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Danny Higginbotham
Gender Male
Ethnic xxxx
Job xxxx Footballer
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Affiliation

Org xxxx National Team
Club as Player Manchester United
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2016 02 18 Retrieve

[on Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic’s Partnership] (Vidic) and Ferdinand (were) without question one of best centre back partnerships ever to play in this country

2019 12 09 Retrieve

[Danny Higginbotham says Paul Pogba could be the answer to Manchester United’s attacking woes against the Premier League’s lesser sides] United played brilliantly to beat Manchester City and Tottenham. They were also excellent in both their league and Carabao Cup wins over Chelsea and picked up draws with decent displays against Liverpool and Arsenal. So United have done well against the traditional top six and they also beat Leicester. Their problems have been facing the so-called lesser teams. United have lost to Crystal Palace, West Ham, Newcastle, Bournemouth, while they drew with Southampton. The reason they produce their best against the top teams is because they do not necessarily have to dominate possession. That creates space to run into for speedy attackers like Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Dan James. But they now have to find a way of dealing with teams that are going to sit in against them - and Pogba could be the answer. Solskjaer wants athleticism going forward and Juan Mata does not necessarily fall into that category. Pogba, like Mata, is a player who can unlock opponents’ defences, but he also has the dynamism Solskjaer likes

[Higginbotham thinks Fred’s presence alongside Scott McTominay could free up Pogba in a more advanced position] Fred, who was excellent against City, is starting to develop and seems to benefit from having Scott McTominay beside him. It was hard to see what Fred’s midfield role was when he moved from Shakhtar Donetsk for £52m, but Solskjaer has simplified things for the Brazilian. He now brings, energy, endeavour and a bit of physicality sat in front of the two centre-backs. There is an opportunity for Solskjaer to play a 4-3-3 formation but I don’t think you start Pogba as a No.10 - the Frenchman is someone who can arrive in that position and express himself. With McTominay and Fred protecting the defence, that gives Pogba licence to go forward and drift into that No.10 position. Rashford is now playing with freedom, cutting in from the left flank. He is a far better player facing the opposition goal than having his back to it

2020 02 03 Retrieve

[Danny Higginbotham says Bruno Fernandes can be Manchester United’s answer to Kevin De Bruyne after an impressive debut against Wolves] I’m not saying him and De Bruyne are the same players. But at times last season and earlier this season, City played more of a 4-2-3-1 with De Bruyne as a No 10 and we have also seen De Bruyne in a more retracted position in a 4-3-3. Fernandes also has the ability to play in both positions

The one thing United struggle with is creativity and that is probably why they are better on the counter-attack. In Fernandes they now have a player who can dictate either from deep or from higher up the pitch, depending on what the game demands. On Saturday he started in the No .10 position, but as the game went on he realised he could have more of an influence from deep positions because of how compact Wolves were

What really impressed me about Fernandes was as soon as he passed the ball, he was immediately looking to pick it up again. He doesn’t admire his pass, whether it is a ten-yard one or a 30-yarder. It was all about how he could get back on the ball. He looks like a man who, if he has players making the right movement off him, he will find them. Every time Fernandes picked the ball up there were players making runs because they trusted him. Against Wolves he had the most shots, the most shots on target, the most passes and the most passes in the opposition half. Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking for leaders and one of the things that stood out was that he wanted the ball all the time, he wanted to take responsibility, no matter where he was on the pitch. As debuts go, it was impressive