively at the start of 2022-23, conceding 17 goals in the first 10 games – a tally matched only by Louis van Gaal’s first season (2014-15) and one of Ferguson’s early campaigns at the club (1989-90).

    However, Ten Hag oversaw a significant improvement in the remainder of last season, with United going on to keep a Premier League-leading 17 clean sheets across the whole campaign.

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