TT Says: Herrera within rights to question LVG over United role

Date published: Wednesday 2nd December 2015 12:01

Ander Herrera: Could leave in the summer

Ander Herrera: Could leave in the summer

Ander Herrera claims he is happy with life under Louis van Gaal but Ian Watson believes the Manchester United midfielder would be well within his rights to question his future.

Ander Herrera denied a report on Tuesday that he was becoming frustrated at Manchester United and seeking talks with Louis van Gaal, but few could blame the Spaniard if there is any truth in his supposed disillusionment.

The versatile midfielder has established himself as a firm fans’ favourite at Old Trafford since arriving in the England last summer. So much so that if supporters had to immediately choose between Herrera and Van Gaal, it’s difficult to imagine that many would be in the manager’s camp.

Given the 26-year-old’s character, he was never likely to do anything but profess happiness, but while flitting in and out of the side, he must have questioned his level of involvement this season.

The worry for Herrera is that that Van Gaal doesn’t appear to have anything like the same faith in him that the fans do. This despite the Spaniard sharing similar traits to those of his countrymen Juan Mata and David Silva: composed, creative and clinical. Everything Van Gaal’s team is not.

In the Dutchman’s functional side, there is apparently no place for Herrera’s qualities, even though the former Atletico Bilbao star could play in any of the five midfield slots.

In his favoured position, Herrera is in direct competition to Wayne Rooney. The United skipper has been abysmal this season and his form shows no sign of improving. As the central striker or No.10, Rooney has accrued double the playing time in the Premier League but has failed to match Herrera’s contribution. Both have netted a couple of Premier League goals but Herrera has also provided a pair of assists – two more than the skipper. Last season was a similar story. Herrera scored six goals from seven shots on target and netted every 2.8 shots in comparison to Rooney’s 4.4 shots per goal. Van Gaal has bemoaned the lack of ruthlessness in his side;s finishing, for the most part while Herrera remains sat on the sidelines.

However, as Van Gaal has also openly spoken about, the England star has captain’s privileges and it seems something catastrophic would have to occur for Herrera to get a consistent run as the attacking playmaker.

In the deeper roles, Herrera has been bumped down the queue by the arrivals of Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger. With Michael Carrick plagued by injury of late, Schweinsteiger has established himself as first choice as a severely-restricted midfield orchestrator.

If Rooney is going nowhere and Herrera doesn’t possess whatever Van Gaal is looking for in a No.10, then the Spaniard could certainly operate from deeper on the field. Under almost any other manager, of course.

For now, at least, Van Gaal wants his two base midfielders almost on a leash held by Chris Smalling. Against top-class rivals, that is somewhat understandable, but so often United field two defensively-minded midfielders against far less ambitious opponents.

That is when United need someone to break the opposition lines, which is what Herrera can do.

With either a pass or a dribble, his penetration so often appears to be what United lack. Like Mata, Herrera has more in his armoury to escape tight areas than a backwards pass, but Van Gaal appears dead against the idea of giving either of his two Spaniards a central role.

Like Mata, Herrera’s character also endears him to the United faithful. Herrera either genuinely shares the fans’ love of the club or is very clever with his PR. He talks about wanting to experience an away day with United’s vociferous travelling support and not wanting his United dream to finish. His reaction to the Red Devils’ late winner at Watford suggests the sentiment is genuine.

But such passion will never stir Van Gaal. Rightly or wrongly, the manager prefers automation to emotion and while that remains the case, Herrera’s prospects are unlikely to improve. He might not be the type to bang on the manager’s door but the so-far uncapped midfielder would be well within his rights to knock politely before asking Van Gaal whether he is wasting his time before he turns 27 next summer.

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Home Forums Opinion: Herrera would be right to question LVG over United role

This topic contains 8 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by hatters hatters 1 year, 1 month ago.

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    Ian Watson

    Ander Herrera says he is happy at Man Utd but Ian Watson believes the midfielder would be right to question his future under Louis van Gaal.

    [See the full post at: Opinion: Herrera would be right to question LVG over United role]



    Stop the copy paste. Ian its getting boring now ffs



    I don’t mind the moderators starting threads. No issue there, if you don’t wanna discuss it, don’t go into the thread fergiesarmy.

    As for Herrera, admittedly, he is one of my favourite current United players. He would be one of the first few names on the teamsheet if I was manager. Love his touch, control and vision. He can unlock a defence and watching United at times this season I’ve literally cried out for Van Gaal to get him on the park. I think Herrera was starting to get there though. He seemed to be playinng more regurlarly before his injury against Watford which is really unfortuante for him. I just hope Van Gaal will give him the chance back and won’t bench him again. But it seems that part of the philosophy is that if you’re out for whatever reason, you need to work your back in- usually by showing what you can do off the bench, of you get that chance. Ander normally does take his chance when he gets it and to be fair to LvG, he does then give Ander a run of a few games, but injury or a run of bad team results often has cost him his starting berth. There are many ways Herrera can fit into this time and I wish Van Gaal would simply prioritise finding one of them.



    Herrera, or indeed any player, should talk to manager about his career prospects. That said he should not have to ask. The manager should explain to players why they are not in the team. A players first loyalty in this day and age must be to his family and himself. Clubs will not think twice to sell a player or freeze a player out. Any doubt about that, look at the treatment of Valdes.

    Clubs should have a no comment policy about talks between manager and players. A player should neither confirm nor deny talks. The same for managers eg SAF telling press about transfer request.

    Its no secret anyway. LvG doesn’t like Herrera because he won’t subscribe to his philosophy. Herrera won’t be here long.



    The big question is why LvanBad doesnt have the same standards when judging players? How can Rooney getting gametime and Herrera not? It was the same last year,Rooney in midfield and Herrera benched. Now a year later Rooney´s decline is like an avalanche and the manager still persist with him.



    Rooney probably doesnt question LVG and supports him and he certainly does not play in a way that LVG wont like, no forward runs or exciting play from Wayne 😉


    @steveosnakeeye. Rooney doesn’t question van Gaal?? Is this to say Herrera does because I strongly doubt Herrera is the dissenting type.

    Rooney should be taken out the team for his own good and for the good of all that is meritocracy. The less said about Rooney the better.

    van Gaal better start playing Herrera in every single minute of every game he is available because he is the only midfield player who can link up the play plus he has the best final ball of any player in the team. I still can’t get over how brilliant his first time cross into Memphis was at Watford. Add to that, Herrera has bite, he is mobile, deceptively strong and can make tackles – I remember him controlling the game at Stamford Bridge last season as a holding midfielder FFS!!

    On this point I am not on the fence. Herrera must play. I don’t care if Schweinsteiger or Schneiderlin miss out, Herrera’s name should be the first onto the team sheet after De Gea and Smalling.

    If van Gaal doesn’t wisen up to this he will give the fans another thick stick for him to be beaten with.



    What baffles me about Herrera is that when you play two holding type players as LvG does, you need a mobile number 10 who can get around the pitch, pass and score goals. For me, the only player we have that comes close to ticking those boxes is Herrera. Unfortunately, his career is going the way of Veron. He is showing what he can do in bits and pieces but doesn’t seem to be able to tie down a regular position to show he can do it week in week out. When he does play i always think he has a pass or goal in him and that cant be said for Rooney or Mata when they play 10. He also seems to bring more out of Mata with their combinations. The only thing i can think is that LvG is taking advantage of his enthusiasm and happiness to be playing for the club. And that really pisses me off every time i see Rooney having a stinker. A mate said to me last night could you imagine what a player like Herrera would do under Fergie or Klopp? Not saying he is the greatest player in the world but he clearly has ability and gives 150% every week. That would be most managers ideal player……but unfortunately not LvG.


    @n1xer. You are spot on mate. LvG drops Herrera because he knows he will happily sit on the bench, he loves the club and loves his football – he went mental when we scored the winner at Waford, he almost broke the bench.

    I actually think his talent is massive, he is one of our most naturally gifted players and this Rooney rubbish must end now.

    van Gaal’s pride has already turned many against him and my patience is wearing thin on the Rooney issue. van Gaal is too stubborn to admit that he must drop Rooney and give the armband to Smalling or Schweinsteiger. It’s like he wants Rooney to hit form so he can say “I told you so”.

    Meanwhile the team is suffering as Rooney leaves Martial isolated up front and plays him crappy balls to feed off.

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