Certain declarations seem absurd. Yet, when backed by instances and shown by stats, one does begin to give them a thought. The great game certainly demands them, but their nature might not necessarily be the most soft-suited and often borders on the polemic, if not outright controversial.
Despite that, the severity of some of these statements, particularly when granted by football analysts, undoubtedly seem more reliant on creating headlines and given to exaggeration.
One such has been delivered by former Tottenham player Garth Crooks, and is surprisingly targeted at Ander Herrera.
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He told BBC Sport: “I find Ander Herrera the most irritating player in the Premier League.”
He then went on to back his statement by saying: “He looks like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. But if he’s not pulling your shirt, he’s leaving his foot in on his opposite number and if anyone touches him he goes down as if he’s been poleaxed.”
He further added: “Against Spurs in the FA Cup semi-final, Herrera did all of those things and much more. He took care of Mousa Dembele in the first half and then imposed himself on the rest of the game. In fact, he seemed to be everywhere.
“For your performance to be so infectious and yet somehow remain on the field takes some doing. I suppose that’s what Jose Mourinho calls a winning mentality.”
Herrera saw a rare return to form in the mentioned game, akin to his clinical performances against Manchester City in the recent derby. True of the player that won the Player of the Season award last campaign.
However, under Mourinho, he hasn’t picked up the mantle that well elsewhere, and many believe that the writing is already on the wall for the Spaniard, and he might depart this summer itself.