Man Utd legend Paul Scholes praises Erik ten Hag’s ‘brave decision’ to drop Harry Maguire


Erik ten Hag was ‘brave’ to drop Man United captain Harry Maguire, says Paul Scholes, after the defender’s nightmare season… as he praises the Dutchman for scrapping his possession system that ‘made fans nervous’

  • Paul Scholes has praised Erik ten Hag’s decision to drop captain Harry Maguire 
  • The decision was made after a string of lacklustre performances from Maguire 
  • Ten Hag’s side have lost every game that the England defender has started 
  • Scholes also claimed the Dutchman has ‘changed a lot’ since defeat to Brentford 

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has praised the club’s manager, Erik ten Hag, for his recent decision to drop captain Harry Maguire. 

The England international has seen himself phased out of the United starting line-up this season, with Raphael Varane and new signing Lisandro Martinez preferred to the 29-year-old. 

And with United’s fortunes changing for the better ever since his dropping, former United midfielder Scholes heaped praise on ten Hag for ‘changing a lot’ since their 4-0 loss to Brentford. 

Harry Maguire has not started a league game for Manchester United since August

United legend Paul Scholes praised Erik ten Hag's 'brave decision' to drop the centre-back

United legend Paul Scholes praised Erik ten Hag’s ‘brave decision’ to drop the centre-back

Speaking on The Overlap, in partnership with Sky Bet, Scholes said: ‘He had to leave Harry Maguire out. It was a brave decision. He’s a brave manager.’

The England centre-back has not started a Premier League game since their embarrassing 4-0 loss to Brentford, after which ten Hag made a number of changes to his starting line-up. 

United have lost every single game that Maguire has started this year – including league defeats to Brighton and Brentford as well as a 1-0 Europa League loss to Real Sociedad. 

Meanwhile, they boast a 100% win record when he is not present. 

Ten Hag has managed to turn United's form around after a nervy start to the season

Ten Hag has managed to turn United’s form around after a nervy start to the season

Scholes continued: ‘The crowd get nervous when the goalkeeper tries to play a ten-yard pass, that’s not a Manchester United philosophy, that’s Barcelona or Ajax. 

‘I’ve been encouraged with what I’ve seen so far by Erik ten Hag. He’s changed a lot since the Brentford game. The simple thing was, don’t play out from the back.

‘Get the ball forward to your best players. Get Christian Eriksen into centre midfield, a player who can play balls to the forward players.’

The Red Devils are yet to win a game with the England international in the starting line-up

The Red Devils are yet to win a game with the England international in the starting line-up

Scholes’ comments about Maguire come shortly after the defender was jeered by England fans at Wembley when his name was read out prior to Monday night’s Nations League encounter with Germany. 

Maguire conceded a penalty before losing the ball in the lead-up to Germany’s second goal in the 3-3 draw, putting his place in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup line-up in serious jeopardy. 

The 29-year-old was one of England’s star performers during their run to the European Championship final last year but finds himself in a slump for both club and country. 

Harry Maguire endured another evening to forget during England's 3-3 draw with Germany

Harry Maguire endured another evening to forget during England’s 3-3 draw with Germany

Following defeat in their opening two games of the season, United have managed to redirect their ship and currently sit sixth in the table after a run of wins.

The side have only conceded two goals since their 2-1 win over Liverpool at the end of August – with the only other being Arsenal’s consolation goal in United’s 3-1 win over the Gunners. 

Erik ten Hag’s next challenge sees his team travel to local rivals Manchester City on Sunday afternoon for their Premier League match. 

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