Harry Maguire was left on the bench as Manchester United cruised to a 2-1 victory over their arch-rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford on Monday night.
Erik Ten Hag started Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane as his preferred defensive pair for the night. Varane and Martinez’s performance on the night seems to vindicate Erik Ten Hag’s decision to bench Manchester United captain Harry Maguire for the Liverpool game.
There are calls by Many Manchester United fans and sympathizers for Erik Ten Hag to make Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez his first-choice defensive choice for this season. There are also speculations that Maguire could lose his captaincy role at Manchester.
Manchester United hero Rio Ferdinand thinks they should consider Bruno Fernandes the next Manchester United captain.
However, Ben Foster believes Erik Ten Hag made the right choice to bench Harry Maguire but is too early to blame Manchester United’s earlier defeat on the England international.
What did Ben Foster say?
The former Watford and Manchester United goalkeeper said: “At that point, you’ve just got to pull them out of the firing line.
“It’s just one thing after another. The best thing to do… it’s almost like a dying dog. Just put them out of their misery.
“Take him out of the team, take him out of the spotlight, even if it’s just for four or five games.
“It could be a month or six weeks, but just take him out of the firing line.”
The former Premier League Goalkeeper also added that Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire could be criticized if the team cannot perform because of their inclusion in the team.
Ben Foster explained: “I felt a bit for some lads who missed out that night–the likes of Ronaldo and Maguire.
“The lads put that performance in and straight away people say, ‘You take the dead wood out and that’s what we do!’
“At the end when Ronaldo came on, can you imagine if Liverpool equalized? The meters Ronaldo would’ve got!”
Meanwhile, Paul Parker claims Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire have no future in Manchester United.
The Manchester United defender said: “When I look at Ronaldo, I think that they need to cut their losses and let him go. He’s unhappy, he wants to play every week and I think they’ve got to let him go even if they have to pay him off or something.
“I don’t think they’ll get much money for him. But I look at Harry Maguire and Ten Hag mentioned something that he was looking for in his back line and he wants mobility and pace.
“Straight away, there are two words there that make it difficult for Harry Maguire to be playing regularly for Manchester United. To see the first goal that comes from Martinez as soon as the ball comes to him, he passes it out wide to [Anthony] Elanga–he’s not having two or three touches to make his mind up.
“United were a much better team going forward because they were getting the ball into midfield a lot quicker than the back four that they’d been playing with over the last few years.”