Erik ten Hag has managed to steady the shape and Manchester United are currently on a four-match winning run which includes victories over arch-rivals Liverpool and league leaders Arsenal.
But the start could not have been worse with United slumping to back-to-back defeats at the hands of Brighton and Brentford in the opening couple of weeks.
Two of the major casualties of those changes were Luke Shaw and club captain Harry Maguire. The skipper has had to endure a pretty difficult last 12 months and the pressure on him has been cranked up even more in recent weeks.
His last start for United came against Real Sociedad in the Europa League, a match the Red Devils ended up losing. In fact, whenever he has started, Ten Hag’s men have ended up on the losing side.
Luke Shaw believes Harry Maguire has suffered more abuse than anyone he has come across in football and wants England fans to accept the fact his Manchester United team-mate remains a key England player. pic.twitter.com/mH4nzHTbkx
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) September 27, 2022
The hope was that the 29-year-old would head off for international duty, play both games for England and return to United with added confidence.
Despite public backing from the Three Lions manager Gareth Southgate as well as his compatriots, Maguire ended up having a nightmare against both Italy and Germany.
On Monday, the former Leicester City defender was to blame for two of Germany’s goals. He clumsily fouled Jamal Musiala for Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty before then losing possession and being out of possession for Germany’s second.
His United and England compatriot Shaw revealed that he had never seen a player be on the receiving end of so much negativity and had some words of support for his club captain.
“I will be honest, it is a tough period at the moment,” Shaw was quoted as saying by the BBC. “Of course Harry is an amazing player, an amazing character. He has taken a lot of stick, probably more than I have ever seen before in football but he never hides away, he is always there.”
“You can have people that can hide away and not want to be in the spotlight but he keeps putting himself in the spotlight and it shows the strength and character he has got because, come on, everyone knows that he is an unbelievable player.”
Shaw offers support
His confidence looks shattered and he remains woefully out of form. Critics have now got further ammunition against Maguire and the weeks leading up to the Qatar World Cup will see him under tremendous scrutiny.
But Shaw revealed that Southgate and the England squad as a whole have faith in him and urged fans to understand how important Maguire is for the national team.
“At the moment the confidence might not be there because it might feel like the whole world is against him, it is tough for him but us as players, staff we are all behind him because he is a very important player and it shows Gareth’s trust that he has played in both games.
“Look at the Euros and what he has done, people need to understand he is a big part of the England team and they have to accept it.”
Shaw has not had the best of times himself, but his goal against Germany will do him a world of good. He will be hoping to bounce back and impress Ten Hag in a bid to return to the starting line-up. For Maguire though, the road ahead looks very tough.