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2019-20 Performances


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Chesterlestreet

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You can't play with risk without playing with...risk.

Goes for Pogba, goes for Bruno. Misplacing passes here and there, trying to beat players unsuccessfully, this is nothing - it's what idiots rage about without seeing the bigger picture, and usually more emphatically when it's someone they don't like in the first place.

Pogba has a problem, though, with simply switching off at times - making positively silly choices in possession deep in our own half. He obviously needs to cut that out.

But lambasting creative players for "giving the ball away" is idiotic. It's only a question of where you give it away, when you go for that killer pass: they won't hit the target every time, but you keep trying (Bruno is a prime example of this - and who the feck cares what his "successful passes" percentage is as long as he provides the assist that wins the match?).
 

OldTrevil

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He's so fundamental to our ability to win the midfield battle, which will be the test of our evolution back to competing against the top teams in CL. His current role is limiting in terms of what he can offer offensively and to our overall midfield play. He's essentially isolated in the middle during build up, with Matic playing as false CB and Bruno too far ahead. This means that he cannot push the issue offensively since Matic is too far away to play quick one-twos to advance through a packed middle, and is susceptible during transitions in case we lose the ball. If Bruno doesn't come close, the only alternative for Pogba is to send the game to the sides as a way to move forward. The tweaks to improve our midfield will be interesting as we move forward, I'm sure Ole knows that having Pogba in the middle surrounded by 4 opposition players within a radius of 5 m or so isn't the way to go. I believe our mid will dominate once we have players around him that are good enough on and off the ball to play quick possession football, with Paul having the main responsibility of general control and switching of play. If well coached, a midfield trio of Pogba/Fred/Bruno or the like has enormous potential, especially given how deadly our forward line is, both in possession and on the counter.
 

Sylar

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I do think he takes a few too many risks as the deep player (with nobody behind him / covering). If hes the deepest, I do worry a little when hes trying to dribble past 3 players as if he loses it, he essentially takes our full backs, the other 2 midfielders and whole attack out of the game from defending.
He had a good game, and should have had a great assist to that Rashford pass in the first half.
 

Foxbatt

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For a player with his supposed ability he loses possession far too often. It's not his miss passes that's the problem.
Any player is going to do that. It's that he loses possession that's the biggest problem.
 

Alemar

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For a player with his supposed ability he loses possession far too often. It's not his miss passes that's the problem.
Any player is going to do that. It's that he loses possession that's the biggest problem.
Others need to make themselves available for a pass, then he won’t need to dribble past three players. In broader sense, team needs better coaching sessions for dealing with high press.
 

Raven

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@Clermontois Are you the president of the Paul Pogba fan club by any chance?

How's is it stand up comedy and how is he our best player? He's not won player of the year once in 4 years at the club. He's been beaten to it by the goalkeeper several times and then Luke Shaw. That says it all. Bruno has had a bigger impact on this club in 5 months than he's had in 4 years. And I can see how much it's rattled you Pogba fanboys.

Time to accept the truth....Pogba is just a good player, still one of our better players for sure, but he's not this untouchable world class talent you think he is. World class players don't struggle for 4 years like he has. Bruno didn't even need 4 weeks to show he was up to the task.
Turns out you're both wrong. Pogba is world class but not as good as this chap has been trying to make out for weeks.
 

Clermontois

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@Clermontois Are you the president of the Paul Pogba fan club by any chance?

How's is it stand up comedy and how is he our best player? He's not won player of the year once in 4 years at the club. He's been beaten to it by the goalkeeper several times and then Luke Shaw. That says it all. Bruno has had a bigger impact on this club in 5 months than he's had in 4 years. And I can see how much it's rattled you Pogba fanboys.

Time to accept the truth....Pogba is just a good player, still one of our better players for sure, but he's not this untouchable world class talent you think he is. World class players don't struggle for 4 years like he has. Bruno didn't even need 4 weeks to show he was up to the task.
No I left the job to you, I am not in here every day gobbing on about him.

Since when has winning that been a gauge of ability? Last year was the best example of the flawed nature of that prize.

Fernandes has made no such impact but I am not going to go over talking about that player in this thread. Let hope the team plays well next year.

Who said anything about Paul being untouchable?! Stop daydreaming about him mate, you are making stuff up now. Lastly quit your myths, Paul has not struggled for four years this team has.


Turns out you're both wrong. Pogba is world class but not as good as this chap has been trying to make out for weeks.
I have not been trying to make out anything chap, I said what I said based on what I have seen over the years and I meant it. Make of it what you like.
 
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Raven

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No I left the job to you, I am not in here every day gobbing on about him.

Since when has winning that been a gauge of ability? Last year was the best example of the flawed nature of that prize.

Fernandes has had made no such impact but I am not going to go over talking about that player in this thread. Let hope the team plays well next year.

Who said anything about Paul being untouchable?! Stop daydreaming about him mate, you are making stuff up now. Lastly quit your myths, Paul has not struggled for four years this team has.



I have not been trying to make out anything chap, I said what I said based on what I have seen over the years and I meant it. Make of it what you like.
We're almost in a agreement, I just think that some of the praise you've given him has been over the top.
 

Bilbo

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You can't play with risk without playing with...risk.

Goes for Pogba, goes for Bruno. Misplacing passes here and there, trying to beat players unsuccessfully, this is nothing - it's what idiots rage about without seeing the bigger picture, and usually more emphatically when it's someone they don't like in the first place.

Pogba has a problem, though, with simply switching off at times - making positively silly choices in possession deep in our own half. He obviously needs to cut that out.

But lambasting creative players for "giving the ball away" is idiotic. It's only a question of where you give it away, when you go for that killer pass: they won't hit the target every time, but you keep trying (Bruno is a prime example of this - and who the feck cares what his "successful passes" percentage is as long as he provides the assist that wins the match?).
Yeah I agree with this post. I'm sure Ole encourages the players to express themselves way more than Jose and LVG ever did, and its no coincidence that our football is more pleasing to the eye as a result of that. We shouldn't give our players stick for misplacing passes until it becomes a chronic issue, but that would just mean that they aren't good enough for us.

Pogba gets complacent. Whenever he has something to prove we see a much better player there, and over time he gets more comfortable and mistakes creep in to his game. If I'm a opposing manager I tell my players to swamp him when he gets the ball because you will get chances out of it.
 

Borys

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It will also allow him to play more risky, and teams defensively never press so hard when closer to their own goals.

Most the time Pogba loses it is when the opposition striker presses him from behind. He's happy to take on the midfielder 1v1 but they usually creep up behind him where he can't see.

Pogba is a very creative player and great at the 1-2 passes or little flicks/through balls. We need to find a way to get him and Bruno closer to the goal without losing midfield balance.
If he gets caught by striker then for sure he should not be playing higher up, as there will be constant threat from all directions. I get it he would be better in more attacking role (has more players behind to cover him) , but Bruno is better in that position so I really am not sure how he fits in that team.
 

Adam-Utd

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If he gets caught by striker then for sure he should not be playing higher up, as there will be constant threat from all directions. I get it he would be better in more attacking role (has more players behind to cover him) , but Bruno is better in that position so I really am not sure how he fits in that team.
You understand it’s easier with people in front of you than behind right?

Playing deeper you have to be much more careful with the ball and can’t pass it unless there is a clear option open. When closer to goal you can shoot your self or try a riskier pass, it’s completely different.
 

Copa Mundial

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He's not hands down our best player at all. This needs to stop guys. It's getting absolutely ridiculous.

He's definitely one of our better players for sure. That's undeniable. The best though? Nah not for me. Bruno has had a much bigger impact on us getting 3rd place. Anyone who can't see that may as well just start supporting Paul Pogba FC and not MUFC.

Call it fair guys. He's still a good player. He's not our best.
100% agree with this. Pogba is good but he's not doing anywhere near enough at the moment to be considered world class.

Given what we've seen so far I'd take Bruno every time over Pogba.
 

E-mal

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There are currently no players available of the same quality that we can buy to replace him at the price we might sell him for.

I just feel Bruno needs to play a bit deeper to assist in midfield considering the ground covered by Matic is quite small.

Our midfield needs a lot of work especially as both Pogba and Fernandes are very risky players, especially the lather. The coaching in that department and defence in terms of bringing the ball out against press is very key. It must be address before next season.

We could do with a CDM that is very press resistant with good long range pass.
 

OldTrevil

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Pogba doesn't even like holding onto the ball when he has passing options in midfield, case in point his world cup performances. It's all about pass and move with him when he's around players who can hold their own in there.
 

MikeKing

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I was so exited to see him back at his best, and he was world class for 4 games, but the next 4 games he was just horrible.

There is no excuses left, if he wants to win things at this club he simply has to do better next season. When he is on form he is an insane player, but when he isn't he is worse than a lot less talented midfielders. This is the reality.

I would love for us to keep Paul, but honestly I'll rather have a midfielder that is 7/10 every game than a player that fluctuates between 2 and 10 every other game. He can win games on his own and he will lose you games on his own, he needs to cut that shit out.
 

E-mal

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100% agree with this. Pogba is good but he's not doing anywhere near enough at the moment to be considered world class.

Given what we've seen so far I'd take Bruno every time over Pogba.
Bruno misses alot of easy passess for my liking honestly and a significant portion of those assist are not all that.
Don't get me wrong, he has been immense this season but it is easier to play when you're allowed to take alot of risks in advance position.
In addition, Bruno often plays as a second striker with lots of penalties, so stats will be well padded.

Pogba will need to sort out his concentration issues next season and Bruno must look to improve his passing although fatigue contributed alot to this.
 

MikeKing

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Pogba doesn't even like holding onto the ball when he has passing options in midfield, case in point his world cup performances. It's all about pass and move with him when he's around players who can hold their own in there.
Uhm, he hasn't been dynamic at all the last few games. He should move around a lot more to make himself available as a passing option. It seems he read situations a bit different than other players in that position, hence him always being a bit late to the party defensively and late as a passing option in difficult situations. He was a lot more dynamic the first 4 games though.
 

DoomSlayer

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Pogba started really bad against Leicester, in my opinion, but grew into the game, which is encouraging.

I'd say people are overly harsh and critical of both him and Rashford. They had bad injuries, obviously match fitness would become an issue at some point as we had to rush them back into the first 11, I think as a whole our run after the restart has been fantastic, considering the circumstances.
 

OldTrevil

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Uhm, he hasn't been dynamic at all the last few games. He should move around a lot more to make himself available as a passing option. It seems he read situations a bit different than other players in that position, hence him always being a bit late to the party defensively and late as a passing option in difficult situations. He was a lot more dynamic the first 4 games though.
He always gives a passing option when his teammates are on the ball, never one to hide.
 

lex talionis

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We can be critical the state of his fitness in the last few matches, but when the man is fully fit he puts in incredible performances. Earlier in the year we were critical of his state of mind, and now his physical fitness. Fair enough. I hope we keep him for the next few seasons. There aren't many better options, regardless of how much we'd be willing to pay to replace him.
 

DarkXaero

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Moving him up the pitch will only make things worse as he will have even less time on the ball.
I don't think it makes it worse, he's more susceptible to high press than higher up the pitch. Him being higher up the pitch also utilizes his strengths more imo. I'm not advocating for him to be played as a #10, but I think we're playing him too deep atm.
 

MikeKing

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He always gives a passing option when his teammates are on the ball, never one to hide.
Never is the wrong word. I think you've seen him both show for the ball and hide as well. The thing is, if and when he shows for the ball you see it, but you might not really notice him at all if he goes hiding. That is what hiding is. These last few games he has not had the tempo in his legs to show up everywhere. For instance thats the opposite to how Fred played this season. Fred is the type of player that never hides, Pogba is a different type of player and him not reaching his destination quick enough, not being dynamic with tired legs is fine but I see no reason to pretend this is something he never does.
 

criticalanalysis

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Never is the wrong word. I think you've seen him both show for the ball and hide as well. The thing is, if and when he shows for the ball you see it, but you might not really notice him at all if he goes hiding. That is what hiding is. These last few games he has not had the tempo in his legs to show up everywhere. For instance thats the opposite to how Fred played this season. Fred is the type of player that never hides, Pogba is a different type of player and him not reaching his destination quick enough, not being dynamic with tired legs is fine but I see no reason to pretend this is something he never does.
Pogba is arguably our player, who shows for the ball most and the most positionally disciplined when we have the ball. Off the ball/defensively, no arguments he's simply not as sharp as a Fred but on the ball Pogba is the one midfielder that tries to play like one.

Try rewatching some of our games and notice where he is positioned when any of our back 4, Matic have the ball or when we have throw ons. It's usually in awkward positions in between players or when he's already being pressed because quite simply there's awful movement like AWB/Shaw taking their sweet time letting the opposition set and crowd out any space. Yet Pogba is almost always the 1st or 2nd pass option. If he wasn't there with his switches of play (and sometimes overdoing it), taking close touches under pressure, drawing in players, your AWBs and Lindelofs would be hoofing down the line more than they already do.

He's there because there's no one else and poor coaching means every one else is 10-20 yards away from midfield.

Individually he deservces criticism but the systematic issue is much larger than Pogba. My previous two posts in this thread is just me repating myself.

In essence, replace Pogba with any other midfielder and if we still have your Matic ambling between Maguire/Lindelof and Bruno playing hot potato with the ball whilst trying to rub shoulders with Martial in the penalty box, we would be still talking about about terrible off the ball movement, being outplayed by lesser teams and shitting our pants when getting pressed.

It's absolute criminal that Pogba is playing like a glorified ball recycler and midfielder enforcer right now. The few times he was on the edge of the box and not looking over his shoulder trying to protect the centre of midfield whilst 4 attacking players was in front of him, his quick feet and creativy is as efficient as any one on the planet. Problem is that we're building a team for Rashford/Bruno to play 10-20 high risk passes a game and when they do something out of it, we justify the rest of their game with 'they are game changers/amazing productivity' whilst the rest of the team suffers, recycling the ball back to their feet again.
 
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MikeKing

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Pogba is arguably our player, who shows for the ball most and the most positionally disciplined when we have the ball. Off the ball/defensively, no arguments he's simply not as sharp as a Fred but on the ball Pogba is the one midfielder that tries to play like one.

Try rewatching some of our games and notice where he is positioned when any of our back 4, Matic have the ball or when we have throw ons. It's usually in awkward positions in between players or when he's already being pressed because quite simply there's awful movement like AWB/Shaw taking their sweet time letting the opposition set and crowd out any space. Yet Pogba is almost always the 1st or 2nd pass option. If he wasn't there with his switches of play (and sometimes overdoing it), taking that close touch under pressure, drawing in players, your AWBs and Lindelofs would be hoofing down the line more than they already do.

He's there not because he's slow but because there's no one else there and poor coaching means every one else is 10-20 yards away from midfield.

Individually he deservces criticism but the systematic issue is much larger than Pogba. My previous two posts in this thread is just me repating myself.

In essence, replace Pogba with any other midfielder and if we still have your Matic ambling between Maguire/Lindelof and Bruno playing hot potato with the ball whilst trying to rub shoulders with Martial in the penalty box, we would be still talking about about terrible off the ball movement, being outplayed by lesser teams and shitting our pants when getting pressed.

It's absolute criminal that Pogba is playing like a glorified ball recycler and midfielder enforcer right now. The few times he was on the edge of the box and not looking over his shoulder trying to protect the centre of midfield whilst 4 attacking players was in front of him, his quick feet and creativy is as efficient as any one on the planet. Problem is that we're building a team for Rashford/Bruno to play 10-20 high risk passes a game and when they do something out of it, we justify the rest of their game with 'they are game changers/amazing productivity' whilst the rest of the team suffers recycling the ball back to their feet again.
I think his positional discipline is average and his positional intelligence is average. He has incredible instincts but when those instincts are off, (and they can be off) he often struggles to impose himself in games. Now, there is no point excusing his inconstant performances so I'd much rather discuss why that is, or how it's even possible for such a natural talent to fluctuate in performances as much as he does. Once people start talking about systematic issues, tactics, other players and the overall fairness etc it all gets too protective and honestly I don't care for it. I have nothing against Pogba and would love for him to become a great player, but as amazing as he can be he can be equally as frustrating.

You say he deserves criticism individually, which is exactly what I gave from my point of view. To me, his footballing instincts offensively and even deeper in midfield remains phenomenal. The problem arrives once something offset those instincts, whether that is his own emotions, his team mates, a shift in concentration or focus, the opposition harassing him etc. It can be anything and in those moments he either has to rely on those instincts to get him through it, or if he can adapt to the game, to his teammates, to himself or the opposition. To me it seems as if he tries to rely on his creative instincts even when it's uncalled for, and it leads to frustration for him which he visibly shows too. Like the cards are stacked against him, but the simple fact is that with a little bit of humbleness to work on his mentality he could easily learn to fall back on a bunch of different qualities he possess and to find more consistency to his game. He would be a better player for it.

I get what you're saying about other players leaving room for Pogba, but I don't think he has been doing his job either positionally these last few games. I also don't agree with the whole "Pogba is like David Silva" thing, Pogba is quick, he can tackle and he knows how to use his body to win the ball and protect the ball. I mean even Silva rejuvenated himself by becoming better at those things late into his 30s, it's all about determination to execute those tasks. They are a lot more boring and exhausting than playing a fancy pass but non the less, you need to have it in your locker to some degree if you're not going to be left behind in the modern game. I honestly feel like everyone should stop making limitations and excuses for such a talented player like Pogba.
 

criticalanalysis

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I think his positional discipline is average and his positional intelligence is average. He has incredible instincts but when those instincts are off, (and they can be off) he often struggles to impose himself in games. Now, there is no point excusing his inconstant performances so I'd much rather discuss why that is, or how it's even possible for such a natural talent to fluctuate in performances as much as he does. Once people start talking about systematic issues, tactics, other players and the overall fairness etc it all gets too protective and honestly I don't care for it. I have nothing against Pogba and would love for him to become a great player, but as amazing as he can be he can be equally as frustrating.

You say he deserves criticism individually, which is exactly what I gave from my point of view. To me, his footballing instincts offensively and even deeper in midfield remains phenomenal. The problem arrives once something offset those instincts, whether that is his own emotions, his team mates, a shift in concentration or focus, the opposition harassing him etc. It can be anything and in those moments he either has to rely on those instincts to get him through it, or if he can adapt to the game, to his teammates, to himself or the opposition. To me it seems as if he tries to rely on his creative instincts even when it's uncalled for, and it leads to frustration for him which he visibly shows too. Like the cards are stacked against him, but the simple fact is that with a little bit of humbleness to work on his mentality he could easily learn to fall back on a bunch of different qualities he possess and to find more consistency to his game. He would be a better player for it.

I get what you're saying about other players leaving room for Pogba, but I don't think he has been doing his job either positionally these last few games. I also don't agree with the whole "Pogba is like David Silva" thing, Pogba is quick, he can tackle and he knows how to use his body to win the ball and protect the ball. I mean even Silva rejuvenated himself by becoming better at those things late into his 30s, it's all about determination to execute those tasks. They are a lot more boring and exhausting than playing a fancy pass but non the less, you need to have it in your locker to some degree if you're not going to be left behind in the modern game. I honestly feel like everyone should stop making limitations and excuses for such a talented player like Pogba.
Good post. Tbh I agree with a lot of what you've said. I guess when it comes down to I usually base my judgements on two main things 1) the player's individual performance 2) the platform provided to perform (relative to their ability, their role in the team and then the general team play).

1) Pogba's performances haven't been consistent enough, which is down to himself because as you say, at times he doesn't have the natural grit/determination to be performing a deep lying midfield role. However, using your example about Silva, that's the thing. Pogba is like a Silva in terms of ability, use of the ball and influence but Silva doesn't play in a 4-2-4 formation in a basic coached team. Pogba's general defensive contribution is good for a roaming 3rd midfielder. Silva or his team mates press and harry in 5-15 yards pocket of spaces. Pogba like the rest of the team have to chase and cover 10-30 yards. It's just not sustainable.

2) The platform is 'poor'/'inefficient' for everyone including your Brunos and Rashford even if everything goes through them. I've said it in Greenwood and Martial's threads. They've all become work horses just to facilate this hybrid formation and uninspired tactics. I have no doubt once we've rested, our team's natural athleticism and individual ability will shine again but when the games come thick and fast, we'll go down the way side with tiresome running.

It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation. For me, the platform has to exist and you need to find ways to either accomendate square pegs or just accept what they are.

I accept and rate Pogba as an immensely creative midfielder, who can set the tempo, break lines with passing and on the ball dribbling. On those attributes, he is arguably the most talented and efficient in open play in our squad but we're still asking him to be a Veira/KDB hybrid. It's just farcical.

My frustration is not so much, why doesn't he just run around more, follow his players, keep it simple and do a Fred/McT, it's more whytf is this happening that he needs to do those jobs as one of two deep midfielders to perform? Because let's be honest that's what we're asking. It's just chaotic instinctive play. Yes, it must be done to do the job but the foundation is build on shoddy grounds. Questions need to be asked of him but again what is the wider picture?
 
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MikeKing

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Good post. Tbh I agree with a lot of what you've said. I guess when it comes down to I usually base my judgements on two main things 1) the player's individual performance 2) the platform provided to perform (relative to their ability, their role in the team and then the general team play).

1) Pogba's performances haven't been consistent enough, which is down to himself because as you say, at times he doesn't have the natural grit/determination to be performing a deep lying midfield performance. However, using your example about Silva, that's the thing. Pogba is like a Silva in terms of ability, use of the ball and influence but Silva doesn't play in a 4-2-4 formation in a basic coached team. Pogba's general defensive contribution is good for a roaming 3rd midfielder.

2) The platform is 'poor'/'inefficient' for everyone including your Brunos and Rashford even if everything goes through them. I've said it in Greenwood and Martial's threads. They've all become work horses just to facilate this hybrid formation and uninspired tactics. I have no doubt once we've rested, our team's natural atheleticism and individual ability will shine again but when the games come thick and fast, we'll go down the way side with tiresome running.

It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation. For me, the platform has to exist and you need to find ways to either accomendate square pegs or just accept what they are.

I accept and rate Pogba as an immensely creative midfielder, who can set the tempo, break lines with passing and on the ball dribbling. On those attributes, he is arguably the most talented and efficient in open play in our squad but we're still asking him to be a Veira/KDB hybrid. It's just farcical.

My frustration is not so much, why doesn't he just run around more, follow his players, keep it simple and do a Fred/McT, it's more whytf is this happening that he needs to do those jobs as one of two deep midfielders to perform? Because let's be honest that's what we're asking. It's just chaotic instinctive play. Yes, it must be done to do the job but the foundation is build on shoddy grounds. Questions need to be asked of him but again what is the wider picture?
Yeah, I don't know mate. I do agree with a lot of this. The point about running being less effective when games come thick and fast seems relevant, however I think that the development has been great. If everyone runs and does their job, then at the least it ensures consistency on some level. I think for the team to archive consistency this is a way to lay down the law, but it's certainly not the end all be all. So we'll have to see where it goes.
 

SAFMUTD

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One thing I noticed is that since playing with Bruno he has droped deeper to receive the ball, when under high pressure he goes down as ask for the ball then he tries to outmuscle the player marking him. Most of the times it works, but when it doesnt we lose the ball at leaves ourselves exposed.

I know he's a technical player blessed with height and strenght, so that gives him confidence but he shouldnt be risking it there, lets play the easy pass before you get into trouble.
 

Borys

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You understand it’s easier with people in front of you than behind right?

Playing deeper you have to be much more careful with the ball and can’t pass it unless there is a clear option open. When closer to goal you can shoot your self or try a riskier pass, it’s completely different.
No, I don't understand your logic on that point. It's clear to me, being in midfield means there are opposition players all around you and the pressure is even bigger.

I agree he would fit better higher up, but I don't trust him to be honest, his heavy touch ale lapses in concentration has cost us a few times this year.

We certainly need to find him a role as he is not a good CM.
 

Adam-Utd

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No, I don't understand your logic on that point. It's clear to me, being in midfield means there are opposition players all around you and the pressure is even bigger.

I agree he would fit better higher up, but I don't trust him to be honest, his heavy touch ale lapses in concentration has cost us a few times this year.

We certainly need to find him a role as he is not a good CM.
So in an attacking position you are usually already behind their midfield and directly up against their defence. You can play a lot riskier as if you lose the ball in that area there is no danger to your team, but if they foul you it's a dangerous free kick or penalty. Forwards won't sprint back that far to tackle you from behind either.

Yes being in midfield is harder that's what i'm saying. Attacking midfield/forward is much easier in terms of pressure.
 

OldTrevil

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Never is the wrong word. I think you've seen him both show for the ball and hide as well. The thing is, if and when he shows for the ball you see it, but you might not really notice him at all if he goes hiding. That is what hiding is. These last few games he has not had the tempo in his legs to show up everywhere. For instance thats the opposite to how Fred played this season. Fred is the type of player that never hides, Pogba is a different type of player and him not reaching his destination quick enough, not being dynamic with tired legs is fine but I see no reason to pretend this is something he never does.
Well all the times I've seen him play I have never thought he was hiding, I have seen his teammates fail to give him a simple pass and then move into space to quickly evade a press with a give and go though. Pogba is confident in his on-ball ability that he will always show for the ball even if he has players around him, it's up to players around him to always give him a passing option as soon as he has the ball, which his teammates in France NT do very well and consequently their midfield rarely loses the ball in dangerous areas.

Good post. Tbh I agree with a lot of what you've said. I guess when it comes down to I usually base my judgements on two main things 1) the player's individual performance 2) the platform provided to perform (relative to their ability, their role in the team and then the general team play).

1) Pogba's performances haven't been consistent enough, which is down to himself because as you say, at times he doesn't have the natural grit/determination to be performing a deep lying midfield role. However, using your example about Silva, that's the thing. Pogba is like a Silva in terms of ability, use of the ball and influence but Silva doesn't play in a 4-2-4 formation in a basic coached team. Pogba's general defensive contribution is good for a roaming 3rd midfielder. Silva or his team mates press and harry in 5-15 yards pocket of spaces. Pogba like the rest of the team have to chase and cover 10-30 yards. It's just not sustainable.

2) The platform is 'poor'/'inefficient' for everyone including your Brunos and Rashford even if everything goes through them. I've said it in Greenwood and Martial's threads. They've all become work horses just to facilate this hybrid formation and uninspired tactics. I have no doubt once we've rested, our team's natural athleticism and individual ability will shine again but when the games come thick and fast, we'll go down the way side with tiresome running.

It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation. For me, the platform has to exist and you need to find ways to either accomendate square pegs or just accept what they are.

I accept and rate Pogba as an immensely creative midfielder, who can set the tempo, break lines with passing and on the ball dribbling. On those attributes, he is arguably the most talented and efficient in open play in our squad but we're still asking him to be a Veira/KDB hybrid. It's just farcical.

My frustration is not so much, why doesn't he just run around more, follow his players, keep it simple and do a Fred/McT, it's more whytf is this happening that he needs to do those jobs as one of two deep midfielders to perform? Because let's be honest that's what we're asking. It's just chaotic instinctive play. Yes, it must be done to do the job but the foundation is build on shoddy grounds. Questions need to be asked of him but again what is the wider picture?
Fully agree with you there, we have a player like Pogba and we want him to do both the workhorse and creative jobs at a high level but give him a partner who can be creative but is hopeless as a workhorse. It is no surprise that such a midfield will struggle against any team that decides to apply pressure. It is clearly obvious that Pogba needs partners that are workhorses but also good on the ball, only then will his passing ability and vision be maximized. Having Pogba in the middle with his only passing options being back and to the side is such a waste.
 

CG1010

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Good post. Tbh I agree with a lot of what you've said. I guess when it comes down to I usually base my judgements on two main things 1) the player's individual performance 2) the platform provided to perform (relative to their ability, their role in the team and then the general team play).

1) Pogba's performances haven't been consistent enough, which is down to himself because as you say, at times he doesn't have the natural grit/determination to be performing a deep lying midfield role. However, using your example about Silva, that's the thing. Pogba is like a Silva in terms of ability, use of the ball and influence but Silva doesn't play in a 4-2-4 formation in a basic coached team. Pogba's general defensive contribution is good for a roaming 3rd midfielder. Silva or his team mates press and harry in 5-15 yards pocket of spaces. Pogba like the rest of the team have to chase and cover 10-30 yards. It's just not sustainable.

2) The platform is 'poor'/'inefficient' for everyone including your Brunos and Rashford even if everything goes through them. I've said it in Greenwood and Martial's threads. They've all become work horses just to facilate this hybrid formation and uninspired tactics. I have no doubt once we've rested, our team's natural athleticism and individual ability will shine again but when the games come thick and fast, we'll go down the way side with tiresome running.

It's a bit of a chicken and egg situation. For me, the platform has to exist and you need to find ways to either accomendate square pegs or just accept what they are.

I accept and rate Pogba as an immensely creative midfielder, who can set the tempo, break lines with passing and on the ball dribbling. On those attributes, he is arguably the most talented and efficient in open play in our squad but we're still asking him to be a Veira/KDB hybrid. It's just farcical.

My frustration is not so much, why doesn't he just run around more, follow his players, keep it simple and do a Fred/McT, it's more whytf is this happening that he needs to do those jobs as one of two deep midfielders to perform? Because let's be honest that's what we're asking. It's just chaotic instinctive play. Yes, it must be done to do the job but the foundation is build on shoddy grounds. Questions need to be asked of him but again what is the wider picture?
I agree completely. Around the post-Southampton game, I suggested that a midfield 2 with Pogba wouldn't work against opposition who are interested in attacking us. And I think the last few games have proven this. With Pogba in his current role, our approach is too gung-ho and we lose complete control of midfield and the game. Against quality teams and away games with teams that are good with pressing midfielders, it might better to drop Pogba and play Fred/Mctominay instead. Think Ole messed up this part to be honest.

I am a big fan of Pogba and he certainly will play a big role in us dominating games at home, against bottom opposition by dictating play and creating openings. But he has to improve much more if he wants to be part of first XI in crucial games, as Bruno is well ahead in the creative midfielder position at the moment.
 

Adam-Utd

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I agree completely. Around the post-Southampton game, I suggested that a midfield 2 with Pogba wouldn't work against opposition who are interested in attacking us. And I think the last few games have proven this. With Pogba in his current role, our approach is too gung-ho and we lose complete control of midfield and the game. Against quality teams and away games with teams that are good with pressing midfielders, it might better to drop Pogba and play Fred/Mctominay instead. Think Ole messed up this part to be honest.

I am a big fan of Pogba and he certainly will play a big role in us dominating games at home, against bottom opposition by dictating play and creating openings. But he has to improve much more if he wants to be part of first XI in crucial games, as Bruno is well ahead in the creative midfielder position at the moment.
It's more the fact Bruno needs to drop more and help us get possession.

3v2 in midfield with matic and Pogba, they'll always struggle as they are players that need space to accelerate away from a press. Bruno needs to drop deeper to make it a 3v3, that way they aren't getting doubled up on when pressed. People know Pogba likes to take on his man 1v1 and will hold onto the ball while looking for a better option, so they rush him and try to nick it.

If I had the choice I'd rather drop Matic as he's the less press resistant. He often gets caught on the ball when dropping too deep.
 

#07

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It does not seem sensible to me to judge Pogba's capabilities based on games he played visibly exhausted. People saying he can't play in a double pivot are seemingly forgetting what he did a month ago, before he and the rest of the team were run into the ground because we lack the quality to rotate the team.

Throughout June Pogba played with a discipline and maturity as an #8. He only started making mistakes once the schedule of games became too much for him (and the rest of the team). Once Pogba, like everyone else, has had a week or two off and properly recovered, he will return to the form he was showing just after the re-start.
 

CG1010

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It's more the fact Bruno needs to drop more and help us get possession.

3v2 in midfield with matic and Pogba, they'll always struggle as they are players that need space to accelerate away from a press. Bruno needs to drop deeper to make it a 3v3, that way they aren't getting doubled up on when pressed. People know Pogba likes to take on his man 1v1 and will hold onto the ball while looking for a better option, so they rush him and try to nick it.

If I had the choice I'd rather drop Matic as he's the less press resistant. He often gets caught on the ball when dropping too deep.
Bruno should, and as he got more tired and his work rate reduced, we have seen worsening hold on the midfield. But I feel its too much to ask Bruno to be the chief architect of our attack and also consistently cover for Pogba. Especially against quality teams who can field good players, Bruno and Pogba would be easily bypassed. To some extent we had the same problem in 2006-09 with the 2 man midfield but there we could manage against most teams due to quality of Scholes and Carrick/Fletcher/Hargreaves. But eventually Fergie started playing 3-man midfields in atleast key away games. We don't have that much quality now and most PL teams have 3 man midfield nowadays.
 

CG1010

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It does not seem sensible to me to judge Pogba's capabilities based on games he played visibly exhausted. People saying he can't play in a double pivot are seemingly forgetting what he did a month ago, before he and the rest of the team were run into the ground because we lack the quality to rotate the team.

Throughout June Pogba played with a discipline and maturity as an #8. He only started making mistakes once the schedule of games became too much for him (and the rest of the team). Once Pogba, like everyone else, has had a week or two off and properly recovered, he will return to the form he was showing just after the re-start.
I agree that Pogba has had the discipline in the sense that he hasn't gone off to join attacks or wander around. But he still doesn't track opposition players well and often comes off worse in a 50:50 situation. Further he has an issue of concentration. I agree that all these problems are compounded by fitness issues but while you refer to games in June we must also remember that they were against botton clubs. My question is what happens against big 6 teams and others who take the game to us in our own half.
 

Adam-Utd

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Bruno should, and as he got more tired and his work rate reduced, we have seen worsening hold on the midfield. But I feel its too much to ask Bruno to be the chief architect of our attack and also consistently cover for Pogba. Especially against quality teams who can field good players, Bruno and Pogba would be easily bypassed. To some extent we had the same problem in 2006-09 with the 2 man midfield but there we could manage against most teams due to quality of Scholes and Carrick/Fletcher/Hargreaves. We don't have that much quality now and most PL teams have 3 man midfield nowadays.
You keep saying cover for Pogba, but it would be literally no different if it was Fred or Mctominay.

Any team like Southampton that play 4-3-3 and are designed to press will kill a 4-2-3-1 formation. That's exactly why 4-2-3-1 died off in the first place.

Especially the way that Matic stands between our centre backs when we try to build from the back, it literally says "here's the ball Pogba, try your best lad".

We need to find a way to adapt to this, but realistically you need Bruno to drop deeper and help link up the play, or 1 of Rashford/Greenwood to come inside and fill the space.

We are too stagnant at the top end in these situations, they often just stand there waiting for the ball. We have a lot of work to do on our press resistance that's for sure.
 

#07

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I agree that Pogba has had the discipline in the sense that he hasn't gone off to join attacks or wander around. But he still doesn't track opposition players well and often comes off worse in a 50:50 situation. Further he has an issue of concentration. I agree that all these problems are compounded by fitness issues but while you refer to games in June we must also remember that they were against botton clubs. My question is what happens against big 6 teams and others who take the game to us in our own half.
Our issue this season has not been with the big teams. We have an exceptional record against the top six and only Liverpool managed to get five points off of us. Our issue this season has been losing to the lesser teams you describe. Hence being beaten by two of the three sides that got relegated this season pretty comfortably.

I am not worried about Pogba in the big games. I watched the Belgium vs France World Cup semi final, where the Belgians put the French under siege for over an hour and Pogba held his discipline and allowed France to execute its gameplan. Pogba can do what we need him to do in a double pivot. Once he's had a week or two off to rest his muscles people will be reminded of that.
 

CG1010

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You keep saying cover for Pogba, but it would be literally no different if it was Fred or Mctominay.

Any team like Southampton that play 4-3-3 and are designed to press will kill a 4-2-3-1 formation. That's exactly why 4-2-3-1 died off in the first place.

Especially the way that Matic stands between our centre backs when we try to build from the back, it literally says "here's the ball Pogba, try your best lad".

We need to find a way to adapt to this, but realistically you need Bruno to drop deeper and help link up the play, or 1 of Rashford/Greenwood to come inside and fill the space.

We are too stagnant at the top end in these situations, they often just stand there waiting for the ball. We have a lot of work to do on our press resistance that's for sure.
Not really if the players are more mobile and better defensively. Fred and Mctominay were literally our midfield two for a large part of the season and they did admirably. Either of them have some qualities over Pogba, such as better mobility and ability to mark opposition players, intercepting, and tackling. And they are able to keep things simple unlike Pogba who sometimes is too slow in these situations. What we gain is better midfield control and stability but what we lose is a bit more creative threat. But a front 4 consisting of Bruno and others should be good enough to score goals.
 

CG1010

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Our issue this season has not been with the big teams. We have an exceptional record against the top six and only Liverpool managed to get five points off of us. Our issue this season has been losing to the lesser teams you describe. Hence being beaten by two of the three sides that got relegated this season pretty comfortably.

I am not worried about Pogba in the big games. I watched the Belgium vs France World Cup semi final, where the Belgians put the French under siege for over an hour and Pogba held his discipline and allowed France to execute its gameplan. Pogba can do what we need him to do in a double pivot. Once he's had a week or two off to rest his muscles people will be reminded of that.
Yes, and that proves my point actually. That we had this record with a midfield consisting of players like Matic, Fred and Mctominay. And we should continue with that approach. Pogba as our #8 is perfect for opening up low block teams, but against top six teams, playing Pogba as #8 is too gung-ho for me.