Manchester United captain Harry Maguire is BOOED by his OWN FANS on every touch at start of Melbourne friendly win against Crystal Palace… just days after Erik ten Hag threw his support behind under-fire centre back
Harry Maguire was ruthlessly booed by Manchester United fans every time he touched the ball at the start of Tuesday’s 3-1 friendly win over Crystal Palace.
Maguire, who has retained his captaincy following the arrival of boss Erik ten Hag, led the team out to jeers and the vitriol continued inside the Melbourne Cricket Ground when he got his first few touches.
The jeers specifically targeted Maguire and audible boos were heard from a crowd that was predominantly made up of Manchester United fans.
Harry Maguire was booed every time he touched the ball at the start of Tuesday’s friendly
It was a largely partisan Manchester United crowd inside the Melbourne Cricket Ground
He (left) was jeered when he led the team out having retained Manchester United’s captaincy
‘I heard as well. I didn’t know really what happened,’ midfielder Donny van de Beek said when quizzed on the booing of Maguire.
‘But I think if I saw the game today I think Harry was playing really well.
‘He was aggressive, he got so many balls, so that means he has a big personality.
‘He has a lot of experience, so I think that’s positive what he (showed), his performance today.’
Like many of his team-mates, Maguire endured a torrid 2021-22 season and is in desperate need of a reboot.
The England international anchored a United defence that shipped 57 goals in the Premier League last season, four more than Burnley, who got relegated.
That led to some fans calling for Maguire to be stripped of the captaincy.
But question marks over his competency as captain have been quickly shrugged off by Ten Hag, who gave him a voice of confidence as the leader of the dressing room.
Maguire appeared to ignore the jeers towards him as United made a strong start to the game
‘Harry Maguire is the captain. He’s an established captain, he’s achieved a lot of success, so I don’t doubt this issue,’ Ten Hag said.
The Dutch boss later added: ‘Harry is really impressive and I expect a lot from him. I always see the captaincy as an issue that I dictate.
‘The team building for me is an important point and I always talk about a group of leaders. The captain is a really important one and I’m happy with him.’
Raphael Varane missed out on the friendly with Palace as Maguire started alongside Victor Lindelof at the centre of defence.
Maguire will now face competition for his starting spot following the £55million arrival of Lisandro Martinez.
Erik ten Hag has backed ‘impressive’ Maguire and has continued with him as team captain
Martinez may need time to adapt but Ten Hag was in no mood when he sat down with reporters recently to offer any guarantees to Maguire about starts.
‘There is internal competition and that is what a club like Man United needs,’ he said.
‘You cannot win with 11 players. We need a squad, especially this season with so many games.
‘I think [Maguire] is (a first-choice player). He’s proved it in the past but he has also to prove it in the present and in the future. I will support him everywhere I can. In the end, he has to do it by himself, and he has the qualities to do it.’