Rio Ferdinand has urged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to take under-fire Manchester United defender Harry Maguire out of the ‘firing line’ following the club captain’s struggles so far this season.
Maguire has endured a nightmare start to the campaign and appears to be struggling following his summer arrest whilst on holiday in Greece, performing poorly for Manchester United and being sent off in the first half of England’s defeat to Denmark in midweek.
The 27-year-old was booked early on for a rash challenge on Yussuf Poulsen, before a poor touch led to him being dismissed before half-time after fouling Kasper Dolberg, leading to yet more criticism of the centre-back.
United travel to face Newcastle tomorrow evening and are in desperate need of three points having won just once in their opening three Premier League fixtures, and former defender Ferdinand has called on Solskjaer to make a major decision on Maguire in a bid to restore his confidence.
“In these situations – that I’ve been in as well – you sometimes need to be taken out of the oven,” Ferdinand told the BBC.
“Ole has a big job on his hands and I think quite an important role to play in this. Whether maybe it’s time to give him a little rest, let him gather himself and build that confidence back up.
“I got brought off in one game, I think it was Middlesbrough away, the manager spoke to me and said ‘Get yourself back to basics, train well and you’ll come back in’. That’s what happened and I was fine. It’s just sometimes that bit of pressure being taken out that can actually help you.
“When you’re going game-to-game every three or four days, it’s very hard to see through the fog. But when you’re taken out of the firing line, you get time to sit back and actually analyse yourself, your performance, your preparation, your recovery – all aspects of what goes around a football match or 90 minutes.
“It’s then about rebuilding yourself and playing simple. Effectively trying to get through a game without being seen.
“It might sound silly but that’s the way I used to look at it when I was lacking a little bit of confidence. Because at the moment you’re being seen for all the wrong reasons.”