Manchester United legend Gary Neville has told begrudged supporters to "stop bullying" Harry Maguire after Erik ten Hag confirmed the defender would retain the captaincy.
Maguire, 29, was the dominant figure in the Red Devils' leaky backline last season as United recorded their worst-ever defensive return in the Premier League. Finishing the 2021/22 season with a goal difference of zero, Man Utd shipped a staggering 57 throughout the campaign – relegated Burnley conceded four fewer.
The England international endured a raft of heavy criticism for his poor performances last term and Ralf Rangnick's persistence to keep him on as captain only caused further arguments with Cristiano Ronaldo adamant he should be installed as the club's skipper.
READ MORE: Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag confirms decision on Harry Maguire retaining captaincy
Speaking on Monday (July 11) though, Ten Hag confirmed Maguire would remain as captain for the 2022/23 season. "Harry Maguire is the captain," said the newly-appointed boss in his press conference.
"Of course, I have to get to know all the players and it takes time. But he is an established captain for a few years and he has achieved a lot of success, so I don't doubt about this issue."
The announcement was met with ridicule from fans on social media who believe star man Ronaldo – who Ten Hag stated was "not for sale" – was the obvious choice to lead out United next season. "He’s [Maguire's] not the right man and ronaldo knows it too," posted one resentful supporter.
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"Here is the 1st mistake of Erik Ten Hag era," commented a second. "This club has accepted mediocrity. Ronaldo must leave," harked a third. "Erik said he had many success??? What success???? The guy literally relegated 4 times before," jibbed a fourth.
However, ex-Red Devils captain Gary Neville took issue with the hoard of abuse on Twitter, asking supporters to back Ten Hag in the dugout and "stop bullying" Maguire.
"So the same United fans fuming with me for applauding the decision to keep Maguire as captain seem to be without knowing criticising the new manager for his decision," scoffed Neville to his 5.2million followers. "Maybe support Maguire and stop bullying him on here! The new manager obviously likes him."
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