Daley Blind has had a real impact on fans since joining Manchester United for bringing some class back into the midfield but Gary Neville has called on the Dutch midfielder to start playing more attack minded passes.
On Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, Neville analysed Blind’s contribution to the derby and in taking a look at Robin van Persie, he singled out Blind for overlooking the final pass.
“I think Daley Blind has got to start looking up more and playing forward,” Neville said.
“He plays far too many square passes and takes the easy option.”
Blind was schooled by Ajax and threading the final ball will be second nature to him so you can understand where Neville is coming from in that respect, but that is not currently his job for United.
As the midfield anchor, Blind’s prerogative is ball retention and making sure the opposition aren’t in possession. Creating chances isn’t his responsibility.
Neville uses the example of when Blind could have slid an outside of the boot pass in a gap between two City defenders for Van Persie. It was a pass which Blind may have been able to make but on the flip side, what would have happened had he tried and failed? City would then have hit United on the counter with Blind out of position and may have gone on to score. It’s something Neville overlooks in this situation.
Blind is currently one of the last United players who fans will criticise given how poorly some others around him are playing. With Michael Carrick coming back into the team, Blind may soon find himself in a more advanced midfield role and if that does end up happening, then you could expect to see more creative risk being taken by the Dutchman.
Until then, Blind’s job is to keep United ticking and moving.