Ander Herrera’s role in Solskjaer’s United

Manchester United have won 9 out of 10 games since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s appointment as an interim manager and Ander Herrera’s role is a vital factor in United’s revival.

Jose Mourinho had many problems at Manchester United but perhaps he identified one of them too late. Mourinho said that there is a lack of “mad dogs” in the United team, but yet he overlooked the presence of 29-year old Spaniard throughout the start of the season.

Ander Herrera had started only one of the first 11 matches and that was out of position, as a defender in the 3-1 defeat against Tottenham. Herrera was in the first-team of Jose’s last four games as Manchester United manager, but the damage has been done already.

Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, who played his 100th Premier League game, were absolutely re-born with the change of the Red Devil’s manager. They both scored 6 goals each, while Pogba added 5 assists as well.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has completely transformed United and brought back the team spirit and the winning mentality. He has also picked the right players and played them in their preferable position.

Ander has already started as many Premier League games this season under Solskjaer as he did under Mourinho. He has been quietly impressive so far.

Herrera understands his role, noting after the win at Leicester that those ahead of him “feel free” to attack in this system. He and Nemanja Matic are sitting in the United midfield, so they can control the opponent’s attack, while Paul Pogba and the three forwards press up the opponents.

Herrera made the most combined tackles and interceptions of any player on the pitch against Leicester last Sunday. The 29-year-old is averaging more interceptions per 90 minutes this season than any other midfielder in the Premier League.

Another impressive fact is that United have conceded fewer goals than any other team in the Premier League since Solksjaer took over – and two of those went in while Herrera was off the pitch.

Ander Herrera has also covered the most ground of any player on the pitch at Leicester – 12.06 kilometers – just as he did in his previous Premier League appearance in the home win over Brighton. That is the energy that was lacking at United during the early part of the season.

“Ole is very happy with my work, I think, he is giving me a lot of confidence. He knows I can help the team with the ball but also without the ball and to get it back as soon as possible. I think he knows I can work to make all the players feel free.”

He might not be the most celebrated player in this squad, he has become one of the most important in Manchester United’s recent revival. Herrera is expected to sign a contract extension, as his current expires at the end of the season.


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