Erik ten Hag must 'have no TV' if he rates Harry Maguire, says Dutch pundit

Erik ten Hag was quizzed about many topics in his first press conference as Manchester United manager last week.

One of the more difficult questions to answer was about centre-back Harry Maguire, and whether he will retain the captaincy in 2022/23 and beyond.

Ten Hag chose not to answer the question, but did speak glowingly about the defender, commenting: “I have to repeat that next season is a different season but I think he did a great job.

“He’s a great player, he’s achieved already a lot really also [with his] contribution to Manchester United. So I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

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Erik ten Hag must ‘have no TV’

Former PSV and Netherlands winger Rene van der Gijp was not impressed by Ten Hag’s comments on the Manchester United captain.

Speaking to Today Inside, reported by FCUpdate, the pundit said: “I think he (Ten Hag) has no TV.

“He (Maguire) has done almost everything wrong this season. You can’t say that, can you?”

Van der Gijp’s assessment of Maguire is not exactly incorrect. Maguire had games averaging from passable to awful, losing his form, and failing to inspire his teammates.

But Ten Hag was hardly going to come out with a cutting assessment of Maguire in his opening press conference, he will want to see if he can turn the defender’s form around.

The Dutchman’s actions may speak louder than his words, however.

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Ten Hag is widely reported to be pursuing another centre-back, with his former Ajax star Jurrien Timber top of the list. The Guardian report initial talks have been opened over a move.

Timber has made clear he wants to play, if he moves, and Maguire will be left fighting for his place, along with Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane.

Maguire may get a somewhat of clean slate to start again this season, but Ten Hag will also have performed his own analysis, watched Manchester United’s games, and seen some of the problems.

Ten Hag’s initial praise for Maguire at his press conference ultimately counts for nothing. It will be up to the player to perform and earn his spot, let alone the captaincy.

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