Captain Maguire talks up United's leadership group
Captain and central defensive totem Harry Maguire is the latest Red to get behind the microphone for an episode of UTD Podcast.
The 27-year-old, who is also the cover star of this month’s Inside United official club magazine, spoke to co-hosts Sam Homewood, Helen Evans and David May about his career journey so far, leading up to joining United from Leicester in the summer of 2019.
Since signing for the Reds, Maguire has been a virtual ever-present for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, playing more minutes than any other professional footballer in 2020, and being given the captain’s armband at Old Trafford less than six months after walking through the door.
Ole’s decision to make Harry his on-field leader is a central thread of our illuminating conversation with the England international, which you can now listen to on all your favourite podcast platforms.
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“He just pulled me and he said, ‘Look, I’m going to make you captain of this club’,” Harry told us when asked how he first learned he was going to captain United.
“Obviously it was a great moment for myself – it’s a huge honour to play for this club, never mind be the captain and lead the boys out at Old Trafford. It’s a massive honour and a massive privilege.
“It came a lot sooner than I would have dreamed of. Obviously Ash [Ashley Young] was here before, I learned a lot off Ash when he was here for three or four months. A great guy, a great player for the club, a great servant.”
Other than being the man who leads the team out on to the field, what other responsibilities come with being the skipper?
As Harry reveals, a big part of the job is having to front up to the camera, which can be a difficult task, especially after a poor result…
“Yeah, media – a lot of media! To face the media when times are tough is probably a tough one,” Maguire admitted.
“You can’t go into a dressing room and pick players out, when you’ve just been beaten, to go and face the media.
“You have to stand up as captain and go and face it, and take the stick and the scrutiny and handle it in a positive way.
“The other responsibilities, if I’m being honest we have a great group, we have a great group of lads who all chip in with responsibilities.”
Maguire is a seasoned international, and a senior member of one of the most talented England generations of recent years.
He also plied his trade with a number of Premier League title winners at Leicester City, but is adamant this current United dressing room boasts more leaders – whether in terms of age and experience, or personality – than any setup he’s previously experienced.
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“I think it’s something that did get brought up in the media, about leadership at this club – but for sure, it’s the best leadership group I’ve been involved in at a club.
“We have a lot of leaders in the dressing room, a lot of senior pros. And you don’t have to be a senior pro to be a leader. Axel [Tuanzebe] is a leader, in the ways that he works and speaks in the dressing room. And he’s only a young boy, he’s still learning his trade – I’m sure he’ll go on to have an unbelievable career.
“I think we have a lot of leaders. There’s Bruno [Fernandes], who has come in and made a massive impact at the club, results-wise but also off the field. His mentality – it rubs off on other people when you have a strong mentality, a winning mentality.