Gary Neville hits out at Ander Herrera’s poor leadership following Leicester draw

by Leo Nieboer

Gary Neville has hit out at Ander Herrera‘s role in Leicester City’s late equaliser against Manchester United on Saturday.

Confusion in the Man United box begun when Chris Smalling went down with a thigh problem and momentarily came off.

He came back on minutes later, clearly not in a fit state to play, and the visitors duly conceded an injury time equaliser with the Englishman at centre-back and Henrikh Mkhitaryan at right back alongside Victor Lindelof.

And Neville, speaking after the game, has criticised Herrera’s reluctance to go right back to enable Lindelof to fill in for Smalling.

“I’ve talked about Smalling. I saw him go down with his groin about six minutes before just down beneath us on the halfway line,” he said.

“To start with, he’s got to flag up as an experienced defender that I’m struggling. Get Lindelof into the centre, Herrera come back into full-back. It didn’t happen for about two or three minutes.

“And then, Phil Jones I think it was after a corner recognised that it had happened. He then tried to reorganise and pulled Lindelof into the centre and put Herrera to right-back.

“As I saw it, Herrera looked like he actually refused to go to right-back and said to Mkhitaryan, ‘You go back there’. All of a sudden, Smalling then sits down on the floor a couple of minutes later.

“He then goes off the pitch then comes back on in a central defensive area and picks up, or ends up picking up near the back post where Ashley Young is with Harry Maguire – who is the best header Leicester have got.

“You cannot believe the disorganisation, the lack of leadership shown at the end of that game from that Manchester United team in a game that, to be fair, they should have won.”

Herrera was introduced during the latter stages to invoke a sense of control and stem Leicester’s late onslaught, picking the ball off opponents and moving play forward, but he did exactly the opposite.

The solution to Smalling’s injury was simple. Leicester were down to ten men as it was and Lindelof could have shifted to the centre while Herrera, like he has done before on occasions, moved to the right in order to close down Mark Albrighton.

And yet, once again, the Spaniard only seemed to compound the chaotic, directionless nature of United’s finish to the game. His purpose in this Mourinho side is becoming less and less clear with each game that passes this season.

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