Harry Maguire’s first trophy could be the end of his Manchester United career David Hytner

YESt is when it is not kept, often away from public view, when the joy and original jauntiness of winning the cup is laid. There was Jadon Sancho, who came on as an 83rd-minute substitute in Manchester United’s 2-0 Carabao Cup final win over Newcastle, who left Wembley on Sunday night with a ghetto explosion. fear, which has changed a lot from the usual headphones. .

For a few seconds, Wout Weghorst, who was holding the court, sank. The player, who was on loan from Burnley in January, has a United old school shirt on his club shirt and a red cap in his hand. He was asked what he had to say at the end of December about winning the cup with United; the beginning of his career. “Deal,” he replied, beaming.

Weghorst started the game, helped set up the second goal and if the goals don’t go to him himself – he has one in 12 games for United – but the team is on the move it will take all day. “I’ve scored a lot of goals in the past and I’ve never won a trophy,” he said. Weghorst caught it all by surprise.

Before that, there was Sir Alex Ferguson who criticized the players, where the journalists were waiting to talk to the players. Seeing Manchester’s pack, he tore one of them apart. “Haven’t you written yet?” He said (to be removed) and it was only love and prejudice from the former manager of the club. Not there?

Into all this went Harry Maguire. The captain of the club, as he mentioned himself more than once, just won the first cup of his life. His family were standing by and the win went some way to making up for the disappointment of his last game with United – a Europa League penalty shoot-out against Villarreal in 2021. He got to lift the trophy and his fans celebrated for the first time. . cup since 2017.

Maguire wanted to talk to him, to get on board with the Weghorst vibe. But this is not the full story for him or how he will be thinking about it when he signs from Leicester for £80m in 2019.

The centre-back came on as an 88th-minute substitute, his regular days since, Erik ten Hag ended after the first two games in charge earlier this season. And the glory of the cup came as a double match with Bruno Fernandes, who led the team in the beginning.

Bryan Robson (centre) and Steve Bruce with the Premier League trophy in 1993. Photos: Action Photos/Action Photos/Reuters

For United fans of another generation, it recalls Ferguson’s first two Premier League titles in 1993 and 1994 with Bryan Robson still at the club. Robson was 36 years old and not an automatic choice when the first one was won. He was the captain of the club who did not start working regularly, but due to his persistence he took these two cups together with the captain of the team, Steve Bruce.

It’s not a bad thing to mention in the context of Robson, but for Maguire it might be in this instance. Because when Robson lifted that piece of silverware, it was a strong performance at Old Trafford. He left the club in the summer of 1994.

“I don’t have any mixed emotions,” Maguire said. “It’s a really good day for the club and the fans. I am the captain of the club and my main job is to move this club forward and bring back success and this is part of it.

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“I’m a football player who likes to play games and I want to lead the boys out of the hole at the beginning. But I also understand that this is part of football when you play at the first level and you have a lot of competition for places. It’s a good day for the club and for me, a proud day for my family.”

Maguire is aware of his position in the Ten Hag pecking order, which is firmly behind the first choice midfielder – Raphaël Varane on the right; left-footed Lisandro Martínez on the left. “The lads who are playing and starting… Rapha is playing well and we’ve seen the manager’s ideas, he wants a left-footed full-back,” Maguire said.

Ten Hag have preferred left-back Luke Shaw over Maguire at left-back since the World Cup. It left Maguire in a battle with Victor Lindelöf to be the fourth choice, which he did not always win. For the 29-year-old Englishman, the situation is unlikely and a summer transfer is the only solution.

In the meantime, though, as on Sunday, Maguire must put on a brave face, focus on the things that matter and his role in the partnership; drive on starters, always ready for the call.

“This is Manchester United,” he said. “We want to win trophies, big trophies, and to do that you need to compete for places.

“The coach talks to me every day, he respects me a lot and he believes that I am a great midfielder with all the qualities that I will play in his team. But he also understands that the players who play play well. .

“The kids who don’t play – including me – push those who do. That’s what a great club is all about. What is being built here is why we won one tournament and we are still in the other three.”

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