Rio Ferdinand has questioned Harry Maguire’s role as Manchester United captain and has urged the defender to ‘get a hold of that team’ following their inconsistent start to the season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have struggled for consistency in the opening weeks of the campaign and saw their recent momentum halted with a poor performance in defeat to Arsenal last weekend, with the Red Devils having now picked up just one point from their opening four home Premier League fixtures.
Sunday’s loss came after a four-game unbeaten run in all competitions that included impressive Champions League victories over the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, the latter a 5-0 thrashing of last season’s semi-finalists just days before the Arsenal clash.
Ferdinand has now questioned whether those results have led to an overconfidence amongst the Manchester United squad and raised his concerns over captain Maguire’s comments following the defeat.
“We’re lacking confidence in certain areas. We gained a bit of confidence in midweek but do they get too overconfident?” he said on the Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE YouTube channel.
“I saw Harry Maguire and a couple of his comments after the game saying maybe they were patting each other on the back too much. Get a hold of that team – he’s the captain.”
Ferdinand insists that Maguire must show leadership in the dressing room to ensure the standards do not drop, urging the centre-back to ‘stand up and put it on people’ as the club bid to eradicate their indifferent displays – pointing to his own experiences of keeping the United dressing room focussed.
“I hope he’s getting in there and getting round people and telling people ‘listen, we aren’t the finished article, we’ve got loads to do, there is more from us to come, pull your socks up’,” he continued.
“I don’t know if that’s going on. The captain of Man Utd. There’s always been leaders in that changing room who would be going round and drilling people, either one-to-one or in front of the group. Pulling people aside, having little conversations to get people up, to make sure they stay on their game.
“I remember Nani, I didn’t chat to him really, it was two or three words, ‘assists and goals’ or ‘shoot on sight’. Boom, that’s it. It doesn’t need an essay of words. Sometimes it’s short and sharp, punchy little things.
“Are these conversations going on? It isn’t just for the management to deal with that, sometimes the players in that dressing room need to stand up and put it on people.”