Roy Keane believes Harry Maguire is preventing his Manchester United team-mates from engaging in aggressive pressing.
The United legend believes the team are “scared to death” of fully committing due to fears Maguire will be caught out by an over-the-top ball.
Following their 2-1 defeat to Fulham at Old Trafford on Saturday, Jamie Carragher criticized United for their disjointed defensive set-up and lack of pace in defense and midfield.
Keane believes Maguire is at the root of the problem as huge gaps are created in midfield when some players press and others drop back.
‘They’re not pushing. “I don’t want to just blame (Harry) Maguire, but there is always a concern that Maguire will go up and press the field, like all the other top teams are doing,” he told the Stay with football podcast, presented by sky bet.
Roy Keane believes Manchester United players are ‘scared to death’ for fear of exposing Harry Maguire
The Manchester United press has been disjointed and Keane believes the players are falling behind
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“He has that concern all the time, that’s where there are gaps. They are scared to death to climb to the top because they think: ‘anything too exaggerated, they would be in trouble.’
Keane expanded on his concerns about the different styles on the pitch, pointing out that there is a lack of cohesion in the pressing; The former United captain pointed to Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes as examples of players who will not sign up for a high-energy team. form of defense.
“Manchester United don’t have players to (press),” he said.
‘(Bruno) Fernandes is not going to do it. Rashford won’t do it. They could do it for five or ten minutes, so if you have a team that’s not going to press, we’re talking leopards and spots.
“Manchester United will never be good at that pressure aspect.”
Carragher also expanded on his comments from the weekend, adding: “Now the teams are pressing from the front, they are pressing high and everyone is on the halfway line.”
‘Man United are trying to do two different things; The front six were pressing man to man (against Fulham), and the back four were miles away from them. You are one or the other.
While there have been some improvements of late, United’s defense has generally struggled this season.
He also claimed that Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes “do not” press during a match.
Carragher used his five-minute analysis on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football to focus on Man United’s defence.
United have been plagued by defensive problems this season, conceding four against Copenhagen.
They sent four goals against Copenhagen and Bayern Munich, and three against Galatasaray (twice), Manchester City, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Wolves.
The defensive conundrum has been a persistent problem for Erik ten Hag, who at one point even experimented with dropping Raphael Varane for several games in favor of Jonny Evans.
After the defeat against Wolves, in which Alex Iwobi scored an agonizing winning goal in the 97th minute, experts criticized his disorganization.
Carragher told Sky Sports: ‘WLet’s get to the reason why they are weak defensively and can’t deal with counterattacks.
“They have no rhythm at the back and they lack legs in the midfield. Another big problem for them is when they have the ball.”
“These players can’t receive the ball in the positions they occupy, so there is actually a big problem for Manchester United when they have the ball.
“How many times have we seen Manchester United players have to run 40 meters towards their own goal?” he added.
Gael Clichy joined Carragher in his analysis and added: “Manchester United’s compactness is wrong, a simple pass will take out maybe six United players and what we see is a four against three.”
Carragher replied: “The most important thing in defense is to be compact, that will not go out of style.”