Tuesday 18 October 2016

Bailly growing game by game and Herrera can become Jose's next captain

Often overlooked by Louis van Gaal for lacking defensive nous, Ander Herrera is staking a claim to become Mourinho's next United captain.

I've also been one of Herrera's critics.

I've always felt he's got plenty in his locker without us ever really seeing what he can do, I've felt that he's lacked identity and struggled to consistently showcase his undoubted talents.

He was simply magnificent on Monday at Anfield, however, being named as our man of the match in what was an excellent team performance.

Playing alongside the also impressive Marouane Fellaini, Herrera's tenacity and box-to-box  energy was symptomatic of our performance on the night.
He protected his defence superbly and everything United did went through him: a picture of calmness and composure in possession and a bundle of energy and intensity off it. 

With Wayne Rooney no longer a first team regular and 35 year old Michael Carrick in the twilight of his career, the club will need to start thinking about the next skipper and Herrera must surely be in contention.

Chris Smalling may have had the armband against Liverpool but Herrera was captain in all but name.
Cajoling and ordering his team mates about, squaring up to Liverpool players and giving ref Anthony Taylor an earful, Herrera fought for the Red cause on enemy territory in the same way a Keane, a Neville or a Vidic would have done.

He speaks of the club in the way that trio used to, he embodies what his manager wants and is regarded as a popular and respected figure amongst his colleagues.
The question of where he should play and his best position need to be settled and a decision on the captaincy will surely wait until next season but Herrera must be pushing towards the front of that queue.

Eric Bailly was the least well known and most unheralded of Jose's summer signings but he was man of the match in three of his first four United outings and looks like he's been playing there all his life.

He's impressed to such an extent that there have been comparisons to club legends Steve Bruce and Nemanja Vidic and he has all the attributes to be mentioned in the same breath as them. 

In his first experience of a Liverpool-United fixture, the Ivorian shone again alongside Chris Smalling with the ineffective Daniel Sturridge reduced to the periphery. 

He arrived at Old Trafford a relative unknown but 22 year old Bailly looks set to be an integral figure at the back for this United side for years to come. 

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