Introduction: Manchester United advanced to the semi-finals of the League Cup on Tuesday after a 3-0 victory over Charlton Athletic. Club captain Harry Maguire started the match, but manager Erik ten Hag is likely to turn to World Cup winners Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez for the big games. Maguire spoke to ESPN after the match and mentioned that there is a lot of competition for places at the club, but he is still confident in his abilities. The Englishman also discussed the club’s desire to break their trophy drought this season, and the disappointment of the previous campaign. With the quality of players in the squad, Manchester United have a great chance of achieving success this season.
Manchester United were not at their best but still reached the semi-finals of the League Cup on Tuesday after beating Charlton Athletic 3-0.
As manager Erik ten Hag pointed out, United must be more careful in front of goal if they are to weather the storm against much stronger opposition.
But it was another clean sheet, United’s fifth in the last six games since domestic football resumed after the World Cup break.
Maguire fell down the pecking order
Club captain Harry Maguire started again and for the most part was confident, his reserved throw to the left wing for Alejandro Garnacho was a feature of United’s attacking play, particularly in the first half.
The Englishman has started two of the last three games, but the Dutch coach is likely to turn to the back-up pairing of World Cup winners Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez when it comes to the big games.
🗣 “There is a lot of competition for places and I will continue to fight.”
Harry Maguire for 90 minutes in Manchester United’s squad tonight pic.twitter.com/jVxmNpAt3n
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 10, 2023
In several games, Ten witch also decided to use Luke Shaw as a left-sided centre-back instead of Maguire.
This prompted United legend Rio Ferdinand to claim the 29-year-old must leave the Red Devils if he is to play regularly.
Recent reports have linked Aston Villa with an audacious swoop for the United captain, but Ten Hag rejected the request as he wanted defensive cover ahead of the second half of the season.
And the man himself speaks with ESPN after the Charlton game and mentioned that there are a lot of high-quality defenders at the club now and that the competition for places is quite high at the moment, but he is still confident in his abilities.
And while he had hoped that after his superb performance for the Three Lions at the World Cup he would be more involved, Maguire said the illness came at the wrong time and that is what ultimately forced the manager to use Casemiro and Shaw in defense .
Illness forced ETH’s hand
“It was good, I also played last week against Bournemouth. I was very unlucky when I came back from the World Cup, I had a serious illness to be honest and it set me back a week or two,” Maguire was quoted as saying. Manchester Evening news.
“I feel good now. We have very good centre-backs at the club, there is a lot of competition for places and I will continue to fight.”
The former Leicester City defender also spoke of the club’s desire to break their trophy drought this season, especially after the disappointment of the previous campaign.
“It’s really important [to win a trophy], this club requires good results in all competitions. Last season we were very bad not only in premier league, but also in the cup competitions,” added the England international.