Manchester United

Jose Mourinho got what he deserved at Man Utd, and Ander Herrera’s form proves it

Jose Mourinho did a lot wrong whilst he was the manager at Man Utd. The Portuguese’s run, of course, ended with him getting the sack, and truthfully, that was a long time coming.

After a strong first season in England, Mourinho fell off the wagon – as he so often does – and for much of his tenure, it was a case of when, rather than if he was going to get sacked.

Many would point towards his poor man management as the main motivator for his departure. Certainly, in the case of Paul Pogba, he got it wrong. He regularly benched the midfielder, and it’s no surprise that since Mourinho left, Pogba’s taken his game to the next level.

You could also point towards his poor transfer business. Sure, he isn’t involved in the whole process, but he certainly played his part in bringing players like Alexis Sanchez to the club – and that’s gone pretty poorly for the Red Devils.

However, perhaps his biggest issue came in the form of his team selection. As mentioned, he regularly failed to start Paul Pogba, and most fans will have recognised at the time that that was a foolish move.

Another player that rarely got minutes during Mourinho’s final days is Ander Herrera. The Spaniard was the manager’s most important player during his first season, and he was duly rewarded with the club’s Player of the Season award. However, he slowly fell from prominence – until the manager left.

Now, Mourinho is looking foolish once more.

Man Utd’s squad is filled with flair and talent, but it’s an unassuming babyfaced midfielder from Bilbao that is stealing the show – and Jose Mourinho must be rueing his mistakes.

Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ander Herrea has forced his way back into the team, and he’s made Jose Mourinho look foolish all the while. Herrera has become the main man in the heart of the Red Devils’ midfield, and whilst he isn’t a player that will generate headlines or score loads of goals – he’s arguably become their most important man.

Herrera makes an impact at both ends of the field, whether that be in the form of driving forward and making a pass or by hounding players and using his aggression to win the ball back. Indeed, as per WhoScored, he’s averaged 2.5 tackles per game this season, which indicates his influence at the back, whilst his passing accuracy range of over 88% highlights his skill with regards to ball retention.

What Herrera presence allows, too, is the emergence of many of Man Utd’s other stars. With the Spaniard keeping control of the midfield, players like Paul Pogba have been allowed to flourish. Pogba has been directly involved in 11 goals across his last 9 games, and that’s a testament to his ability. He was struggling under Mourinho, as was Herrera, but by bringing them together, Solskjaer has allowed the Man Utd midfield to flourish. He’s got his midfield partner, in part, to thank.

Over the years, Jose Mourinho’s teams have been known for their strength, their aggression and their determination. Those three traits are what Ander Herrera has in droves, and that’s what he displayed during Jose Mourinho’s early days. However, somehow, somewhere along the line, the Spaniard fell out of favour. It’s no surprise that the Red Devils began to struggle without him, and it’s subsequently been no surprise that they’ve improved since he came into the side.

Man Utd’s squad is filled with flair and talent, but it’s an unassuming babyfaced midfielder from Bilbao that is stealing the show – and Jose Mourinho must be rueing his mistakes.

Thoughts?

Jose Mourinho got what he deserved at Man Utd, and Ander Herrera’s form proves it
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