Ray Wilkins explains the flaw he sees in Daley Blind

Old Trafford Statues

Former Manchester United midfielder Ray Wilkins has criticised Daley Blind for his positional play against Everton.

Former Manchester United midfielder Ray Wilkins explained on talkSPORT a fault he saw in Daley Blind during the game against Everton last weekend.

United were beaten 3-0 at Goodison Park and Wilkins was critical of Blind’s position, suggesting that he was too high up the pitch, which left Louis van Gaal’s team exposed when they lost the ball.

“On the first goal, if you look at Daley Blind, he was running backwards – When you’re the holding midfielder, you shouldn’t ever be running backwards, you should be coming forward as the first point of contact,” said Wilkins.

The main job of any holding midfielder is to sit and protect the defence, distributing the ball through midfield, out to the wings or up front when the defence wins back possession.

The reason a holding player can’t get too high up the pitch is because he’ll leave space in behind, which a clever team will look to exploit.

It leaves the centre backs exposed and gives an opposition space to counter attack, stretching those central defenders, which creates even more space for those running forward to exploit across the back four.

It’s surprising considering Blind has been one of the club’s most consistent players this season.

A possible explanation could be simply the pressure that United were trying to create at the start of the game, which forced the whole side higher up the pitch.

Hopefully United will have learnt their lesson heading into the game against West Brom, with the pressure still on for United to make sure they secure Champions League football for next year.

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