Manchester United’s season got off to the worst possible start with a damning loss to Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday. Their new manager Erik ten Hag saw his welcoming party at Old Trafford crashed by Graham Potter’s rough & tough men, who outplayed the Red Devils in their own yard.
While a lot of drama and hilarious scenes ensued on the pitch, some happened outside of it as well. In fact, United’s near-laughable performance started before they even stepped onto the Old Trafford grass.
Before the teams emerged from the tunnel, both sets of 11 players stood just inside the tunnel waiting for the referee to lead them out – as usual.
Leading the Red Devils’ lineup was their controversial captain Harry Maguire, who has been ridiculed heavily for his performances since taking up the armband. The Englishman seemed to be getting himself pumped up to step onto the pitch, but it seemed he already made a grave mistake before kick-off.
Maguire was caught on camera being told by David de Gea that he was standing in the wrong position inside the tunnel area. Indeed, he and the United players stood at the away team’s area. Embarrassed, Maguire had to tell Brighton captain Lewis Dunk to exchange places before the teams could come onto the pitch.
Just look at our captain😂😂😂The state of this club ei pic.twitter.com/xaCIlq97Bq— Lατιf🦅 (@iLatif_) August 8, 2022
Of course, the Red Devils’ skipper was brutally mocked and lambasted by supporters for forgetting his basic duties as captain. But there is a small catch to this entire situation. While Maguire should have (probably) known better, he wasn’t fully at fault for this small error.
Before the beginning of the new season, Ten Hag made an interesting change in the Old Trafford dugout. He ordered the club to change the positions of the home team and away team’s dugout.
The Dutchman believed that the United dugout should be where the away teams were, as it was closer to the tunnel and the substitute warm-up area too.
Anything for a good story and to have a pop at Maguire, eh?— Jake! (@JakeAGriff) August 8, 2022
ten Hag switched the dug outs and De Gea was just reminding him. Very easy thing to forget. https://t.co/gYP11SkBoo
Hence, United granted his wish and changed things up. Of course, this also meant that the areas where the United players and opposition players emerge from out of the Old Trafford tunnel would also get changed, as per rules. This was Maguire’s first time playing at home since this rule change, so he probably forgot about that.
Irrespective, the England international is under a lot of pressure this season to prove himself as the captain.
With five-time Champions League winner Raphael Varane benched because of him, Maguire would need to maintain a high level to keep himself from sitting on the new Old Trafford dugout.
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