Blind: Gary Neville is wrong, I make Manchester United better

The former Red Devils right-back has previously accused the Dutchman of “taking the easy option” too often but the summer signing argues that his patience is a virtue

  • virtue – a good moral quality in a person, or the general quality of goodness in a person

Manchester United midfielder Daley Blind has hit back at criticism from former Old Trafford right-back Gary Neville.

The ex-England international, now a television pundit and coach of the national side, suggested earlier in the season that the summer signing “plays far too many square passes and takes the easy option”.

  • pundit – a person who knows a lot about a particular subject, or someone who gives opinions in a way that sounds intelligent or wise

But Blind believes that his patient approach has helped his side play better, warning against forward passes for their own sake.

“I can take a bit of criticism. The people on TV can say what they want. You hear it but I think I have played some good games,” the Dutchman told reporters.

“Of course you can play the ball forward but sometimes it is good to keep the ball in possession and make your team-mates play better. I can make other players more important than myself. If I can do that by switching the play to the other side or wait for the right moment to do that, then I will.

“If there is space forward, then I will play that ball but sometimes I think it is better to keep possession, to switch from side to side and move the ball and search for players who can make an individual action.

“I am not a player who does that. I like the possession game. I like to keep the ball and wait for the openings.

“Of course, I listen to [Neville] but I try to play my own game and do what the trainer [Louis van Gaal] wants from me. He wants me to keep possession. It is important to keep the ball and make the opponent more tired.

“You don’t have to win matches in the first half. You can wait until the second half. It is all about waiting for the right moment. Sometimes the space is there but other times you just have to keep the ball and wait for an opening.”

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