Harry Maguire could benefit from being “taken out of the oven” and given a rest, former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has said.
Maguire has had a shocker since the beginning of the season and I don’t think what happened in Greece over the summer helps. He was also sent off in England’s Nations League defeat to Denmark on Wednesday night.
There’s no denying this has been a difficult period for Maguire and he needs our support now more than ever, which is difficult when games are still being played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ferdinand thinks taking Maguire out of the firing line could help him regain his form – but the former centre-back also believes United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a key role to play in what happens next.
“In these situations — that I’ve been in as well, you sometimes need to be taken out of the oven,” Ferdinand said, as per BBC Sport.
“Ole has a big job on his hands and I think quite an important role to play in this. Whether maybe it’s time to give him a rest, let him gather himself and build that confidence back up.
“Sometimes just taking yourself out of the firing line for one game. I got brought off in one game, I think it was Middlesbrough away, the manager (Alex Ferguson) spoke to me and said ‘get yourself back to basics, train well and you’ll come back in’.
“That’s what happened and I was fine. It’s just sometimes that bit of pressure being taken out that can actually help you.
“I know a lot of players will see that as an absolute stain on their resume but it’s sometimes something that’s needed. I definitely benefited from it and it’s maybe something Ole and his management team may look at.”
Ferdinand continued when asked what a player can do to rebuild confidence, saying: “It’s having that time to reflect. When you’re going game-to-game every there or four days, it’s very hard to see through the fog.
“But when you’re taken out of the firing line, you get time to sit back and actually analyse yourself, your performance, your preparation, your recovery — all aspects of what goes around a football match or 90 minutes.
“It’s then about rebuilding yourself and playing simple. Effectively trying to get through a game without being seen.
“It might sound silly but that’s the way I used to look at it when I was lacking a little bit of confidence. Because at the moment you’re being seen for all the wrong reasons.
“So to go through a game without being seen and being almost a bit invisible but getting through – winning a game, keeping a clean sheet. Building blocks.”
However, after a traumatic three months, the Daily Mail claim Maguire will not ask Solskjaer for a break despite fears he is suffering psychologically.
I agree with Ferdinand that some time away could do Maguire good. Especially if we are looking long-term like Solskjaer has always said.
Although it is not just Maguire committing mistakes every week, playing him every week regardless of errors is not the way forward. We need to get him back to his best.