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Insubordinate

Did Ander Herrera refuse to play in defence during dramatic final moments against Leicester?

Gary Neville believes the Spanish midfielder ignored instructions moments before Harry Maguire's late equaliser

Harry Maguire ensured Jose Mourinho’s Christmas would be even more miserable than usual last night.

The Leicester centre-back scored a 94th minute volley to deny Man United victory at the King Power stadium even though Foxes had been reduced to ten men.

The Special One will undoubtedly be kept awake at night by his side’s disorganised defending in the final moments — that and the ghost of Christmas Past.

Jose Mourinho wants a reunion with Eden Hazard at Manchester United

AFP or licensors
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Ebenezer Mourinho

Chris Smalling and Ashley Young were the subject of much criticism after the final whistle as the pair failed to deal with Maguire’s presence at the far post.

However, Gary Neville believes Ander Herrera may have indirectly been at fault for the crucial goal.

The Sky Sports commentator and pundit claims he witnessed an act of subordination from the Spanish midfielder as the game reached its dramatic conclusion.

The decisive moment

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The decisive moment

Speaking on the Gary Neville podcast, the Man United legend said: “Smalling has got to flag up as an experienced defender that he’s struggling, get someone else into the centre.

“It didn’t happen for two or three minutes.

“Then Phil Jones recognised it had happened and tried to reorganise – as I saw it, Ander Herrera refused to go to right-back and told Henrik Mkhitaryan to go back there.

“All of a sudden Smalling sits down on the floor and then goes off the pitch and then comes back on at centre-back. He ends up picking up Harry Maguire.

“You can’t believe the disorganisation and lack of leadership shown by Manchester United at the end of that game in a game they should have won.

“Jose will be furious when he watches that back.”

Didn’t fancy a shift at right-back, Ander?

Reuters
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Didn’t fancy a shift at right-back, Ander?

Did Herrera’s disobedience lead to confusion in the ranks?

Even if the former Athletic Bilbao player was not to blame for the poor defending in the final moments many fans would not be happy with his unwillingness to do a job for the team.

In an ideal team every player would not hesitate to stand up and be counted.

Herrera passed the job onto somebody else and that doesn’t seem like a very Man United thing to do.

Imagine Roy Keane shying away from responsibility? It just wouldn’t happen.

Not in a million years

PA:Press Association
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Not in a million years

It’s possible Neville may have misread the situation but he seemed fairly confident in what he had seen and he’s in a better position to analyse what happens in a Man United defence than most.


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