Ander Herrera has expressed his support for Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, hailing the Portuguese for the way he protects his players.
The Spaniard enjoyed his finest season yet in a Man United shirt under Mourinho last year, earning the the ‘Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year’ award in May.
He has only featured sporadically this season, however, making just five Premier League starts, and attracted criticism from his boss for blaming his players for a lack of desire following last month’s 2-1 defeat to Huddersfield Town.
But Herrera, speaking to Panenka Magazine, has noted that the media’s depiction of Mourinho as a surly, occasionally petulant character does not translate to how he acts with his players.
“Mourinho is another,” he said. “You can talk about everything with him and he is much closer with the players than it appears in front of the media.”
“He assumes that role to remove some of the pressure from the players and to protect the team.”
Many feared that Mourinho’s minor public exchange with Herrera at Huddersfield shed light on an unhappy dressing room already suffering from a general atmosphere of disquiet that has often hallmarked the latter stages of Mourinho’s spells at various clubs.
But we also forget that, just a month before, the team at Mourinho’s disposal was being described as the best in the post-Fergie era.
Herrera’s comments, therefore, should serve as a reminder to all of us to, well, just relax a bit, as the Portuguese advised following the win over Tottenham Hotspur.
United are not in a crisis; Mourinho isn’t looking for the next plane to Paris; there is no changing room mutiny developing. And as far as I’m concerned, things are looking up following the international break, wth Paul Pogba and Marcos Rojo set to return to the squad.