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Hoddle pulls apart Man Utd captain Maguire's game: He must look to this Man City star

Former England coach Glenn Hoddle believes Harry Maguire has underperformed for Manchester United this season.

Ahead of tonight's Europa League clash with Real Sociedad, Maguire goes into the game on the back of criticism from several former players. Ex-United captain Gary Neville has stated Maguire's regular defensive partner Victor Lindelofwould be a far better performer if he was playing alongside Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool. And United Double winner Paul Parker has even questioned whether Maguire deserves to be club captain.

For Hoddle, who says he's a big fan of the England defender, Maguire hasn't performed at his best this season and has lost some focus.

He said on his podcast, ' The Glenn Hoddle Footy Show': "He hasn't played as well as I know he can play. I've always been a really big fan of Harry Maguire. But he's just taken the foot off the pedal a little bit.

"For me, he's always looking for (refereeing) decisions and everything's got to go his way."

Indeed, Hoddle, who played at the back in the latter years of his career, insists it's time Maguire took a look at himself and the way he's playing this season. The Tottenham great insisting the stopper is struggling with his positioning.

He continued: "He needs to start looking at himself, 'I have to get in better positions here. I need to think about my defensive side'."

Hoddle believes Maguire could take a leaf out of the book of John Stones. The Manchester City defender has been outstanding for the Premier League leaders this season.

Hoddle went on: "Let's take a look at John Stones - who has been absolutely brilliant for me.

"He was out of the team. He was never going to get back into the England squad. He was all over the place as a player. He had stuff outside the game that was affecting him.

"He couldn't concentrate.

"It looked like his career was going south. Well, he's now turned it around. So Harry Maguire, who was partner with him (Stones) at the World Cup, has only have to look at that.

"He needs to get back on the horse and say 'look, defend first. I'm a good footballer. I can bring the ball out. I can use it. I can hit crossfield passes. I can take midfield players out with my passing. But now I must be a defender first'.

"He needs to sort out when there's a risk and get right his positional play."

Hoddle believes Maguire is best suited in a formation of three at the back - which is something United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has employed this season.

"For me, I'd play him in a centre of a three," he added. "I think he gets dragged out playing in a four and he gets dragged out in wide positions. He also receives the ball in wide positions, which cuts down his options.

"He doesn't like to go into those wide positions to defend, which happens in a four - especially if your fullbacks are flying forward. Put him in the centre of a back three.

"But he needs to get back to defending. And he needs to look at John Stones, who's a great example."

Listen to this week's full episode of 'The Glenn Hoddle Footy Show' - a Tribal Football partner - below:

Click here to visit the full archive of 'The Glenn Hoddle Footy Show'.

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Paul Vegas

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