Some time a go I read an article in which Raheem Sterling declared himself to be a goal machine after his Old Trafford failings where Spanish Dave deployed goalkeeping beast mode on the self proclaimed legend.
I looked up the stats, he’s scored 5 since then, I read the article again to make sure I’d not allowed sleep depravation to influence my interpretation of it, turned out it hadn’t, the young tool had in that way that Liverpool players do overhyped himself to a level that beggared belief, but it got me thinking, who at a United if anyone is having the season where their displays would justify that sense of self worth young Raheem is cursed/blessed with (delete as appropriate) and despite the justifiable midfield mentions for Fellaini, Carrick & Mata on recent form, only 1 name justified that level of faith in them to deliver when it mattered, and for me that was Mr Herrera.
You look at each period of the season where we’ve strung together performances that haven’t had you mentally scrolling back to the late 80’s to think of a worse time and that man’s beat the heartbeat of it.
Can he get amongst it and get a foot it when the game needs it? Slippy G’s reaction to Ander’s determination to win the ball showed he’s zero fucks to give about the opponent, if you’ve the ball he’ll do what’s needed to get it back so he and his team mates can implement the will of LVG on the game, it’s not spectacular but it’s vital!
Can he hit the net? He can and does so frequently! Will he ever be a 15 goal a season man? No, most likely he won’t, but the 5 to 10 he’s capable of getting will work wonders in supporting the team and its efforts to get back among the challengers for significant honours, it’s something we’ve been without for some time now, so the arrival of someone who can deliver is a huge boost.
Can he spread the play effectively? Hell yeah, about as well as western ignorance helped spread Ebola through Africa, he boasts both skills, the ability to play the possession retention pass when the killer ball isn’t on, but when it is on he can deliver it beautifully and regularly, I suspect I’ll be having “alone time” moments at the thought of his pass to Mata for his first goal at Anfield until Alzheimer’s robs me of that beautifully formed memory.
Perhaps the best element of the man is that he does all this with a strong desire to see United do well and achieve great things, despite being of Basque origins he plays with a pride of the shirt that shows how much love he has for what it means to play in it.
This was as far as I got in writing up the man’s work this season on the way home Friday, I had a feeling there’d be something to add from Saturday’s game, oh how he did.
Everything above all highlighted and emphasised over a 90 minute masterclass where he delivered a performance level we’ve not seen since the Ginger prince was in his pomp!
In my eyes at least there’ll never be another in the same league as Scholes, he was the best I’ve seen in a United shirt in my time as a red, but if young Ander can keep applying himself as he has done in his debut season throughout the rest of his United career, then I’m truly excited about how far he and the club could go.