|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Manchster United|
2016 02 18 Retrieve
[on Rio Ferdinand] When he plays he makes it look so simple you think it’s over-confidence, but it’s just he’s that good
2019 08 06 Retrieve
[McGrath is not convinced that Maguire offers what United need] So Harry Maguire is now a better player than Virgil van Dijk? I wish Harry all the best in proving that true, but it just shows you the money Manchester United had to spend to land the Leicester City and England centre-half, a long-time target for whom they would not pay £14m two years ago.
My old club spent that massive money for three reasons. Firstly, at 26, Harry can offer the promise of seven or eight of the best years of his career. Secondly, he’s English, always an issue with UEFA’s eligibility rules. But thirdly, and most importantly, Manchester United had to get a leader at the back, a man who would call the shots.
If rumours of a Paul Pogba move come to pass, the 26-year-old may even take the captain’s armband for next Sunday’s Premier League opener [against Chelsea]. I’d have preferred United to make a Red Devil out of Kalidou Koulibaly, the Napoli defender, ahead of Maguire. But I understand why the club went Maguire’s way instead. He’s two years younger and Koulibaly is Senegalese, which would have forced United to buy an English player in another position where they might want to import a player. I would also trust that United will put in a system at the back to cover Maguire’s big weakness – one that will be exploited by the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool, and also Europe’s elite strikers whenever Manchester United return to the Champions League.
Harry likes to carry the ball out – something all the top clubs look to encourage. But when the tactic goes wrong, as it occasionally must, he doesn’t have the blinding pace of Van Dijk or Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane to get back and tidy up. So there will have to be a bit of coaching work done at Carrington over the next few weeks, so that United’s other defenders in any game realise that they must not get caught going up the pitch alongside Maguire – someone must always be ‘minding the house’. For Maguire to justify the faith – and the money – he must help United to win a Premier League over the course of the next three years. He can do it, but not alone, United will need more than just one good centre-half to get back to the summit
2019 10 06 Retrieve
[Paul McGrath says There is every chance that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not see out the season at Manchester United] These are sad times for Manchester United and those who have been envious of the club for so many years are loving their demise. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer takes his misfiring side to take on Newcastle today and even though United are up against very average opposition, I honestly wouldn’t put too much money on them coming away with a victory. United have not won away from home in their last 10 matches and there is a very good reason why that record might well continue this afternoon at St James’ Park, with goals a currency United are no longer dealing in
Solskjaer seems to be a lovely guy and all United fans are desperate to see him succeed, but it’s getting hard to keep faith with a team that doesn’t look like they are going to score goals to win matches. They didn’t have enough firepower to overpower little Rochdale in the League Cup a couple of weeks back and the performance against Arsenal on Monday night was also very flat, as they lacked the strike power to finish off opponents that were there for the taking. Then you see them going to play the third- or fourth-best team in Holland on Thursday night in a Europa League competition Manchester United should never be in, and they didn’t manage to get a single shot on target across the whole match as they drew 0-0. It was embarrassing.
While Ole is doing his best to put a positive gloss on his side’s limp performances and his former playing colleagues continue to stick up for him in the media, the truth is this is a situation that may not get better any time soon. I said back in March the club made a mistake giving him the United job on a permanent basis before they got to the end of the season. And, sadly, that pessimism now looks to have been well placed as Ole has struggled since he was given that contract. There are so many things wrong with United that I just don’t know whether they will get the job done at Newcastle today and while sacking Solskjaer and bringing in another manager is not the right option at this moment, you fear we will get to that point before this season is finished