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Ander Herrera Offers A Comically Scathing Assessment Of The England Football Team

Ander Herrera Offers A Comically Scathing Assessment Of The England Football Team
By Gavan Casey
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England face Spain in an international friendly at Wembley on Tuesday evening, and Manchester United's Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera has endeared himself further to football fans with a swift but emphatic takedown of England and their major tournament shortcomings.

In a typically fascinating interview with the Daily Mail, and when asked by Pete Jenson of his first memories of the England team, he didn't provide the usual 'they're a great team' answer one has grown to expect from foreign imports to England.

Herrera said of England:


Owen, Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard, Beckham, Cole, Terry... World-class players, but when it came to big championships I haven't seen them.

I have spoken to Rooney a lot. He's very optimistic; he always says, "Next time, we'll win it . . . the generation we have". Now he says to me that the Russia World Cup will be the one.


The 27-year-old Basque midfielder waxed lyrical about Rooney earlier in the interview, and dismissed any notion of unrest in Manchester United's camp in a season which has seen José Mourinho come under extreme scrutiny. Instead, Herrera attributed his upcoming international debut to his club manager, and praised Mourinho for his mental approach with United's players:


We have a saying in Spain: 'You catch the liar before you catch the lame man'. It's true in life and even more so in football. If a coach is not straight, players soon find him out. Mourinho is very straight.
He says what he thinks and he says it to your face. He says it when it is something we will like but he also says it when it is something we won't like.

...Mourinho has given me the opportunity to take on a new position and I feel comfortable with it.
'I'm more defensive now, playing in front of the back four. I think I have that ability to win the ball back quickly when we lose it. I have taken a leap forward at United which has allowed me to get into the national side.

One of United's few stand-out performers this season, Herrera, even when not in United's side for large spells under Louis van Gaal, has always endeared himself to fans with his bullshit-free post-match interviews and admiration for United's away fans in particular.


He revealed to Jenson that he'd love to sit - or stand - alongside United's away support, pausing when he realised it'd mean him missing a game, and officially confirmed what many United fans have long-since suspected; he's part of the Against Modern Football brigade:

Our fans away from home are something else. Hopefully one day [I can join them]...

The support away from home is tremendous and the FA Cup nights are special. I love those grounds like Northampton. I'm with the 'Against Modern Football' and I love those stadiums with the people standing up to watch the games. More people than the stadium capacity, it seems. They make it special.

For his views on Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford and all things United, you can check out the full interview here.

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