Ashley Williams, a former Premier League defender, has alleged that Manchester United’s Harry Maguire was ‘elusive’ on the field, causing issues for teammates Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Andre Onana.
In a lackluster performance at St James’ Park, Erik ten Hag’s side suffered a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United.
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While Maguire and his partner Luke Shaw escaped severe criticism, players like Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford faced harsh judgments from former players.
Despite Maguire’s improved fortunes this season, having rebounded from last year’s setbacks and losing the captaincy in the summer, Williams disagreed with the notion that the former skipper had a commendable game on Tyneside.
In his review, the former Wales star accused Maguire of ‘hiding’ from passes out from the back from Onana.
‘Who in that starting XI deserves to keep their shirt? There is a difference between not playing well and not trying. You know what the third thing is? Pretending,’ Williams told Vibe with Five.
‘How many times did he [Maguire] get in the position where he knew, I know that he knows – “I cannot get this ball off Onana and I’m leaving him”, that’s what I can’t deal with.
‘I can’t deal with the not tracking back and I also can’t deal with this sneaky… how many times do you [Maguire] go inside and point to Wan-Bissaka as if [to say] “give it to Wan-Bissaka and I’ll get it next”.
‘He’s hiding, there are so many accounts of it. That’s why my melon was going while I was watching it because I’m saying he’s the captain and everyone’s had their say about him.
‘”He’s turned a corner”. No you haven’t. They’re saying he defended well. Fair enough. But when you’re Newcastle, you press high.
‘There’s no target man so you can’t bypass the press. You’ve got to be good and play around the press, which they try to do. You’ve got to at least try to get on the ball and help.’