The 2021-22 season was one to forget for Manchester United, with the club failing even to come close to finishing in the top four in the Premier League. One player who came in for particular criticism last season was captain Harry Maguire, who has struggled to recreate his impressive form for England at the club level since a big-money move from Leicester City in 2019.
A campaign that saw them replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a manager with interim coach Ralf Rangnick eventually ended in a sixth-place finish, 13 points behind Tottenham in fourth and a whopping 35 away from champions Manchester City.
During United’s pre-season tour of Australia, Maguire said:
“Last year was disappointing. As an individual, I didn’t play well, and as a team, we certainly didn’t play well.
“But a promising career can last 10 to 15 years, and you’re never going to have every year where it’s plain sailing and you don’t have any difficulties.
“You’re going to have to fight, and you’re going to have setbacks.
“And last year was undoubtedly a setback for me on my career path.
“But it’s behind us now, and we look forward to the future and getting this club back to winning trophies, which is what it’s all about.”
United ended the season by losing six consecutive away league matches for the first time since March 1981.
And failed to complete a league campaign with a positive goal difference for the first time since 1989-90.
The club has moved to improve their fortunes next season by appointing Erik ten Hag as manager.
And the arrival of the former Ajax boss has seen a renewed sense of optimism at Old Trafford.
United have made a promising start to pre-season, with a 4-0 win against rivals Liverpool in Bangkok followed by a 4-1 success against Melbourne Victory in Australia.
Anthony Elanga had been full of praise for Ten Hag’s focus on improving running on and off the ball.
And Maguire echoed the praise from his young team-mate about the early impact of the new manager’s methods.
“It’s been tough. The running has been challenging, but we’re looking forward to the new season.
“Everyone knows last year was nowhere near good enough, but it’s a fresh start, and we’ve got a big season ahead.
“Erik and his coaching staff are bringing their ideas.
“And in the first two games, you’ve seen little glimpses of the principles.
“We’re working towards being ready for that first Premier League game. That’s what matters. Everything we’re doing now is building for that first game.”
Likewise, for more football news like this, click here.