Jose Mourinho explains why Ander Herrera was benched for Anderlecht game

Manchester United’s Ander Herrera played the starring role in the victory over Chelsea at the weekend, with the Spanish midfielder creating one of the goals and scoring the other. He absolutely bossed the match on both sides of the ball, and looked a shoe-in to keep his place in the side.

However, not according to Jose Mourinho. The coach decided to put Herrera on the bench for this one – but the immediate thought of mine was that it was more for a rest rather than for tactical reasons.

The self-proclaimed Special One was asked about why the 27-year-old had to settle for a spot on the bench for United’s Europa League second leg, and the gaffer has pretty much confirmed that he was saving Herrera for Sunday’s league game against Burnley.

“It is impossible for Herrera to play every match unless you are the only centre-backs we have in the team.” The Daily Mirror quote Mourinho as saying.

Mentally we played against the leaders and it is important to have a bit of rotation.

“Sunday we have another important match against a fresh team.”

“He is fit and is on the bench. We might need him to help us.”

I’m all for rotation, but last night’s game was probably our most important one of the season so far, and to leave Herrera on the bench could have been costly. Without him, our central midfield lacks any real intensity whatsoever, and I understand that he needs rest from time-to-time, but surely Burnley away would’ve been a better time to do that?

Anyway, let’s talk about the positives. Herrera has been superb all season under Mourinho, and he really seems to be flourishing this year. I’ve no doubts that if he keeps putting in these types of dominant performances we’ll make it into the Champions League one way or another.

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