Ander Herrera reveals his biggest United regret
Ander Herrera has revealed his regret at the missing item in his luggage as he packs his bags and leaves Manchester United after five years at Old Trafford.
Herrera won the Emirates FA Cup in 2016, plus the EFL Cup and Europa League in 2017, after signing from Athletic Club in 2014, but the medal the 29-year-old fantasised most about eluded the midfielder.
Asked if he was disappointed that he never won the Premier League title, Herrera said: “Of course, because this is the greatest and biggest club in England and that was one of my dreams.
“I have won some trophies but the league is something I wanted to win.”
The Spaniard, however, believes that, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in charge, others in the near future will have the privilege of winning the league crown with United again. While he asks the Reds' support for patience as the manager’s rebuild begins, Herrera doesn’t think United are looking at a lengthy barren period in the years ahead and mentioned Liverpool's wait for a Premier League title.
“I really believe in Ole," he said. "I really believe in Michael [Carrick], Kieran [McKenna], Mike Phelan and in Demps [Mark Dempsey], but I think there is a tough job ahead.
“That is my opinion, as a fan, and as someone who knows the club at the moment. These fans are the best, they are amazing, but they [the team] need time. They need time because this is not going to be from the first day.
“The club will need time, confidence and support. I am sure they will give it but the only thing I ask for them is time because this is not easy. There are examples. Liverpool are probably going to win the Champions League this year, but I am leaving this club and they haven't won one title in the five years I have been here.
"They [Liverpool] have done incredible work but the fans have given them time. That's what this club needs at the moment.
“I am convinced it's not going to be as long [30 years] for United because the right person is ‘at the wheel’. He's the right person so I am convinced it's not going to take 30 years, that's for sure.
“There are some good players and they think there are going to be great players - Mason Greenwood, Jimmy Garner. There are other players who need time because they are still very young. I am optimistic for the future but I ask the fans to give them time. Some of them might tell me to shut up because they have been waiting already.
"I have been here five years, not the five most successful years in the history of the club, but I have won four titles [including the 2016 Community Shield] and lost two finals. In a bad moment for the club, we have won some trophies. It shows how big the club is.
“I hope I am wrong and Manchester United win the next Premier League but the club needs time to work.”
So why is Solskjaer the right man to lead the revolution?
“He is one of the best people I have ever met in football. Everyone loves him in the dressing room. Everyone wants to fight for him,” said Herrera.
“When you have the players behind you and wanting to fight for you, part of the job is done. I believe in karma and if you are a good person, if you are honest and sincere with the players and the fans, sooner or later it will work.
“I think Ole is the right person because he has qualities and knowledge but, also, he is a great man and a great person.”
After a struggle at the start of the season, followed by a rousing start to Solskjaer’s interim term as boss in December, succeeding Jose Mourinho in December and eventually being appointed permanent manager, United’s campaign went into a tailspin.
It meant a low key farewell for Herrera but there are no recriminations.
“We have to take responsibility," he added. "All of us. It's not fair to blame others. When you have a bad season, 75 percent is the responsibility of the players.
“Every one of us has to take responsibility for what we have done wrong. It's very easy when a manager is sacked to blame someone else but it is the fault of every one of us.
“Every player in the dressing room has a responsibility for what has happened this season. We have done bad things. We have done some good things but, for Manchester United, it is not enough. Probably 14 teams, if they are sixth, they are happy, but Manchester United cannot be happy.
“I have been so happy playing for this club, playing for the biggest club, by far, in England and I have enjoyed every moment and I don't have one bad word about anyone. Everyone I have shared this dressing room with wanted to win and they have been great professionals.
“If we are speaking about this last season, I have huge respect for Jose. He tried everything. The first season with him was quite successful. Then we were second and we had a lot of expectation for this season but it's didn't work. Not only because of him because, I repeat, every player has responsibility.
“Playing for this club has been a dream. I have always tried to represent this club always by giving my best. You are not going to hear one bad word about anyone because they don't deserve it.”
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