Defensive revolution! How Man Utd will line up with £80m Maguire

first_imgAfter what has felt like a drawn-out transfer saga, Harry Maguire has finally joined Manchester United from Leicester City.While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is far from done yet with his Old Trafford rebuild, his new United is beginning to take shape.With an increased focus on young, hungry talent, players ready to hit the ground running thanks to their familiarity with the requirements of the British game, the Norwegian will be hoping that his team can get off to a better start this season than they managed under Jose Mourinho in 2018-19. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? But what will Maguire bring to the Red Devils having finally become a United player?In the England international, Solskjaer has somebody who has delivered with a decent level of consistency in his Leicester career and has also shown a level of work-rate at his previous club Hull City which has clearly persuaded Mike Phelan – then Tigers number two and latterly manager, now Solskjaer’s right-hand man – to put in a good word for him at United.He could also prove to be very versatile thanks to his role in differing shapes in his career so far.Maguire has been widely identified as not being quick enough to fit in to the kind of high-pressing outfit which the new United look set to become, apparently unable to make up any ground lost to nippy forwards in behind the defensive line.But he has proven his powers of recovery time and again in the shirts of Leicester and England.Manchester United Back Four PSWhat speed he gives up in his legs he often accounts for in his head, with his anticipatory defending getting club and country out of many a tight spot. He’s a big, brave leader of a defender too, which is something United have lacked too often in recent years.Just as Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the first natural right-back at the club for a good few years, with the instincts of a defender and the ability to effect a tackle in the heart, the body and the mind rather than in the memory bank, so Maguire is unique in United’s ranks in that he is a fearless centre-back at the top of his game.But for Lindelof, who can’t have been far behind Luke Shaw in the club’s Player of the Year polling last season, United’s centre-back options have all failed them to some extent of late. As such, Lindelof and Maguire should now be considered the primary partnership when Solskjaer looks to line up with his favoured four-man defence to begin the new campaign.The only question mark may be in relation to which right-footer plays on their more natural side, with Maguire having played to the left of Wes Morgan for Leicester and Lindelof having often played in the same channel alongside Chris Smalling for the Reds.Lindelof has said in the past that he is happy to fill in on the left, but Maguire seems to have fitted in on that side more naturally.“For me, it’s not a problem. I’m used to playing on the left side as well but I’ll play wherever the manager wants me to play,” Lindelof told ManUtd.com in October 2018.“I don’t see a problem having two right-footers as central defenders. I have quite a good left foot and can manage to play on the left as well so it’s not a problem.”Man Utd possible XIAnother option open to Solskjaer would be to go with three at the back, particularly if he wants to play with an extra edge in attack and allow Paul Pogba more responsibility in midfield. Maguire has played in a back three extensively, both with England and with Hull.At the KCOM Stadium he managed to eventually force his way into a line-up which had seen Steve Bruce abandon his traditional 4-4-2 for a three-man back line with Alex Bruce, James Chester and Curtis Davies having initially filled the roles.And with England the 26-year-old became something of a national hero when playing as part of a trio at the 2018 World Cup finals alongside Kyle Walker and John Stones.That would allow Wan-Bissaka and Shaw greater freedom to get forward as wing-backs for United, supplying width from deep in attack.However Solskjaer chooses to deploy Maguire, he and Wan-Bissaka look likely to make United a far more solid proposition defensively than they have been in quite some time.The manager’s rebuild will likely continue well into the 2020-21 season, with United clearly needing far more than just three or four additions to what was quickly proven to be a squad lacking in quality last term.However, their defence at the very least should be far more reliable and consistent in the forthcoming campaign than it has been under successive managers since 2013. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

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Updated Predictions For College Football’s Starting QB Battles

first_imgA view of Clemson fans cheering.CLEMSON, SC – SEPTEMBER 24: A general view of fans of the Clemson Tigers against the Florida State Seminoles during their game at Memorial Stadium on September 24, 2011 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)The first Saturday of the 2018 college football season is set to start exactly three months from tomorrow. Saturday, Sept. 1 will be a great, great day.We’re still a long way out from that, unfortunately. Hopefully the next three months go quickly.A lot is going to happen in those three months, at least. Specifically – some major quarterback battles/situations are going to unfold.Here are latest predictions for some of the big ones.Alabama Tua Tagovailoa #13 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts to throwing a seven yard touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs.(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)Will it be Tua Tagovailoa or Jalen Hurts? We’re going to go with a surprise prediction and say that Hurts will actually be the Week 1 starter.Clemson Kelly Bryant #2 of the Clemson Tigers reacts after a touchdown against the Miami Hurricanes in the third quarter during the ACC Football Championship.(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)The Tigers are loaded with highly-touted recruits at the QB position and have brought in another five-star QB in 2018.Bryant has locked this job up for the time being, though.Florida (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)The Gators have a new coach in Dan Mullen who specializes in the QB position. Will he make a big change under center? We’ll go with Feleipe Franks holding onto the job in 2018.Georgia (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Jake Fromm took the job from Jacob Eason after the former 5-star recruit went down with an injury. Will another five-star recruit, Justin Fields, so the same? Nope. Fromm is the man in Athens.NebraskaTrue freshman Adrian Martinez is looking really good, but reports out of Lincoln say that it’s probable that Tristan Gebbia will be the Week 1 starter.Ohio Statedwayne haskins plays for ohio state in 2017This could have been the most-intense quarterback battle in the country, but Joe Burrow opted to transfer out. It’s Dwayne Haskins’ job. Tate Martell will play, though.Oklahomakyler murray plays at ohio stateReplacing a Heisman Trophy winner is never easy. Who will earn the nod at Oklahoma in 2018? Kyler Murray, the former Texas A&M QB, was the Sooners’ backup in 2017. He’s in line to be that guy in 2018. The MLB might be calling, though. We’ll say Murray decides to stay put in Norman, Okla. for another season.Texas (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)Will Sam Ehlinger, Texas’ starter at the end of the 2017 season, hold onto the job over Shane Buechele? We think so. He’s our pick for the man to lead the Longhorns in 2018.last_img read more

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