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Ander Herrera

Mame Biram Diouf

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has reacted angrily to questions over the future of midfielder Ander Herrera.
United paid £29m to bring Herrera to Old Trafford from Athletic Bilbao in the summer and he has scored three goals in 14 appearances for the club.
However, the 25-year-old has not started a game since December 2, leading to speculation about his standing at the club.
"Three weeks ago it was (Radamel) Falcao. Next week it will be about (another) player who is not playing. It is unbelievable."
“You are always asking about the player who is not playing,” he said.
“Three weeks ago it was (Radamel) Falcao. Next week it will be about another player who is not playing. It is unbelievable.
“I can only line up 11 players.”
When Herrera’s £29m price tag was mentioned, Van Gaal insisted that should not be an issue in whether he plays or not.
“It is not so interesting that you talk about the pounds (fee paid),” he added.
“Paddy McNair is also important and he cost nothing, so I do not agree.
“I am not discussing this (the omission of Herrera) with you.”




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best thing that can happen is for him to get sent down for match fixing that way united can cash in on that insurance money

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not for me jeff


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Ander Herrera’s passion for football shines through everything he does and says, whether enthusing about Manchester United or his beloved Real Zaragoza, whether coaching a group of schoolgirls at Old Trafford this week or debating fans’ issues.
It is easy to see why the 25-year-old midfielder has become so popular so quickly with United supporters since signing for £29m from Athletic Bilbao last summer. It is not only Herrera’s substantial impact when given a chance by Louis van Gaal, playing his clever forward passes, scoring five times, giving everything for the team, even clearing off the line. Herrera has also been embraced because he is a model professional who thinks like a fan.
Eloquent in English, the Spaniard occasionally slipped into his native tongue during this interview, specifically using “ilusion” to explain his hopes and dreams. “The word ‘ilusion’ is a little bit different to ‘illusion’ in English. ‘Ilusion’ for me is like when I dream. I like to dream, to imagine how good it would be to win something here at United, to play Champions League at Old Trafford. I love football. I’m a crazy football guy.
“My passion is football. Once when my mum made me a present of a toy car, I said: ‘Thank you, mum, but I don’t want it. I want football shirts, boots, kit.’ My mum still has a big bag with shirts from all the teams in all the world.’’
The youngster acquired these when his father, Pedro Maria Herrera, a former player working as technical secretary at Zaragoza, was on scouting missions abroad. “When my dad was travelling to Argentina, I said: ‘Dad, get me a shirt from Independiente, River Plate or Boca Juniors.’ My dad had to do it. My heart is from Real Zaragoza but I love everything football.’’
Zaragoza features frequently in Herrera’s conversation. “I’m a little bit of a footballing romantic. You have to support your local team – always. My idols were Gus Poyet and Nayim. You can admire players from the biggest teams but my idols were from Real Zaragoza. They were my team, are my team, and will be my team always. You can change your wife, you can change your girlfriend but you cannot change your football team.
“My dad played 200 games in the first division in Spain but not in very big clubs - Real Zaragoza, Celta Vigo and Salamanca. When I was young my dad worked in Real Zaragoza, as technical secretary. He had to watch games and sometimes when he was travelling, watching another game, he called me when I was six or seven. ‘Ander, can you look at Manchester United v Everton. Look at the No 7.’ I put the TV on at home, watched this game and after I told my dad ‘I like this player’ or ‘I don’t like that player’. I give you that game as an example! Real Zaragoza couldn’t sign players from Manchester United!”
He is admirably frank. “I speak what I feel. I don’t like when I hear my team-mates or players talking like ‘I feel good, the game was difficult, but we have to improve’. That’s normal. We can give something more for people. Every game we have 80,000 people in Old Trafford and away, 4,000, 5,000 and they want something more from us. They want our feelings.
“My passion is football but I started to study journalism. If you ask me if my future is going to be as a sports journalist, I say ‘no!’ If I didn’t play football, I’d maybe do travel journalism like National Geographic. I follow National Geographic on Instagram. One of the things I’d like to do after football is travel as much as possible. Africa is one of the continents I’d like to visit a lot. I’d like to do a safari.’’
Herrera has hinterland and a conscience. He enjoyed helping out at a Manchester United Foundation event on Monday, joining Radamel Falcao for a coaching session of pupils from Astley Sports College, Dukinfield, on a small pitch next to the car-park in the shadow of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand. As the statue of the great man looked down, Herrera and Falcao ignored the howling gale to conduct some drills, aiming to encourage more girls aged 14 and older to play football.




Afterwards, the pair walked into the Salford Suite near the museum for a Q and A with the pupils. Herrera leant forward in his chair, listening intently to each question, before telling them that his “dream came true” when United signed him, that the player he admires most is “Lionel Messi”, giving a polite “sorry” to any “Cristiano Ronaldo fans” in the room, and also predicting how Adnan Januzaj will “become a very important player for the club”.
Herrera liked the interaction. “Football is for fans,’’ he continued, returning to the interview. “In England, you all are doing very, very well for fans. When I arrived, I saw there are no televised games at 3pm on Saturday so lower-division teams don’t suffer from the live game of a top club. It’s perfect.
“I was surprised when we had to wait 30 minutes for the game with Cambridge to start because their fans were delayed. That was fantastic. In Spain games can be 11pm, sometimes on Monday. It’s not normal for kids. Kids have to go to school. In England, fans are put first. In Spain, fans are not put first. I hope it can be better in the next years.
“The organisation in England is very, very good. Even the FA Cup is fantastic. You play against everyone! It’s an open draw. You can play Cambridge away, Cambridge at home. It’s very exciting for everyone. In Spain, if you are a lower team you can win one (first-leg) game against Real Madrid but you then have to play in Bernabeu in Copa del Rey. It’s not so exciting like in England.”
He’s delighted that United fans have taken to him. “They remember the Europa League games!’’ smiled Herrera, recalling Athletic’s home-and-away triumph over United in 2012. “We played very, very well. But now I think they respect me because I want to work, I want to play for United as much as possible.’’ He has started only half his 18 games. “I want to play always from the off but this is Manchester United! This is not easy! We are 25 players who have great quality.”
He then interjected during a question about seeming a “humble” individual. “No, no, no. I understand the word. I am not ‘humble’.” He’s very ambitious. “I want to play as much as possible in Manchester United but I will not arrive here and say ‘I have to play’.
“I want to win trophies with United. I want to be a very important player here but maybe only three or four players in the world can do it in five months. The rest of us have to work, improve and learn not only from team-mates but from everyone. I study everything.
“I have MUTV at home and sometimes I watch the legends. I watch Paul Scholes. I watch how he plays a long pass, side to side. Unbelievable. He has character, passion. Everyone in the squad I asked about Scholes told me he’s quiet, very shy but he was a leader. He spoke only a bit but when he spoke everyone listened to him. That’s the most important characteristic in a leader.
“Maybe it was not the best thing to be speaking about him because now everyone is comparing us! Scholes had a much better long pass than me. I have to improve this characteristic. I am getting better, scoring goals, getting involved in the box, to have chances to score. But I have to learn a lot from Scholes.
“I wish I can play always 90 minutes but sometimes I have to help for only one minute - like against QPR. I am conscious of where I am. I am in Manchester United, the club with the biggest history in England. I have to wait for my moment. But when my moment comes, take advantage of it and enjoy it.”




United fans constantly debate Herrera’s best position, whether deeper or as a No 10. “I am going to tell you about this topic but I must say (emphasise) that I just want to play. Of course, sometimes you prefer one position than another but now I am not in the best moment to decide my best position! I am going to play when and where the manager wants.
“I played No 10 in Athletic last season but I can play also right side, left side. With Marcelo Bielsa, we played with almost two (central midfielders) and I played more free than Ander Iturraspe. But I can play No 10, No 8. With Ernesto Valverde last season, I played two or three games right side. I want to help always.
“In Spain, the game is honest like here but here it is more physical. The game is not stopping. Teams prioritise attack rather than control the ball. Sometimes they prefer to lose the ball because if they win the ball back they have more space to attack. This is one of the biggest qualities of the teams in the England. They cannot stop. Sometimes I watch games when one team is winning, the ball is far away and they go running to play again. This is fantastic for the fans.”
He talked admiringly when asked about United’s attacking talent. “Wayne Rooney is unbelievable. He’s one of the biggest players in the world and always wants to play. Against Cambridge away. Against Yeovil Town away. Even when he had a big problem with his toe, he never missed one training session. He never missed one run. He’s always helping others.
“I knew him from Spain of course. He’s WAYNE ROONEY. He’s the biggest player in England. When I arrived here, I asked Juan (Mata) and he told me: ‘Wayne always trains, he always works hard, he always fights hard for the team.’ I can learn from him as well as I can learn from Scholes.
“Falcao is similar to Wayne in his character. He’s very, very humble. Last season, before the injury, he was maybe the best striker in the world. He had a very, very bad injury in his knee and he had a very difficult eight months. Now he’s getting better. He never misses one training session – the same as Wazza. He’s trying to help the team always. He’s always in good positions in the box. Maybe he’s the best header of the ball in the world. We are going to enjoy him, I am sure.
I’m very pleased to play with him. He made me lose the Europa League (when Atletico Madrid beat Athletic in the 2012 final)! Now he’s my team-mate
As for Robin van Persie, Herrera observed: “When he plays with his back to goal, he holds the ball up for the team. His ‘orientation control’ is good - controlling the ball when it comes at an angle. He is always making feints to lose the defender. When the ball is in front of the goal with Van Persie, it is 99%, 100% goal.”
Herrera’s compatriot, David de Gea, must be busy in training, contending with such talent, and also impressing on match-day. “David can become the best goalkeeper in the world. Maybe at this moment David is. Manuel Neuer doesn’t receive so many shots because Bayern (Munich) is much, much better than the other teams in Germany. Here in England, they test David and he makes fantastic saves. He’s also very good with the ball. When one centre-back passes the ball to him, he can change the play to the other side. Unbelievable.
“You ask me about players but we are one team. Our manager is always telling us ‘we are a team’. Everyone has to improve. We want to be in the top four at the end of the league. I’m optimistic because we are improving. We have a very, very exciting three months because we can be in the Champions League next season, we can fight for the FA Cup and we can make our fans happy. They are always supporting us. It is unbelievable. When we lose away against Swansea, everyone is applauding us.” Herrera loves that backing, echoing his passion for the game.




Great interview

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  • 2 weeks later...

Prob cos he was shit

  • Upvote 2
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the 25-year-old has revealed he has been forced to adapt his game under the former Barcelona boss after initially incurring his wrath for not waiting to be given possession by his team-mates.

"We keep our distance. He seems to be a good guy, with a character that strikes you from the first moment, but he has a good background," he told El Pais.

"He likes discipline and does not believe in egos in the dressing room, but that everybody are equal under his rule. And with me he talks about what he wants from me.

"He loves possession and he doesn't like being at risk of losing the ball. He wants long stretches of possession and keeping the ball because he believes spaces are created that way because the team has the quality to find them.

"In fact, at the start he was angry at me because I was trying to get the ball, because I always wanted to have it. And no, I must wait."

Herrera was also asked to compare Van Gaal with former Athletic coach Marcelo Bielsa, and claimed the current Marseille manager was far more attack-minded.

He admitted, though, that current Athletic manager Ernesto Valverde is the most balanced coach he has played under and praised his ability to maintain a happy dressing room.

Asked if Van Gaal and Bielsa were opposites in their philosophies, he said: "In attack yes because Van Gaal believes in numerical advantages on the wings, in triangles, in not running with the ball. And Bielsa linked to have the ball to attack.

"But he believes in the player's movement, beating the lines and breaking into the space. In fact, we knew of Bielsa that his perfect goal was one that arrives from a cross from a ful-back and the other full-back shoots. He liked to attack with six or seven.

"But yeah, Van Gaal and Bielsa are masters of the ball. Although for me Valverde is the most balanced coach because he knew when to attack and how to do it according to the opposition and the pithces. Also he is the best in man management because everybody was involved, participated and happy.

"And I don't forget about [Javier] Aguirre [Herrera's coach at Real Zaragoza], who was most focused on the result but still was attacking because he always wanted to win. Or [Luis] Milla [Herrera's coach for Spain U21s]. I feel very fortunate because none of those gambled and I like attacking football."

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