Ferdinand questions Maguire's captaincy credentials at Man Utd

By Sports Desk November 03, 2020

Former Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand questioned Harry Maguire's captaincy credentials following his comments after the club's Premier League loss to Arsenal.

Maguire felt United were complacent in Sunday's 1-0 defeat at home to Arsenal, after the Red Devils had humbled last season's Champions League semi-finalists RB Leipzig 5-0 last week, having also upstaged runners-up Paris Saint-Germain in Group H.

United – who languish 15th in the league table – have collected just seven points from their six Premier League games this season, the team's lowest tally at this stage since David Moyes' short stint at the helm in 2013-14, while they are now winless in their past six league home games.

As a result of the defeat, United have failed to win any of their opening four top-flight games at Old Trafford for the first time since 1972-73, a campaign in which they finished 18th.

Ferdinand – a six-time Premier League champion and Champions League winner with United – called for skipper Maguire to show more leadership at Old Trafford.

"We're lacking confidence in certain areas. We gained a bit of confidence in midweek but do they get too overconfident?" he said via 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.

"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'.

"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."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United travel to Istanbul Basaksehir for Wednesday's Champions League fixture.

Related items

  • Zion Williamson out indefinitely with fractured finger Zion Williamson out indefinitely with fractured finger

    Zion Williamson has been ruled out indefinitely with a fractured finger, further denting the New Orleans Pelicans' slim playoff hopes.

    The 2019 first overall draft pick was limited to just 24 games in his debut season with a meniscus tear but has been outstanding this year.

    Williamson's 27.0 points per game on 61.1 per cent shooting from the field – the best mark of any player averaging 15 points or more – have kept the Pelicans in the postseason mix.

    New Orleans are 11th in the Western Conference but sit just 1.5 games behind the slumping San Antonio Spurs, who occupy the final play-in place in 10th.

    However, they now look set to be without their talisman for the final six games of the season.

    A Pelicans statement on Friday read: "The New Orleans Pelicans announced today that forward Zion Williamson underwent a series of diagnostic testing at Ochsner Health yesterday prior to the team's departure to Philadelphia.

    "A CT scan revealed a fractured left ring finger. He will be sidelined indefinitely.

    "A treatment plan and timetable for his return to play will be determined upon further evaluation."

    Brandon Ingram, the team's second star scoring 23.8 points, had already been ruled out of Friday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers with a low ankle sprain.

    The forward was injured in New Orleans' win over the Golden State Warriors in which Lonzo Ball led the team with 33 points.

    However, that was a career high and Ball is averaging a more modest 14.6 for the year.

  • We'll take the plane or bus - Guardiola relaxed as Istanbul Champions League final is placed in flux We'll take the plane or bus - Guardiola relaxed as Istanbul Champions League final is placed in flux

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is unconcerned over where the Champions League final will take place amid fresh doubts over whether the showpiece will take place in Istanbul.

    City beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 in midweek to close out a 4-1 aggregate triumph and book their place in a maiden Champions League final.

    Chelsea ensured it would be an all-English affair as they overcame Real Madrid by the same scoreline on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge to prevail 3-1 on aggregate.

    The make-up of the final already led to speculation over whether the match might be moved, given Turkey is currently under lockdown due to spiking COVID-19 rates as the UK loosens restrictions thanks in part to a successful vaccine roll out.

    UEFA insisted it was committed to the game remaining at the Ataturk Stadium but the situation became more complicated on Friday when the UK government added Turkey to its travel "red list".

    That means anyone travelling to the country – including fans, players and staff from both clubs – must quarantine for 10 days in government-approved hotels upon their return to the UK.

    Unless exemptions can be secured for players, this would be particularly problematic given Euro 2020 and the 2021 Copa America start on June 11, 13 days after the Champions League final.

    The change in status is effective from May 17, the same day Turkey's own national lockdown is set to end, and will not be reviewed for three weeks, meaning there is no prospect of a change in the UK government stance before the final.

    UEFA is in discussions with the Football Association (FA) over the next steps, with Villa Park touted as a potential alternative venue as Wembley is slated to host the Championship play-off final on May 29.

    "I'm pretty sure UEFA will decide the best for everyone," Guardiola said, speaking prior to the UK government decision.

    "If we go to Istanbul, it will be a pleasure. I think the situation depends on the pandemic there but if they decide to move on or stay here in this country or another place, we'll take the plane or the bus and we will be there."

    Stats Perform News understands City will await further guidance from UEFA over the Champions League final venue and will not lobby for the game to be moved to a stadium on home soil.

    City host Chelsea on Saturday in a dress rehearsal for the final, knowing victory at the Etihad Stadium will secure a third Premier League crown in four seasons with three games to spare.

    However, Guardiola insists that would not be a cue to rest the players who have established themselves as a settled first XI in European matches.

    The Catalan's often-repeated mantra of players needing to be in "rhythm" will not be allowed to slide with a defining night on the horizon.

    "I want to be honest, the players will not be rested to think about the Champions League final," Guardiola said.

    "Now we have a period of six days [between] Chelsea [and the trip to] Newcastle, so now the schedule is a little bit more fresh.

    "Now it's time to try to… it's in our hands and we don't depend on other results to win the Premier League as quickly as possible. It won't be easy because of the opponent we have.

    "It's not necessary to tell them to be focused on the last game of the season because nobody in the club has been there before apart from Ilkay [Gundogan], who played in the [2013 Champions League] final. The rest, everyone will be so focused to arrive in this final in the best condition possible."

    After their trip to St James' Park, City face Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on May 18 before rounding out their Premier League campaign at home to Everton on May 23.

  • Lille edge closer to Ligue 1 title after cruising past Lens Lille edge closer to Ligue 1 title after cruising past Lens

    Lille took a significant stride towards the Ligue 1 title with a resounding 3-0 derby win at Lens on Friday. 

    The result – a fifth win in their last six league games – moved them four points clear of second-place Paris Saint-Germain, although Mauricio Pochettino's side can restore the one-point deficit with victory over Rennes on Sunday. 

    Should the reigning Ligue 1 champions lose, Christophe Galtier's side can seal a first league triumph since the 2010-11 season against Saint-Etienne in their penultimate game of the campaign on May 16. 

    Burak Yilmaz got them on their way in the fourth minute, slotting home from the penalty spot after Jonathan Bamba had been fouled in the area by Seko Fofana. 

    Clement Michelin received a second yellow card for the hosts in the 35th minute, with Yilmaz scoring his second five minutes later courtesy of a stunning 25-yard strike into the top-left corner. 

    Jonathan David added a third on the hour mark as Lille cranked up the pressure on PSG, whose run of three straight league titles is in grave danger of coming to an end.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.