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Adam-Utd

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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.
Fred is a better defensive player than Pogba, but his attacking contibution is nowhere near as good.

Mctominay statistically is not much better than Pogba at defending and is clearly not the same on the ball at all. I really do think you're reaching here to try and talk down Pogba's ability.

Pogba is more than capable of playing "safe" but why would we ask him to do that? Defensively we are fine, we need to score more goals.
 

CG1010

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Fred is a better defensive player than Pogba, but his attacking contibution is nowhere near as good.

Mctominay statistically is not much better than Pogba at defending and is clearly not the same on the ball at all. I really do think you're reaching here to try and talk down Pogba's ability.

Pogba is more than capable of playing "safe" but why would we ask him to do that? Defensively we are fine, we need to score more goals.
Nowhere did I say Pogba should play "safe".. I don't know where you got that from? The issue is of control in midfield and not to expose our defence. As a fan, I do rate Pogba as a better player than the others but he has clear strengths and weaknesses and we need to recognise his game isn't perfectly rounded. So I am simply saying that for some games it would be better to have him sit out or compete with Bruno at #10 position and bring in players more suited for those games. Because he can turn into a liability in those games. I am sure if we are able to control the midfield, it gives the platform for our front 4 to go out there are score plenty of goals.
 

Adam-Utd

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Nowhere did I say Pogba should play "safe".. I don't know where you got that from? The issue is of control in midfield and not to expose our defence. As a fan, I do rate Pogba as a better player than the others but he has clear strengths and weaknesses and we need to recognise his game isn't perfectly rounded. So I am simply saying that for some games it would be better to have him sit out or compete with Bruno at #10 position and bring in players more suited for those games. Because he can turn into a liability in those games. I am sure if we are able to control the midfield, it gives the platform for our front 4 to go out there are score plenty of goals.
You said they are able to keep things simple unlike Pogba? that's called playing safe. Anybody can play sideways easy passes all day.

Was he a liability away to Leicester and Spurs? no.

This just seems like something you've decided but there's no weight behind it.
 

JPRouve

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Nowhere did I say Pogba should play "safe".. I don't know where you got that from? The issue is of control in midfield and not to expose our defence. As a fan, I do rate Pogba as a better player than the others but he has clear strengths and weaknesses and we need to recognise his game isn't perfectly rounded. So I am simply saying that for some games it would be better to have him sit out or compete with Bruno at #10 position and bring in players more suited for those games. Because he can turn into a liability in those games. I am sure if we are able to control the midfield, it gives the platform for our front 4 to go out there are score plenty of goals.
I think that the liability point is overstated, people don't make that point about McTominey who loses the ball in similar areas even more often than Pogba when you consider the amount of touches that they both play per 90. Just an example this season McTominay played an average of 51.3 passes per 90 in the league and lost the ball 3.3 times per 90, while Pogba played an average of 77.2 and lost the ball 3.8 times per 90; the former loses the ball every 15.5 touches while the other loses it every 20.3 touches.
 

CG1010

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You said they are able to keep things simple unlike Pogba? that's called playing safe. Anybody can play sideways easy passes all day.

Was he a liability away to Leicester and Spurs? no.

This just seems like something you've decided but there's no weight behind it.
Well last I checked this is a forum, where we express our opinions. You may think I am wrong but I am basing it out of watching Pogba for several seasons for Man United. And I have cited things like Pogba not being able to track his man, tackle effectively, and losing concentration various times. Against Spurs under Mourinho also tends to just sit back and Pogba would be a great option to open them up. He is certainly an amazing player to have for 60-70% of our games. But not so much for others... feel free to re-watch his several games for us in the last few seasons. If you recall the majority opinion of the caf before lockdown was that we had to play either Bruno or Pogba but not both.. after a few games against bottom teams, many have decided now Bruno-Pogba partnership is good for every game! I just feel that the reality is somewhat mixed.

And you are completely missing the point about simple passing. Against pressing opposition, the ability to thread a pass to another player is valuable for it releases pressure. Pogba dwindles on the ball, which is a risk. Fred/Mctominay don't tend to do. Its nothing to do with creativity in general which Pogba has much more than those two.
 

CG1010

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I think that the liability point is overstated, people don't make that point about McTominey who loses the ball in similar areas even more often than Pogba when you consider the amount of touches that they both play per 90. Just an example this season McTominay played an average of 51.3 passes per 90 in the league and lost the ball 3.3 times per 90, while Pogba played an average of 77.2 and lost the ball 3.8 times per 90; the former loses the ball every 15.5 touches while the other loses it every 20.3 touches.
That's interesting and to be honest I would have expected better statistcs from Mctominay. Does "lost the ball" also include misplaced passes or just lost the ball in possession?

But my "liability" comment was in terms of defensive contribution.. this season, Mctominay is better than Pogba in both tackles (2.4 per 90 minute compared to 1.9 ) and interceptions (1.4 per 90 minutes to 0.5 ). Its the same with Fred, and why it might be better to play either of them rather than Pogba where we are not in control of the midfield.
 

JPRouve

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That's interesting and to be honest I would have expected better statistcs from Mctominay. Does "lost the ball" also include misplaced passes or just lost the ball in possession?

But my "liability" comment was in terms of defensive contribution.. this season, Mctominay is better than Pogba in both tackles (2.4 per 90 minute compared to 1.9 ) and interceptions (1.4 per 90 minutes to 0.5 ). Its the same with Fred, and why it might be better to play either of them rather than Pogba where we are not in control of the midfield.
It includes being dispossessed and unsuccessful touches. Misplaced passes are included in the pass success percentage and McTominay is at 80.9% while Pogba is at 85.5%. So if you add misplaced passes it gets far worse for McTominay. The amount of tackles is also function of the ability of the team to control the midfield and not be in a position to tackle, McTominay-Fred was not a dominating midfield we had a lot less possession in midfield with them and a lot more defensive work for our midfielders and they don't play the same roles Pogba was being used higher in June and when the team was still fresh, Matic was the one covering behind Pogba-Bruno and he did better than Fred and McTominay ever could.

The liability in our midfield isn't a particular player, it's the lack of depth, Matic and Pogba were playing really well for a long time under Mourinho until the serbian lost his legs because he was overused. Personally I think that our midfield should look like that, it's basically a 433 with Bruno as the attacking CM and Pogba as a support midfielder, I feel that it is how we were trying to play in late February and June:

-------Bruno
-----------------------Pogba
---------------Matic

We absolutely need an alternative to Matic, someone that can be a co-starter because without an in form Matic we lose too much, we lose his defensive abilities and the fact that he doesn't lose the ball much. As long as our DM is fresh and competent and Pogba-Fernandes stay close to each others our midfield will overrun almost every teams. We get in trouble when they aren't compact and Matic is knackered. As for McTominay is a squad player, he is defensively inferior to Fred and Matic and offensively inferior to Pogba and Bruno, the good thing is that for short spells he can slot anywhere and give average to above average performances. But it's not a good idea to play McTominay instead of Pogba if you want to control midfield, you will lose the link between the DM and the more attacking CM because McTominay loses the ball often and he is the midfielder that who on average makes the least amount of passes, personally I would have him as the fifth option in our midfield when we add the missing DM.
 

In Rainbows

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Fred is a better defensive player than Pogba, but his attacking contibution is nowhere near as good.

Mctominay statistically is not much better than Pogba at defending and is clearly not the same on the ball at all. I really do think you're reaching here to try and talk down Pogba's ability.

Pogba is more than capable of playing "safe" but why would we ask him to do that? Defensively we are fine, we need to score more goals.
If anything I would want Pogba to play less safe. However, I understand that his confidence is down in regards to long range shooting that he used to score at youth level and with Juve.
 

Grande

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You said they are able to keep things simple unlike Pogba? that's called playing safe. Anybody can play sideways easy passes all day.

Was he a liability away to Leicester and Spurs? no.

This just seems like something you've decided but there's no weight behind it.
Although it is a question of offensive opportunity vs defensive risk, it’s not simply a question of playing it safe or not.

I would want Pogba to take more risks when he is up the pitch and covered by team mates, and less when he is in suspect situations. When Rooney dropped down to midfield, he made a lot of dangerous mistakes overnight even when playing in a less congested part of the pitch than he was used to. That’s part because his instinct for risk was based on playing were your mistakes are less costly and a risky success often leads to a goal. But also it is slightly different how you play against a defender who will pressure you but not risk tackling, and a midfielder who will lunge himself at you with less risk, to win the ball high up the pitch for a dangerous attacking opportunity. The instinct for what you do is different, and to me it seems like Pogba very often looks like Rooney in that aspect. The difference being that Pogba has played in those areas of the pitch for years, and it makes you wonder wether he is hard of learningwhen it comes to some aspects of the game.

I think I’ve said it before, Pogba is like a young Ronaldo7 in that he has unique talents, and when he uses his talents right, he is a gamechanger who must always be on the pitch. What is different so far, is that Pogba still resembles the 22 year old Ronaldo mentally, and we’ve been waiting for a change in maturity that seems slow to develop.
 

Keefy18

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when was that?

edit:
Any chance of getting the pass to Bruno, the offside goal... he was a mile offside but that pass was another beauty!

He seriously isn't getting the credit he deserves for Sunday's performance.
 

Posh Red

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Any chance of getting the pass to Bruno, the offside goal... he was a mile offside but that pass was another beauty!

He seriously isn't getting the credit he deserves for Sunday's performance.
I thought he played well and was really shocked when I came in and saw him getting slagged off again. Not going to bother reading this thread very often moving forward. It just seems to be filled with hate and negativity.
 

Keefy18

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I thought he played well and was really shocked when I came in and saw him getting slagged off again. Not going to bother reading this thread very often moving forward. It just seems to be filled with hate and negativity.
Absolutely, but I'm at a point with Pogba that nothing surprises me.

Many, many supporters have absolutely dug out a trench and are buried deep in it and refuse to give credit where it is due. They ironically roll out lazy sentiments about him walking around, not caring and not showing passion cause of how he strides around the pitch. There is a direct correlation I notice in the type of supporter that make these sentiments, they never bother actually looking at performance data like the data @JPRouve provided in comparing Pogba with McTominay for example.

I know stats aren't the be all and end all by any means, but it does tell a story of the work carried out by a player in a game, it is the story of what they have or have not doing in a game. They feed off of lazy punditry sentiments about him from the likes of Souness and the emotional and very reactionary Neville.

They've made their minds up pretty much and only the other day I even read a comment on a United facebook forum with the auld gem that Fergie never wanted him... only 8 years later and folks are still peddling that crap.
 

Fosu-Mens

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While not directly related to PP and him playing high risk, our reliance on building up through the middle is making it easy for the opposition to have many players around PP and Matic and thus increasing the risk of them losing the ball. If we had fullbacks that could contribute with in build up (somewhat affected and affecting the coaching/tactics) then the opposition would find it more difficult and less effective to have 4 players on Matic and PP. When PP gets the ball and is only pressed by one player, he usually gets his way, but when there are 2 players this is not the case.

Having more pipelines to get the ball into the final third would make us more to defend and press. Now it is basically cover/press PP and Matic. Force us to give the ball to our fullbacks and then block their passing lanes. We either get a throw-in or lose the ball... If we give the ball to Matic or PP they are forced to pass a simple ball in the wrong direction or make a high risk action while under the pressure from more than one player...
 

Borys

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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.
Couldn't agree more. What we are missing with Matic and Pogba in midfield is energy, quick ball circulation and defensive contribution. We absolutely need to gain better control of the midfield area. Our attack with Martial, Bruno, Rashford and Greenwood have enough striking force.

In my opinion Pogba contribution to our general play is vastly overrated as he's just a different type of player. He's surrounded by the best players we've had in years and he's got no excuses to perform.
 

ghaliboy

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If he hadn't been awful the previous two games the Leicester game wouldn't really stand out as anything other than barely acceptable in my view. I still don't really see the point of him playing a supplementary 8 position. He just doesn't have the positional sense when the team has the ball and the ability to move into the channels and create while we're in possession. It is obvious Bruno is the 10 and here to stay, Bruno is clearly our most creative attacking player in the final third and he fits the pace and nuance of the league and synergises with the team. If Pogba is happy to stay and play second fiddle in a role that doesn't really suit him overall.. I dunno. It would be a bit weird. He doesn't really plug in behind as a supplementary creator at 8 and help with the overall synergy of the attacking. It just doesn't really work for me.

I think he'll stay and probably sign a new deal but we have to find a better role for him. It is a waste of a player and a waste of the mix of midfield. Unless we bring in some kind of world class DM who can sit in and cover two positions when we have the ball and when we don't.. It'll probably just be the same stuff again and I'm pretty over watching hit be awkward and out of place.
 

Grande

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If he hadn't been awful the previous two games the Leicester game wouldn't really stand out as anything other than barely acceptable in my view. I still don't really see the point of him playing a supplementary 8 position. He just doesn't have the positional sense when the team has the ball and the ability to move into the channels and create while we're in possession. It is obvious Bruno is the 10 and here to stay, Bruno is clearly our most creative attacking player in the final third and he fits the pace and nuance of the league and synergises with the team. If Pogba is happy to stay and play second fiddle in a role that doesn't really suit him overall.. I dunno. It would be a bit weird. He doesn't really plug in behind as a supplementary creator at 8 and help with the overall synergy of the attacking. It just doesn't really work for me.

I think he'll stay and probably sign a new deal but we have to find a better role for him. It is a waste of a player and a waste of the mix of midfield. Unless we bring in some kind of world class DM who can sit in and cover two positions when we have the ball and when we don't.. It'll probably just be the same stuff again and I'm pretty over watching hit be awkward and out of place.
I think it’s a bit strained writing about the last three games of Pogba and then writing about Bruno without mentioning those same three games. To me, what we’ve seen after the restart is Pogba and Bruno being fantastic together in a fit and roaring team, and we’ve seen Pogba and Bruno being well below par together in a knackered team, yet still offering glimpses of brilliance.

We won four games straight with a three goal margin, something that is quite unusual to the extent that it hasn’t happened the last thirty years at least, it didn’t even happen to Fergie’s United, Arsene’s invincibles, Mourinho’s Chelsea, Pep’s City or Klopp’s Liverpool. When Fred and McTominay played, it didn’t really improve our midfield control, our defensive soundness or the speed of playing out from defense to the attacking players.

I agree Pogba has weaknesses, and that Fred av strengths he forsn’t, but to be honest I think making it out as an even trade-off just doesn’t fit reality. Pogba gives so much more.
 

OrcaFat

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The problem with Pogba is not that he is bad at anything in particular, or that he struggles against this type or that. The issue is he sometimes plays badly. His form is inconsistent. When he plays badly he IS a liability in every sense. And really, if you knew in advance the kind of crap he turns out some days you would leave him out.

Thing is you can’t drop him because he might have one of his bad days because when he plays well the whole team purrs.

So what you hope is that he finds some consistency. And if you think he never will, there is a strong case for letting him go.
 

Sayros

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I thought he played well and was really shocked when I came in and saw him getting slagged off again. Not going to bother reading this thread very often moving forward. It just seems to be filled with hate and negativity.
Martial is doing too well right now, so they've all migrated to the Pogba thread.
 

Riz

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The problem with Pogba is not that he is bad at anything in particular, or that he struggles against this type or that. The issue is he sometimes plays badly. His form is inconsistent. When he plays badly he IS a liability in every sense. And really, if you knew in advance the kind of crap he turns out some days you would leave him out.

Thing is you can’t drop him because he might have one of his bad days because when he plays well the whole team purrs.

So what you hope is that he finds some consistency. And if you think he never will, there is a strong case for letting him go.
Spot on. That’s the part where my opinion has shifted recently - I used to think he would find consistency later on in his career and become a true great but now I think the inconsistency will probably be a feature of his performances until he retires.

I also think he’s very much a follower not so much the leader which he may appear on the surface - when the team has momentum (Ole taking over for the first time, early post-lockdown matches etc.) he thrives. When the going gets touch however I think he looks around for others to inspire a response.
 

superdry

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He swings from poetic fluidity and radar like vision to anonymous, clumsy, naive and ponderous. Bit part magician he is, reliably regular top class team player he isn't.....in my opinion.
 

cyberman

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Surprised he was played at all today. I assume it was some things in his interpretation of his role Solskjær wanted to work a bit on. Or maybe Fred felt something?
Probably wants to keep players ticking over until the 30 day break starts