Harry Maguire has delivered a scathing review of Manchester United’s dismal performance in their 5-0 defeat to rivals Liverpool.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were humiliated by their greatest rivals who ran rampant on United’s own backyard, with both the players and manager facing heavy criticism in the following days.
It leaves the United manager in a perilous position with the desperate need to turn their fortunes around in upcoming games before more questions are asked of his future at Old Trafford.
Reports of a dressing room split have emerged since Manchester United’s embarrassing defeat to Liverpool
In an interview with Sky Sports, Maguire has delivered a damning verdict on his side’s display against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
He said: ‘When you look back at the result and the performance it was embarrassing. Nowhere near good enough for this club. It’s been a tough week. I’m not going to say we’ve moved on easily.
‘It’s one of the lowest I’m sure all the players have felt in their career. You go home and you don’t sleep much, you’ve got thoughts running through your head. ‘If only I did this or this’. If I’m being honest I went home and I just looked at myself and what I can do better and take full responsibility on my shoulders.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s position is at risk after the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool at Old Trafford
‘I hope every player in the dressing room is looking at themselves, taking full responsibility on their shoulders and not pointing the finger and blaming anyone else. You look at yourself first and foremost when you have a result like this and a period like this.
‘We let the manager down against Liverpool. We let the fans down, the club down, us as players. So we have to take huge responsibility for that. Do we owe him (Solskjaer) a performance? Of course we do.’
The aftermath to the game has seen reports of dressing room disharmony including suggestions that Paul Pogba, who was sent off in the game, snubbed Solskjaer after the match in the dressing room.
A clear-the-air meeting between players and management occurred just two days after the former result – with players not holding back on their opinions.
It was stated that one member of the squad was annoyed Maguire was picked as captain six months into his spell at United, ahead of the likes of David De Gea and Marcus Rashford.
Paul Pogba supposedly snubbed Solskjaer after the game in which he was sent off
Another player criticised some of his team-mates for an apparent lack of motivation in training.
Solskjaer’s tactics and favouritism were also lambasted, as another member asked him why he is so resistant to change a losing team – especially when others are performing well in training.
Speaking to Norway’s TV2, Maguire has come out and expressed the team is still unified despite the Red Devils’ turmoil in recent weeks.
He said: ‘In the two-and-a-half years I’ve been here, I’ve noticed that when we lose a football game there’s a lot of talk. Most of it isn’t true.
‘The mood is that we are disappointed and hurt. We are footballers who play at the highest level. We know what the requirements are in this club. We have a lot of experience, many leaders and many people who say what they mean.
An unnamed United player is said to have questioned Solskjaer for giving Maguire the captain’s arm band
‘You see small pieces here and there, but you try to avoid reading things. When you have had an ugly defeat against your rival, Liverpool, I do not think the main focus is to read reports where you see these rumours.
‘I know from my experience in this club that when you lose matches, there are always rumours about what happens in the dressing room, but most of it is not true. We have a strong and unified dressing room. We stand together on this and move forward together.’
The man who has been questioned the most in the aftermath of the game is Solskjaer, with United only picking up one point in their last four games.
United suffered a defeat to Aston Villa and a draw against Everton which were both at home, before falling to a 4-2 defeat to Leicester before their stunning loss to Liverpool.
Maguire was given the captain’s armband just six months after joining the Red Devils
When asked whether Solskjaer is a good man to have at Manchester United, the England international told TV2: ‘Yes of course.
‘Ole has played for this club for many years and he has been the manager for three years. He knows what to expect and I’m sure he can handle the ups and downs. He knows what’s going on in this club.
‘That [defeat against Liverpool] was of course disappointing for him, but it was disappointing for everyone involved in this club. Everyone looks at themselves and where they can improve, that also applies to me.
‘The most important thing is to improve individually and come together as a team. We are strong boys with a good team spirit, and we stand together. We disappointed ourselves on Sunday and we know that, so we have to improve.’
Maguire himself has been slammed in the aftermath of recent defeats to Leicester and Liverpool.
Solskjaer’s tactics and refusal to change a losing team have been questioned by one player
Maguire has struggled to replicate his Euro 2020 displays with England for United this season
The centre-back picked up an ankle injury before Euro 2020, but returned mid-way through the tournament and was one of England’s star performers as they reached the final where they were beaten on penalties by Italy.
The 28-year-old though has yet been able to replicate that form for United this season – something which has been said about Maguire in past after his standout performances for England.
When asked on his own lack of form he said: ‘I’ve struggled to find the rhythm. I’m my biggest critic, so I know when I’m playing well, and when I’m not playing well, I’m always looking for ways to improve myself,’ he stressed.
‘I had been injury free for a long time, then I got a big injury in the ankle. I came back and played a tough European championship, and I have had some blows this season which has led to me struggling to find the rhythm.’