GARY NEVILLE: Harry Maguire is not quite there yet as a leader… but he’s emerging at Manchester United and WILL get there. His poor form is a result of ‘post-Euros syndrome’ and I know exactly what he’s going through
Gary Neville believes Harry Maguire is still an ’emerging leader’ at Manchester United but has no doubt he will develop into a very good captain.
The former United defender turned television pundit says Maguire’s sluggish form in the early weeks of the season can be explained by a heavy workload of games over several years and ‘post Euros syndrome’ after England’s loss to Italy in the final.
Maguire placed his fingers in his ears while celebrating his goal during England’s World Cup qualifying win over Albania last Friday, a response to the criticism he has received for his form.
Gary Neville fears that United captain Harry Maguire is suffering from burn-out this season
Neville described Maguire as an ’emerging leader’ but feels he will develop into a good skipper
Maguire’s fingers-in-ears celebration after scoring for England against Albania was criticised
Speaking exclusively to Sportsmail, Neville said: ‘When I saw him do that I thought he would get criticism but whatever you need to do, Harry, to be you and get your confidence and authority back, you go for it.
‘It’s part of his learning. Harry Maguire is an emerging leader but is not there yet.
‘I thought he was getting the United dressing room in the palm of his hand at the end of last season. I could feel it and hear him on the pitch with no fans in. He was strong.
‘Harry then went to the European Championships and had the most incredible experience when he wasn’t fit but got to a final. Maguire and Luke Shaw are experiencing post-Euros syndrome. I had it.
Neville believes Maguire (right) and Luke Shaw (left) are suffering from ‘post-Euros syndrome’
‘At the start of the 1998-99 season, two weeks in I was at West Ham and Kiddo [Brian Kidd] came over to me and said: “You are f*****, aren’t you?”
‘I was like: “Kiddo, I am done”.
‘I had played Umbro Cup ’95, Euro ’96, Le Tournoi ’97 and then World Cup ’98 and at the start of that next season I blew up.
‘Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire are there now. They are having a dip. It happens.
‘Harry Maguire is the future of the club along with some others and he is in a position where he is not at 100 per cent. So I have no doubts about Harry Maguire.
‘When he puts his hands to his ears, I get it. I once went over the Liverpool fans and gave them loads.’
Neville recalls the time he celebrated wildly in front of Liverpool’s supporters after Rio Ferdinand’s late winner for Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2006 sealed victory
Neville spoke from personal experience when relating to how setbacks and poor from can quickly snowball.
He added: ‘I once played Vasco da Gama and gave two pass backs away in three minutes, played Edmundo and Romario in, lost us a World Club Championship and then lost my confidence for six months and ended up seeing a psychologist.
‘I then had the worst tournament of my life with England at Euro 2000. So I have been there and that’s where Harry Maguire may be today.
‘So when he puts his hands to his ears I would want to know most: “Did he regret doing it after the game or was he good with it?”.
Neville recalled his own horror moment against Vasco da Gama in the 2000 FIFA Club World Championship in Brazil
‘And if he was good with it then I am good with it. If he regrets it then that may cause him a little bit of further damage.
‘He is just going through a two or three year mad period like I did. It emotionally drains you.
‘Three weeks off every summer and you blow up. I blew up.’