Mourinho: Matic and Fellaini in Best Form, Carrick and Herrera Need Patience



It’s hard to argue with results. Manchester United sit top of the Premier League, tied with rivals Manchester City, and with some of their best-known players having to settle for a reduced role in the squad.

By Eduard Banulescu

When Manchester United announced their squad for the new season, it was clear that manager Jose Mourinho would have to rotate players if he was to keep everyone in the squad happy. United paid particular attention to strengthening their midfield. A combination of an old favorite and a new addition have forced some of United’s most famous players to settle for a place on the bench more often than not.

paul pogba ander herrera nemanja matic david de gea

Fan favorites Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera are such casualties. Both put in some of the strongest performances of any player in United’s squad last season. Carrick was seen as the team’s lucky charm, with the Red Devils usually at their best with him in the lineup. The aging midfielder was rewarded with a contract extension for his efforts. Meanwhile Ander Herrera was greeted as one of United’s new leaders with many claiming the team had just found its captain for years to come.

They have been replaces in central midfield by Marouane Fellaini and Nemanja Matic, two players Mourinho has put a lot of trust in. Fellaini was one of the Portuguese manager’s early favorites when joining United and a player he always seemed committed to.

He knows Matic very well from his Chelsea days and Manchester United jumped at the opportunity to†transfer the player when his role at the Premier League champions started to decrease.

michael carrick manchester united starting xi

Carrick has yet to start in the league this season. Herrera has made only one appearance. However, Mourinho sent reassurances to the two players, calling them “important to the club” and saying that what is happening now is simply the result of Matic and Fellaini enjoying some of the best football of their careers.

“Ander Herrera was Player of the Season and he’s not starting matches. That’s life in big clubs. We gave him [Carrick] a contract because we think he is a good player. We think he is an important player.”

He is just in a team where at this moment Matic and Fellaini are in the best form that I have ever seen them in. I have never seen Matic play so well and I’ve never seen Fellaini play so well,” the Red Devils’ manager said.

“So he is in a team with these two guys who are playing absolutely phenomenally. For Carrick and for Ander it is just patience because their time will arrive. They are going to be important players for sure.”


Squad depth has been one of the most discussed topics relating to Manchester United this season. Jose Mourinho knows what it’s like to have many of your top players injured or suspended. It happened to him last season when the team was engaged in four different competitions.

The manager says that the players need to take the competition between each other seriously and that each player is likely to get their chance.

“It’s football, it’s a competition,” he told reporters. “We take it seriously. Of course, I’m not playing David [De Gea] or [Eric] Bailly, but if we go to the next round these guys will play and I’ll give rest to others.”

“Our squad is good, but we don’t have 30 players. We have what we have, and with a couple of injuries now with Pogba and [Axel] Tuanzebe, so we need some of the players that played [on Sunday] to play, and we need some of them on the bench, because we need to have a strong team. I know the quality of the Championship and I know if you don’t take the game seriously you are going to lose,” Jose Mourinho concluded.

jose mourinho

Eduard Banulescu is a European football fan, writer and musician. He contributes music, sports and cryptocurrency articles on and He hopes you enjoy the quality of his articles here at The Sports Bank.

Powered by

Speak Your Mind