A frustrating streak continues for the gunners not having won a league game at the Old Trafford since 2006. The frustration levels were at par on the other side too, being winless in the last 4 league games and stranded at a disappointing 8th position at the table. This was very much on display on a BT sport show with Paul Scholes being critical about his former club’s current midfielder Ander Herrera.
The former midfielder portrayed what it takes to represent the red devils and questioned the quality of the Spaniard. This came at the backdrop of a decent showing at the south coast where he scored the all-important equaliser going into half-time but was found guilty of not executing a possible 30-yard ball to Pogba which drew the attention of the pundit.
Paul Scholes, being a prolific midfielder himself, one of the best of his times, has created a fair bit of stature for himself since becoming a pundit at BT sport. This has also seen him fall prey to criticism by Jose Mourinho over the time.
After Pogba was dropped for the arsenal game, the onus, once again was on a rather timid midfield to deliver. Herrera had an “unquestionable” outing indeed where he not only assisted an important goal but also made 48 passes (Third-most for a united player in the game) with 92% accuracy. 7 of those passes were into the attacking third and only thrice did he pass backwards being in the attacking third, one of which was the assist. He was seen upping his defensive game as well with the most number of tackles (5) and most interceptions (6) to his name.
After the devils were held for a 2-2 draw on Saturday, there were shots fired at the mediocre display of the midfield with Scholes being the pick of them. “You have to question the quality of the player,” Scholes’ voice on BT Sport .
When asked about Herrera s capability to play that ball, Scholes reverted by saying :
“Now, he’s in 15-20 yards of space, it’s probably a 30-yard ball – a simple ball – if he’s not good enough to play that ball then he shouldn’t be at this club.”
Amidst all the criticism, Scholes’ former teammate and current colleague at BT sport, Rio Ferdinand was the mercy of the Spaniard Ander Herrera. He denounced the lack of confidence being the reason for such inconsistent showings of the club.
“It is an easy ball and when you hear Paul Scholes say that… he was a player who could put the ball on a sixpence from anywhere on the pitch, but when you look at that pass it’s not a difficult ball to play. I think it’s confidence,”
The former England defender said. “When you’re not confident, a five or 10-yard ball to the right-back from the centre-half position can be an awkward ball at times because you think: ‘I don’t want it to go out, the fans are going to get on my back, it’s live on TV – I’m going to play it back to the goalkeeper’.”
So, a disappointing season indeed, but the fans and the experts need to be wary of the environment within the team. Every player has it in him, the hunger to out there get the job done for his team. But the execution and the result always, is the by-product of the confidence and skill-set of every individual. Now, as we move on, don’t expect this season to be banter-free anymore. Swords will be drawn and it entirely lies on the players how they shield themselves.