It was a huge surprise to many Manchester United fans, whether in attendance at Old Trafford last night for their Champions League encounter with FC Basel or not, to see Ander Herrera omitted from the squad, with Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick selected for the bench behind starters Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic.
Herrera picked up the Player of the Year award at United last season, but the arrival, and effect on the team, of Matic in particular has meant that he has only made two appearances for United so far, and his exclusion last night is of significant interest, as whilst Mourinho played down the omission, it shows where he feels Herrera is in the grand scale of things. Mourinho said, when asked about leaving Herrera out, “No reasons to be out…..We are playing only with two midfield players, with Matic and Pogba, which are playing really well and without reason to change.”
“The only match that we decide to play with three (versus Stoke City) he played.”
“Today we went back to two again and I had on the bench Carrick and Fellaini, which were also important players in the last season”
However, Paul Pogba’s injury picked up last night, where he left the stadium on crutches, means that Herrera may well get a swift chance to reclaim a starting berth for United, with United having three games in six days, starting with Everton at home on Sunday.
MANCHESTER UNITED – NEXT 6 FIXTURES
- 17/9/17 vs Everton (H) – Premier League
- 20/9/17 vs Burton Albion (H) – League Cup
- 23/9/17 vs Southampton (A) – Premier League
- 27/9/17 vs CSKA Moscow (A) – Champions League
- 30/9/17 vs Crystal Palace (H) – Premier League
- 14/10/17 vs Liverpool (A) – Premier League
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