After Manchester United’s 5-0 defeat to Liverpool at the weekend, it’s not just manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who is being scrutinised.
A number of schoolboy errors at the back orchestrated United’s downfall at the weekend but their catastrophic mistakes were not the first this season.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka jogged back when pressing Andy Robertson, leaving the door open for the left-back to sprint into the box.
The right-back’s place in the team came into question just a few weeks ago when he got sent off in the Reds’ defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League.
The Athletic reports that United insiders believe the former Palace man has not progressed since joining the club in a £50 million deal despite having many one-to-one training sessions with coaches during international breaks. With his teammates unhappy with his application, pressure mounts on the defender.
The lack of communication was evident and costly as Liverpool found space, and capitalised on it, on the right wing.
Maguire’s selection for the team that faced Leicester a few weeks ago was a shock to most as he had been out injured and only trained with his team once before the whistle blew for kick off.
Maguire was clearly not match-fit and sources say players were baffled why the manager didn’t select Eric Bailly instead. If Solskjaer doesn’t trust him, why give him a new contract in summer?
Some have suggested the dip in Shaw and Maguire’s form could be due to the experience in the England camp over summer, both were highly praised for their impact on the squad and its success in making it to the final of the Euros.
Has this led to the pair easing-off slightly, subconsciously or otherwise?
What are the solutions to these problems? Experts say that a “best in class” sports psychologist may be the answer to United’s troubles.
It wouldn’t be the first time United have gone down this route, the club used to employ Bill Beswick due to the acknowledgement that playing for United is often a huge burden and most players struggle to adapt.
Would an addition like this to their backroom staff solve the issues the club are currently facing or is it more complicated than that?