Brandon Williams Praises The Leadership And Professionalism Of Harry Maguire

The Manchester United defender speaks to The Sportsman about Maguire, his injury and more
12:07, 20 Sep 2022

Manchester United defender Brandon Williams has come to the aid of under-fire captain Harry Maguire, highlighting the level of professionalism he shows on a daily basis amidst all the scrutiny.

The England international has found himself out of the Red Devils’ starting lineup in the Premier League over the past few weeks, with his performances analysed more intently than ever by the media and supporters.


But his teammate Williams has revealed that despite all the noise, Maguire goes into training to give his all as a player and skipper, paying no attention to all the negative attention that swirls around him.

Speaking exclusively to The Sportsman, Williams says: “Harry will go into training a hundred percent every day. Harry will give, whether he’s starting the game, whether he’s not starting the game, one hundred per cent. 

“We don't care about the outside world because the only thing that matters is the opinions on the inside. The opinions on the inside are the most important. 

“If you're doing well in training, who’s some little idiot sat on Twitter that’s going to tell you that you shouldn't be starting a game. Who is he? I genuinely don't get it. Harry is a top fella. Top captain and top player.”

Williams, 22, is currently out of action as he recovers from a back injury, but he is eager to return when he is 100 per cent fit to better his chances of returning to first-team action.

Brandon Williams
Brandon Williams

He reveals: “Some of these things can be difficult sometimes. You have got to be careful with them because if you come back and it's not sorted, and you have two games, that is not enough to impress people. You can have a bad game and that might be your first game back, but people might not accept you.”

Following United’s upturn in results and performances since two defeats at the start of the season, the left-back will find it difficult to barge his way back into the starting lineup with summer signing Tyrell Malacia excelling so far to keep even Luke Shaw off the pitch.

The defender hopes that he can show new boss Erik ten Hag what he is all about when he is fit and raring to go.

"For me it's just about getting back to my hundred percent, showing the manager what I can do and going into training and proving that to him. 

 “It's easier said than done saying ‘I can do this and I can do that’. It's about showing it and putting it onto the field and putting it into matches so I'm just really excited to do that.”

Along with all the heavy criticism directed towards Maguire, the United squad as a whole have been subjected to many negative stories in the press over the last year and Williams accepts they emerge because of the club’s stature.

He says: “With a club of this size, a lot of stories come out. So the stories that come out when United don't lose, the papers need stories to bring out to make the league interesting because it's one of the biggest clubs in the world.

“I had an interview at the start of the season where I told people I'm the best dresser. And Cristiano [Ronaldo] comes in now and says, ‘Oh, you're the best dresser? You're the best dresser? But you come in tracksuits everyday?’"

"It might not be a big deal to him but for me, it's a big deal because I know I’m the best dresser.”

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

Adding to his comments around Ronaldo, Williams reveals that the Portuguese superstar does not have the negative impact on the dressing room that some people would have you believe.

He says: “I wasn't there when he first came back, but since I've come back, he's been a massive influence. He always talks to me. He makes sure that he doesn't leave anybody out. He just talks to everybody. He's not ‘I'm the superstar here, I'm not going to talk to anyone.’ 

“He gives me advice. He talks to me. He has a joke with me. It's just normal stuff. When you have a colleague that's a footballer because at the end of the day, he's a colleague of mine.”

And while things look to be improving under Ten Hag on and off the pitch, Williams will always have a sentimental attachment to one of his predecessors. It may almost be a year since Ole Gunnar Solskjær was relieved of his duties at Old Trafford, but the youngster will always be grateful to the Norwegian coach for giving him his Red Devils breakthrough.

He reveals: “He’s obviously someone that I'll remember for the rest of my career, my family will remember for the rest of my career. It changed their lives and it changed my life. He gave me the trust and that's all you need in a manager.”

Williams may have been on loan at Norwich City when United made the change, but he was quick to show his gratitude to Solskjær for handing him his chance.

“I sent him a good text. He told me that if I keep concentrated and I keep willing to do what I want to do, then I'll get to the top. And that's a trust that he has in me.”

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