Van Persie identifies major Maguire flaw – and it’s costing Man Utd tactically

Robin van Persie has shut down the notion Harry Maguire is good on the ball and is worried about the positioning of Manchester United 's stars.

United have been off the pace this season and have been guilty of shipping goals.

The result against Tottenham was a true nadir with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 's side being thumped 6-1.

Former United striker Van Persie has highlighted Maguire 's inability on the ball as one reason.

"Everyone is talking about Maguire being fantastic on the ball, so far he's not been fantastic on the ball going forward, with his passing," he said on BT Sport.

"But that's not only down to him. Before the show I talked with Owen [Hargreaves] about the positioning of the team overall and in some situations the team is not well positioned.

"You see Fred coming to take the ball from centre-back, he should not do that. Maguire should do that. He can do that forward pass. He should play higher up the pitch, where it is more difficult to play, but it gives everyone more options.

  • Paul Scholes identifies Man Utd tactical change that leaves them suffering long-term

"The forward players should play as high as possible and find spaces in that area and not drop too deep. You see it's not clicking because the positioning of the players is not right most of the time."

Paul Scholes also added his two cents worth

"I think Harry is a good leader there's not many else in the squad, possibly Bruno Fernandes could be," he said.

"But I think the problem he's had is his one-one-one defending and Lindelof next to him. I think that's why he needed so much protection. 

"You look at United down the years and they always had two centre-halves who could deal with strikers. They didn't need protecting. And that frees the midfield players up to worry about the attacking side of the game. Over the last few weeks they just haven't had that."

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