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HowYouDoin

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Yeah but this is my point, who’s behind him? Average or makeshift DM’s that’s who.

It’s not the only reason he hasn’t reached his potential here but to me, imo, we were never going to see the best of him with how we’ve utilised him and who we’ve partnered him with when he’s played (for large parts) in a 2 man midfield.

Edit: I’ll bump this when he goes to another club who play with a top level DM and see how he’s doing. Tearing it up no doubt. :(
Awesome. You do that. We shouldnt spend another 5 years hoping somehow he works out for us.
He just isnt worth it. He isnt Ronaldo or Messi.
Best case scenario he is easily replaceable for us. This shouldnt even be a debate anymore.
Heck we sold Ronaldo and went on to win PL a few more times.
That somehow we are dependent on Pogba is just not true even if he absolutely unlocked his potential and became prime Scholes/Viera as unlikely as that is.
 

HowYouDoin

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Strange that we have the same 'average' midfielders around Bruno but he can manage to put a shift in. His record speaks for itself.

There are no more excuses for Pogba unfortunately, for whatever reason he doesn't suit us.
Not just Bruno. Also Fred. There is no universe in which I currently prefer Pogba to Fred.
You would think Pogba would work great alongside Bruno and Fred but he doesnt. McTominay works a lot better.
Seriously, this debate is a joke at this point.
I dont think McTominay should be a long term starter for us but that he works better for us than Pogba tells you everything.

Mourinho had it spot on and its time to acknowledge that and Mourinho is much more accomplished in world football than Pogba.
Its what it is. We had reason to doubt it cuz Mourinho had the history of falling out with players, he didnt get the best out of KDB, Salah, Lukaku etc but he got it spot on with Pogba.
 

romufc

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Yeah but this is my point, who’s behind him? Average or makeshift DM’s that’s who.

It’s not the only reason he hasn’t reached his potential here but to me, imo, we were never going to see the best of him with how we’ve utilised him and who we’ve partnered him with when he’s played (for large parts) in a 2 man midfield.

Edit: I’ll bump this when he goes to another club who play with a top level DM and see how he’s doing. Tearing it up no doubt. :(
Lets address this point.

When Pogba came to United, he had Carrick, Schneiderlin, Fellaini, Herrera to play with.

Okay, he didnt have the best DM Carrick was old. Do you know what we did? we went and bought Prime Matic who had just won the league, aged 28. So don't come here and say hes not had the protection from a DM.

Everyone is saying Pogba's performances for France, do you want me to show you his average positions in the last 3 friendlies? He played just infront of the CB's. If you are a WC player, you cannot say you can only play as a 10 with 3 holding midfielders behind.
 

Strelok

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Strange that we have the same 'average' midfielders around Bruno but he can manage to put a shift in. His record speaks for itself.

There are no more excuses for Pogba unfortunately, for whatever reason he doesn't suit us.
Yeah tbh I don't care anymore. We've been discussing this to death. I just hope Ole would realise it's better for both the club and his career to not start Pogba in the PL anymore. Just don't start him. Please.
 

Borys

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On the bolded I think there would be a queue of clubs at that price.

He’s not hit the heights for a multitude of reasons but he’s still an elite talent and one that many managers would be confident of getting the best out of.

The biggest single issue I think has been the fact he’s been partnered with substandard defensive midfielders in his time here.

He’s often looked his best when Matic has had his odd touch of form here and there.

Think about it, he’s not a defensive midfielder yet we play him as one with the likes of an ancient Matic or Fred/McTominay (the latter two only now get on the pitch as a pairing together as they aren’t true DM’s either.)

It’s the single biggest issue and is the reason why more often than not he looks a different player for France next to Kante.

I’m not one for buying players to suit other players but if ever there was a player we knew would need accommodating to a certain degree it’s Pogba. An elite DM would have benefited him and our entire starting 11 massively.
Or maybe, just maybe, he just looks a better player because France is the World Champion? You made the case that he looks good with better players around. Well, you can make that case for Bruno, Fred, McTominay and Daniel James.

Yeah but this is my point, who’s behind him? Average or makeshift DM’s that’s who.

It’s not the only reason he hasn’t reached his potential here but to me, imo, we were never going to see the best of him with how we’ve utilised him and who we’ve partnered him with when he’s played (for large parts) in a 2 man midfield.

Edit: I’ll bump this when he goes to another club who play with a top level DM and see how he’s doing. Tearing it up no doubt. :(
Once again blaming all around instead of Pogba himself, ignoring the fact that the team is better without him.
 

GiddyUp

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I regards to France. We all love a week or two away from our full time job to hang out with our mates. The ass kissing this guy gets is nauseating. Everytime like clockwork, he's this he's that, he needs this and he needs that. He's a fake footballer.
 

He'sRaldo

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The way the lad's talked about, you'd think he's a complete mug. Our best post Fergie periods have all included him featured in a key role.

Sure he may not be exactly what we need in that DM position, but he's been one of our better players throughout his whole tenure here.
 

RUCK4444

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Awesome. You do that. We shouldnt spend another 5 years hoping somehow he works out for us.
He just isnt worth it. He isnt Ronaldo or Messi.
Best case scenario he is easily replaceable for us. This shouldnt even be a debate anymore.
Heck we sold Ronaldo and went on to win PL a few more times.
That somehow we are dependent on Pogba is just not true even if he absolutely unlocked his potential and became prime Scholes/Viera as unlikely as that is.
You sound very invested in this.

Of course it's debatable, he's still our most talented player and starts every game in an important position for the best national team on the planet.

We aren't dependant on him, I agree that's actually to the contrary.

However rather than throw our collective toys out of the pram so to speak, it behooves us to make the most of this player. I don't think we've ever partnered him with a top level midfielder unless you think Matic is still in his prime, he isn't and hasn't been for us. Surely that's a pertinent point, much the same as it would be if we were talking about CB's and who we partner those players with.

It's clear to me that Pogba is not defensively sound enough to be classed as a DM so to make up for that you have to have a top level DM next to him, such as his French colleague in Kante. His defensive limitations were evident before we bought him, so I don't see why any of us should argue that purely because he cost of a lot of money that we could then totally disregard that fact and demand more of him.

None of us were sat here drooling over video's of Paul fecking Pogba at Juventus making tackles and breaking up opposition attacks, yet we now we seemingly expect him to be a top DM for Manchester United.
 
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RUCK4444

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Or maybe, just maybe, he just looks a better player because France is the World Champion? You made the case that he looks good with better players around. Well, you can make that case for Bruno, Fred, McTominay and Daniel James.


Once again blaming all around instead of Pogba himself, ignoring the fact that the team is better without him.
Once again blaming everything on Pogba. I'm not sat here saying he's been great, it's a simple fact that there would have been a two fold benefit of having a top DM in this squad, the starting 11 would benefit and we would get more from Pogba.

I'm not even defending him at this point, just making what I feel is a pretty basic observation.
 

HowYouDoin

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You sound very invested in this.

Of course it's debatable, he's still our most talented player and starts every game in an important position for the best national team on the planet.

We aren't dependant on him, I agree that's actually to the contrary.

However rather than throw our collective toys out of the pram so to speak, it behooves us to make the most of this player. I don't think we've ever partnered him with a top level midfielder unless you think Matic is still in his prime, he isn't and hasn't been for us. Surely that's a pertinent point, much the same as it would be if we were talking about CB's and who we partner those players with.

It's clear to me that Pogba is not defensively sound enough to be classed as a DM so to make up for that you have to have a top level DM next to him, such as his French colleague in Kante. His defensive limitations were evident before we bought him, so I don't see why any of us should argue that purely because he cost of a lot of money that we could then totally disregard that fact and demand more of him.

None of us were sat here drooling over video's of Paul fecking Pogba at Juventus making tackles and breaking up opposition attacks, yet we now we seemingly expect him to be a top DM for Manchester United.
The thing is either we were duped by those highlights of him at Juventus or he just doesnt fit the Premier League and he needs more time on the ball than he would get in the PL.
Either way time to move on.
And no its not debatable anymore. Ole dropped him. Ole of all people. And literally no one is surprised. No one cares anymore. Ole would get in more trouble for playing him. No one complains that Ole doesnt play him but plenty of people would complain if he did. This isnt like back when Mourinho was our manager and people demanded Mourinho play him.
So no its not a debate and no one cares about Pogba anymore. This is case closed.

We are much better playing Fred McT and Bruno and heck even if one of them got injured I dont think Pogba would be the next one in line. Matic would likely replace Fred or McT, I also think good chance VDB would replace Bruno.
 

RUCK4444

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The thing is either we were duped by those highlights of him at Juventus or he just doesnt fit the Premier League and he needs more time on the ball than he would get in the PL.
Either way time to move on.
And no its not debatable anymore. Ole dropped him. Ole of all people. And literally no one is surprised. No one cares anymore. Ole would get in more trouble for playing him. No one complains that Ole doesnt play him but plenty of people would complain if he did. This isnt like back when Mourinho was our manager and people demanded Mourinho play him.
So no its not a debate and no one cares about Pogba anymore. This is case closed.

We are much better playing Fred McT and Bruno and heck even if one of them got injured I dont think Pogba would be the next one in line. Matic would likely replace Fred or McT, I also think good chance VDB would replace Bruno.
You certainly sound like you care. We should care, he's out most expensive player, I'm Ole's biggest defender most weeks but I'd like to get the most from our most valuable asset as I'm sure he does.

Problem is he's a unique player with certain talents and fixed weaknesses in his game. The decision is whether you make a change to the squad to limit those weaknesses in order to gain the maximum on our investment, I think that's a no brainer because I happen to think that a top level DM should be the priority for this team regardless of whether Paul Pogba even existed.
 

HowYouDoin

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You certainly sound like you care. We should care, he's out most expensive player, I'm Ole's biggest defender most weeks but I'd like to get the most from our most valuable asset as I'm sure he does.

Problem is he's a unique player with certain talents and fixed weaknesses in his game. The decision is whether you make a change to the squad to limit those weaknesses in order to gain the maximum on our investment, I think that's a no brainer because I happen to think that a top level DM should be the priority for this team regardless of whether Paul Pogba even existed.
Nah man I dont care. You do. For me the Pogba thing is finished. He is already pretty much done at the club and Im not counting on him at all anymore. The one thing I want is that we get something good in return. Say that rumored trade for Ronaldo, that would be great.
Him as a player playing for us though, I couldnt care less if he doesnt play at all anymore. If he does, hope its only as a super sub.
And honestly I believe majority shares my opinion as well as Ole and people at the club. Pogba just isnt someone they concern themselves with anymore. Even though he is still technically at the club I do believe everyone has moved on, including Pogba, the club and 99 % of the fans.
 

Borys

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Once again blaming everything on Pogba.
How did you come to that conclusion? It's you who blames all around for Pogba being poor this season. I am only defendind players who have been decent for us this season.
I'm not sat here saying he's been great, it's a simple fact that there would have been a two fold benefit of having a top DM in this squad, the starting 11 would benefit and we would get more from Pogba.

I'm not even defending him at this point, just making what I feel is a pretty basic observation.
This is a basic observation indeed. Just imagine how Bruno would benefit from having a top DM!
Then again, how is he performing so well with those mediocre players behind him?

You sound very invested in this.

Of course it's debatable, he's still our most talented player and starts every game in an important position for the best national team on the planet.

We aren't dependant on him, I agree that's actually to the contrary.

However rather than throw our collective toys out of the pram so to speak, it behooves us to make the most of this player. I don't think we've ever partnered him with a top level midfielder unless you think Matic is still in his prime, he isn't and hasn't been for us. Surely that's a pertinent point, much the same as it would be if we were talking about CB's and who we partner those players with.

It's clear to me that Pogba is not defensively sound enough to be classed as a DM so to make up for that you have to have a top level DM next to him, such as his French colleague in Kante. His defensive limitations were evident before we bought him, so I don't see why any of us should argue that purely because he cost of a lot of money that we could then totally disregard that fact and demand more of him.

None of us were sat here drooling over video's of Paul fecking Pogba at Juventus making tackles and breaking up opposition attacks, yet we now we seemingly expect him to be a top DM for Manchester United.
I expect him not to lose the ball in dangerous area few times a game, and so far he can't deliver. I expect him to put in some effort for 90', and just because he's not doing it, he's second choice to much inferior players talent-wise and rightly so.
You certainly sound like you care. We should care, he's out most expensive player, I'm Ole's biggest defender most weeks but I'd like to get the most from our most valuable asset as I'm sure he does.

Problem is he's a unique player with certain talents and fixed weaknesses in his game. The decision is whether you make a change to the squad to limit those weaknesses in order to gain the maximum on our investment, I think that's a no brainer because I happen to think that a top level DM should be the priority for this team regardless of whether Paul Pogba even existed.
Ole should be focused on getting the best out of team, not Pogba just because he's such a talented player (which I believe he is). I agree the team would benefit from having top DM in squad, but setting strategy on that solution would be more risky than selling Pogba and using cash to buy a proper right winger.
 
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RUCK4444

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How did you come to that conclusion? It's you who blames all around for Pogba being poor this season. I am only defendind players who have been decent for us this season.

This is a basic observation indeed. Just imagine how Bruno would benefit from having a top DM!
Then again, how is he performing so well with those mediocre players behind him?


I expect him not to lose the ball in dangerous area few times a game, and so far he can't deliver. I expect him to put in some effort for 90', and just because he's not doing it, he's second choice to much inferior players talent-wise and rightly so.

Ole should be focused on getting the best out of team, not Pogba just because he's such a talented player (which I believe he is). I agree the team would benefit from having top DM in squad, but setting strategy on that solution would be more risky than selling Pogba and using cash to buy a proper right winger.
I don't blame everybody except Pogba, you seem interested in my posts so at least try to read them, I've posted many times that Pogba has his fair share of the blame for his performances, of course he does, I'm just pointing out that the player we bought and what people expect of him whilst playing in a different position with a different role, with far inferior players beside him.

Bruno plays well with those mediocre players behind him because for us to function to any level we have to play both Fred and Mctominay in tandem! In order to gain any control in midfield. Which again lends weight to my quite simple observation that we are painfully short on a top level DM.

Posters like you get angry, almost like you have a big Pogba poster on your bedroom wall and your furious he hasn't come here and won us the league single handedly. It's hard to have a rational conversation on Pogba or Ole for that matter unless every poster just nods along together and calls them both shite. It's tedious.

Everybody with an ounce of knowledge about football knows we are crying out for a top DM regardless of Pogba. I'm just pointing out that the acquisition of that type of player improves the team as a whole and the player in isolation.

Building a team is about retaining quality and building on it, choosing players that compliment others within the side. It's not about 'building a team around Pogba' - contrary to popular belief we have never done that.

A DM in this side is more important that a RW. Regardless of Pogba. No doubt in my mind.
 

Volumiza

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Strange that we have the same 'average' midfielders around Bruno but he can manage to put a shift in. His record speaks for itself.

There are no more excuses for Pogba unfortunately, for whatever reason he doesn't suit us.
This is the biggest issue and one that Pogbas annoyingly desperate fans just won’t accept. Truly brilliant players still show their brilliance regardless of who surrounds them.
 

He'sRaldo

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Strange that we have the same 'average' midfielders around Bruno but he can manage to put a shift in. His record speaks for itself.

There are no more excuses for Pogba unfortunately, for whatever reason he doesn't suit us.
This is the biggest issue and one that Pogbas annoyingly desperate fans just won’t accept. Truly brilliant players still show their brilliance regardless of who surrounds them.
I usually wouldn't want to comment on this because then people would say Pogba fans are hating on Bruno, but in this case I will say a few words.

(1) Bruno struggles for consistency of performances, and his player performance thread is testament to that, and

(2) even with Bruno performing at top level, we still don't have the right amount of creativity and midfield control with a combo of Fred and Scott.

That's not to say Bruno isn't a great player, he's very good. It's more to show that even a highly rated player like Bruno can be quite inconsistent in circumstances that are less than ideal. I remember quite a few games where Bruno struggled to even get the ball when playing with both Scott and Fred, and I'm sure in the long run either Fred or Scott will have to make way for someone better. A Matic-like player will always be needed, so it's easy to see why @RUCK4444 says the need is for a top DM to replace an ageing Matic, as opposed to us playing 2 limited players and hoping Bruno's creativity alone will carry us every match.
 

VP89

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I caught a bit of United Stand today and decided to block it from suggested searches now.

Mark Goldbridge actually thought Pogba would be fine in a deep lying playmaker role because he's alright enough there for France. OK, sure, lets ignore Pogba's chronic inability to beat a press, his ponderous nature on the ball in deep areas and the fact that the French midfielders are not exactly comparable in style and chemistry to the United ones. Sure, why not. Absolute mug of an evaluation there.

If Pogba is to shine for us, I think it's going to be in a system where he operates in a box to box role and the ball winning responsibilities are solely rested on one player, like Fred. He can work as a 10 too but I wouldn't dare move Bruno out of position.Even if we account for a box to box option, I actually think VDB is better suited to that role anyway.
 

VP89

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I usually wouldn't want to comment on this because then people would say Pogba fans are hating on Bruno, but in this case I will say a few words.

(1) Bruno struggles for consistency of performances, and his player performance thread is testament to that, and

(2) even with Bruno performing at top level, we still don't have the right amount of creativity and midfield control with a combo of Fred and Scott.

That's not to say Bruno isn't a great player, he's very good. It's more to show that even a highly rated player like Bruno can be quite inconsistent in circumstances that are less than ideal. I remember quite a few games where Bruno struggled to even get the ball when playing with both Scott and Fred, and I'm sure in the long run either Fred or Scott will have to make way for someone better. A Matic-like player will always be needed, so it's easy to see why @RUCK4444 says the need is for a top DM to replace an ageing Matic, as opposed to us playing 2 limited players and hoping Bruno's creativity alone will carry us every match.
1) Go look at his impact, even on poor days he's far and away the most productive player, which makes the "hating on Bruno" even more bizzarre.
2) A redundant point, people shouldn't be "hating on Bruno" on days where he's performing at top level. They should be hating on having a hole in other areas of the team that are unrelated.
 

RUCK4444

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I usually wouldn't want to comment on this because then people would say Pogba fans are hating on Bruno, but in this case I will say a few words.

(1) Bruno struggles for consistency of performances, and his player performance thread is testament to that, and

(2) even with Bruno performing at top level, we still don't have the right amount of creativity and midfield control with a combo of Fred and Scott.

That's not to say Bruno isn't a great player, he's very good. It's more to show that even a highly rated player like Bruno can be quite inconsistent in circumstances that are less than ideal. I remember quite a few games where Bruno struggled to even get the ball when playing with both Scott and Fred, and I'm sure in the long run either Fred or Scott will have to make way for someone better. A Matic-like player will always be needed, so it's easy to see why @RUCK4444 says the need is for a top DM to replace an ageing Matic, as opposed to us playing 2 limited players and hoping Bruno's creativity alone will carry us every match.
Exactly. It’s painfully obvious whenever Matic plays and is having a stinker - see the Tottenham hammering!!

A young/prime Matic would be perfect but that’s not what we’ve had, and he’s really the only actual DM in this side since Pogba arrived.

Again this doesn’t excuse a lacklustre Pogba, it’s just obvious imo that a top DM would elevate the whole starting 11, Pogba included.

Regarding Bruno vs Pogba fans, that’s all a bit silly, Bruno for me gets into this side on his worst day. I just think with that magic DM we’d get to perhaps play both of our best players.
 

HowYouDoin

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Exactly. It’s painfully obvious whenever Matic plays and is having a stinker - see the Tottenham hammering!!

A young/prime Matic would be perfect but that’s not what we’ve had, and he’s really the only actual DM in this side since Pogba arrived.

Again this doesn’t excuse a lacklustre Pogba, it’s just obvious imo that a top DM would elevate the whole starting 11, Pogba included.

Regarding Bruno vs Pogba fans, that’s all a bit silly, Bruno for me gets into this side on his worst day. I just think with that magic DM we’d get to perhaps play both of our best players.

Pipe dream. Even with the perfect DM Pogba still leaves us defensively vulnerable. Thats the whole problem with him.
Whos that perfect DM anyway? Just Kante and no one else?
I mean Juventus had Pirlo and Vidal, played 5 at the back and had amazing CB's. Worked that way.
With Bruno in the team, I just dont see it.

How would you fit Bruno into France's team for example?
Kante Pogba Bruno? Still weak. Kante, Pogba, Matuidi with Griezmann at his best, Mbappe, Varane at CB, yeah that can work I guess but honestly any AM would work there. That team was absolutely stacked, its not like Pogba carries France or is their best player or does what Modric does for Croatia for example. He is just a nice cog there.
Now what if Pogba played for Croatia instead of Modric? I mean no way in hell they would have been nearly as good.
 

Web of Bissaka

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The way the lad's talked about, you'd think he's a complete mug. Our best post Fergie periods have all included him featured in a key role.

Sure he may not be exactly what we need in that DM position, but he's been one of our better players throughout his whole tenure here.
1. All? Which periods?

Not including Moyes and LVG era... the short Januzaj months, Martial months and Rashford months.

Best Periods (Pogba played key roles?)
  • 16/17 - Yes throughout all the season.
  • 17/18 - Yes (only for short 2-3 months where Lingard is Messi).
  • 18/19 - Yes, during Ole caretaker months (so just about 3-4 months?).
  • 19/20 - No (none during Bruno months nor during post-lockdown months, seriously he only played one key role vs Spurs, that's it.)
Interestingly none of those period is where Pogba the main instigator or the main key-est No.#1 player.

There's always someone else who is at least on par with him but mostly better than him. At best, he's the main #1 player during Ole caretaker months.. but equally Rashford is performing superbly as well and some would say better, while we cannot ignore the influence of Herrera back to the team in midfield letting Pogba to be more marauding in attacks. Also within those best periods, Pogba also made silly tackles and bookings which costed us games and points eg. the silly handballs, "where is Pogba" meme and horrific front boot tackles.

Ask yourself this, did he ever turn our team form around single-handedly just as what Zlatan or Bruno did?
Many of us were waiting for that to happen.. to no avail. No chance it's happening except for 1-3 games when it did, rarely. Out of 5 seasons now, that's a bad return.
Turns out he's just not the player we think he is.


2. Agree as one of our better players... which isn't that hard.
Best player? No chance.
One of the best players? Yes, but at best the lowest tier of best.

Considering our huge drop of standards and plenty more players willing to give shit performances freely, that's not something to be proud of.

He's no way better than the likes of Rashford, Zlatan, Herrera, De Gea, Carrick, AWB, McT, Romero and Bruno etc overall.
 

Web of Bissaka

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The case of Needing a Top DM...

If we look at past seasons,

1. Carrick + Pogba only didn't work, both function best with Herrera providing the energy. Pogba's defensive ability and awareness is still not good at this time.

2. Kante + Pogba only didn't work, they need Matuidi in unique LM+LCM roles and their FBs especially RB to be more defensive, accomodating Pogba playing at the right side of the midfield. Pogba's defense ability again is still not good yet at this time. It is good enough by the time the WC happen.

3. Herrera + Pogba sort of works, but they still need Darmian to be the defensive LB with Pogba playing the the left side of midfield. Also Lingard's workrate is equally important in the system, as does Fellaini at times to provide extra defensive security. Pogba's ability in defending is still improving so it make sense.

4. Matic + Pogba works for few months in the first season until opposing team started to realize pressing both of them actually works wonders, and hitting them with quick counter and pace by passing them are so easy, so they need Herrera or McTominay in midfield of three to provide the extra workrate and security to made it work. Even Lingard's workrate only is not enough to help Matic + Pogba, they still need more. Mou stubbornly insist on it to be working delusionally, as does Ole at times.

5. Fred + Pogba showed obvious vacuum of spaces whenever they played together. Usually Pogba is doing the holding... and we know how easy it is to exploit him. Maybe thay's why Ole rarely try this and they play very few games together.

6. McT + Pogba seems okay defensively... but average at best in terms of control and attacking. Pogba again doesn't really perform. His defensive workrate and ability already improved by this time which helps. Also Shaw who is good defensively here helps cover Pogba just as Darmian once did, with Pogba again playing on the left-er side of midfield.

7. Kante + Pogba now seems working, but it's still early days I mean international football pace is too slow which helps. Their RB is still more defensive to cover Pogba, and the good thing is Pogba is already okay defensively. He normally defend better with France.


I think the key thing to take here is that Pogba need to do less defending each time he partner up with anyone in midfield of two because we know and we have seen plenty of it already, if he have to over-commit for sure he's going to give cheap fouls and penalties away. With Kante and France, he doesn't need to commit too much on defending. Similarly when Herrera + Darmian play, or when McT + Shaw play.

So the trick is...
A) get a good workrate but also discipline and positionally sound DM
B) a good defensive FB to which ever side of midfield Pogba is playing

Then again, if you think about it, why do so much adjustments and sacrifice for a player who doesn't really contribute much.

Luxury player seems like a fitting title.
 
Last edited:

RUCK4444

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The case of Needing a Top DM...

If we look at past seasons,

1. Carrick + Pogba only didn't work, both function best with Herrera providing the energy. Pogba's defensive ability and awareness is still not good at this time.

2. Kante + Pogba only didn't work, they need Matuidi in unique LM+LCM roles and their FBs especially RB to be more defensive, accomodating Pogba playing at the right side of the midfield. Pogba's defense ability again is still not good yet at this time. It is good enough by the time the WC happen.

3. Herrera + Pogba sort of works, but they still need Darmian to be the defensive LB with Pogba playing the the left side of midfield. Also Lingard's workrate is equally important in the system, as does Fellaini at times to provide extra defensive security. Pogba's ability in defending is still improving so it make sense.

4. Matic + Pogba works for few months in the first season until opposing team started to realize pressing both of them actually works wonders, and hitting them with quick counter and pace by passing them are so easy, so they need Herrera or McTominay in midfield of three to provide the extra workrate and security to made it work. Even Lingard's workrate only is not enough to help Matic + Pogba, they still need more. Mou stubbornly insist on it to be working delusionally, as does Ole at times.

5. Fred + Pogba showed obvious vacuum of spaces whenever they played together. Usually Pogba is doing the holding... and we know how easy it is to exploit him. Maybe thay's why Ole rarely try this and they play very few games together.

6. McT + Pogba seems okay defensively... but average at best in terms of control and attacking. Pogba again doesn't really perform. His defensive workrate and ability already improved by this time which helps. Also Shaw who is good defensively here helps cover Pogba just as Darmian once did, with Pogba again playing on the left-er side of midfield.

7. Kante + Pogba now seems working, but it's still early days I mean international football pace is too slow which helps. Their RB is still more defensive to cover Pogba, and the good thing is Pogba is already okay defensively. He normally defend better with France.


I think the key thing to take here is that Pogba need to do less defending each time he partner up with anyone in midfield of two because we know and we have seen plenty of it already, if he have to over-commit for sure he's going to give cheap fouls and penalties away. With Kante and France, he doesn't need to commit too much on defending. Similarly when Herrera + Darmian play, or when McT + Shaw play.

So the trick is...
A) get a good workrate but also discipline and positionally sound DM
B) a good defensive FB to which ever side of midfield Pogba is playing

Then again, if you think about it, why do so much adjustments and sacrifice for a player who doesn't really contribute much.

Luxury player seems like a fitting title.
We have two very defensive fullbacks, one of the very best in Europe defensively in AWB and a solid LB in Shaw. So by your own calculations a solid DM should work wonders.

Which I agree with. :D

The notion that Pogba doesn't fit any system or variation of midfield is frankly laughable.
 

Volumiza

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(1) Bruno struggles for consistency of performances, and his player performance thread is testament to that, and

(2) even with Bruno performing at top level, we still don't have the right amount of creativity and midfield control with a combo of Fred and Scott.
1. I agree, Bruno plays such tight odds all the time (in fact I struggle to remember another player who tries to creat with almost every touch) that he’s bound to be inconsistent. It’s his output though, it’s astonishing. Both here and previously Sporting. He gets in the team because of that.

2. I agree ... to a point. I think with Fred and McT there could be an upgrade on McT but that’s our best and most balanced midfield by far. Fred, I love the guy and think he could be, and probably deserves to be a starter for us for a long time, I think he dovetails with Bruno perfectly. Just my opinion though dude, lots will disagree.

And ignoring Pogbas flirting with RM, ignoring his dick of an agent and ignoring his clumsy interviews, his output on the pitch while wearing a utd shirt are completely nondescript and average. Of course, I would love to see him have some lightbulb moment, an epiphany and become a great but I doubt very, very much that will happen. Not here or anywhere else.
 
Last edited:

tenpoless

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The case of Needing a Top DM...

If we look at past seasons,

1. Carrick + Pogba only didn't work, both function best with Herrera providing the energy. Pogba's defensive ability and awareness is still not good at this time.

2. Kante + Pogba only didn't work, they need Matuidi in unique LM+LCM roles and their FBs especially RB to be more defensive, accomodating Pogba playing at the right side of the midfield. Pogba's defense ability again is still not good yet at this time. It is good enough by the time the WC happen.

3. Herrera + Pogba sort of works, but they still need Darmian to be the defensive LB with Pogba playing the the left side of midfield. Also Lingard's workrate is equally important in the system, as does Fellaini at times to provide extra defensive security. Pogba's ability in defending is still improving so it make sense.

4. Matic + Pogba works for few months in the first season until opposing team started to realize pressing both of them actually works wonders, and hitting them with quick counter and pace by passing them are so easy, so they need Herrera or McTominay in midfield of three to provide the extra workrate and security to made it work. Even Lingard's workrate only is not enough to help Matic + Pogba, they still need more. Mou stubbornly insist on it to be working delusionally, as does Ole at times.

5. Fred + Pogba showed obvious vacuum of spaces whenever they played together. Usually Pogba is doing the holding... and we know how easy it is to exploit him. Maybe thay's why Ole rarely try this and they play very few games together.

6. McT + Pogba seems okay defensively... but average at best in terms of control and attacking. Pogba again doesn't really perform. His defensive workrate and ability already improved by this time which helps. Also Shaw who is good defensively here helps cover Pogba just as Darmian once did, with Pogba again playing on the left-er side of midfield.

7. Kante + Pogba now seems working, but it's still early days I mean international football pace is too slow which helps. Their RB is still more defensive to cover Pogba, and the good thing is Pogba is already okay defensively. He normally defend better with France.


I think the key thing to take here is that Pogba need to do less defending each time he partner up with anyone in midfield of two because we know and we have seen plenty of it already, if he have to over-commit for sure he's going to give cheap fouls and penalties away. With Kante and France, he doesn't need to commit too much on defending. Similarly when Herrera + Darmian play, or when McT + Shaw play.

So the trick is...
A) get a good workrate but also discipline and positionally sound DM
B) a good defensive FB to which ever side of midfield Pogba is playing

Then again, if you think about it, why do so much adjustments and sacrifice for a player who doesn't really contribute much.

Luxury player seems like a fitting title.
All these combinations and they barely worked. Crazy. If it quacks like a duck, if it walks like a duck, maybe, just maybe... it's a duck.

If what Pogba requires to perform at his best are peak Vidal and Pirlo then you can put Johny Evans in that midfield and he will still look good because the midfield has been controlled, the midfield battle has been won during warm-up.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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The case of Needing a Top DM...

If we look at past seasons,

1. Carrick + Pogba only didn't work, both function best with Herrera providing the energy. Pogba's defensive ability and awareness is still not good at this time.

2. Kante + Pogba only didn't work, they need Matuidi in unique LM+LCM roles and their FBs especially RB to be more defensive, accomodating Pogba playing at the right side of the midfield. Pogba's defense ability again is still not good yet at this time. It is good enough by the time the WC happen.

3. Herrera + Pogba sort of works, but they still need Darmian to be the defensive LB with Pogba playing the the left side of midfield. Also Lingard's workrate is equally important in the system, as does Fellaini at times to provide extra defensive security. Pogba's ability in defending is still improving so it make sense.

4. Matic + Pogba works for few months in the first season until opposing team started to realize pressing both of them actually works wonders, and hitting them with quick counter and pace by passing them are so easy, so they need Herrera or McTominay in midfield of three to provide the extra workrate and security to made it work. Even Lingard's workrate only is not enough to help Matic + Pogba, they still need more. Mou stubbornly insist on it to be working delusionally, as does Ole at times.

5. Fred + Pogba showed obvious vacuum of spaces whenever they played together. Usually Pogba is doing the holding... and we know how easy it is to exploit him. Maybe thay's why Ole rarely try this and they play very few games together.

6. McT + Pogba seems okay defensively... but average at best in terms of control and attacking. Pogba again doesn't really perform. His defensive workrate and ability already improved by this time which helps. Also Shaw who is good defensively here helps cover Pogba just as Darmian once did, with Pogba again playing on the left-er side of midfield.

7. Kante + Pogba now seems working, but it's still early days I mean international football pace is too slow which helps. Their RB is still more defensive to cover Pogba, and the good thing is Pogba is already okay defensively. He normally defend better with France.


I think the key thing to take here is that Pogba need to do less defending each time he partner up with anyone in midfield of two because we know and we have seen plenty of it already, if he have to over-commit for sure he's going to give cheap fouls and penalties away. With Kante and France, he doesn't need to commit too much on defending. Similarly when Herrera + Darmian play, or when McT + Shaw play.

So the trick is...
A) get a good workrate but also discipline and positionally sound DM
B) a good defensive FB to which ever side of midfield Pogba is playing

Then again, if you think about it, why do so much adjustments and sacrifice for a player who doesn't really contribute much.

Luxury player seems like a fitting title.
This excuses again and it's getting boring now. Nothing will work, he's just inconsistent to perform in high level week in week out. The only thing will ever work for Pogba is if he plays in less competitive league like Ligue 1. Even this current Serie A could actually give few problems to Pogba, Serie A isn't as bad as when it was in 2012-2016.

I don't even remember a midfielder who takes so many touches, aim is to beat players like winger and take longer time to release the ball as the way he is. When it works, it will work brilliantly but his playing style is similar to winger and there is a reason why all those best dribblers like Hazard & Zaha also often being disposed lot because you will never be 100% successful in take on players. As a central midfielder, you can't allow yourself losing the ball too many times.

Lampard mentioned Pogba being more talented than he is as player but Lampard also questioned whether all those fancy skills & tricks that Pogba has even needed for midfielder. His end product isn't world class number either when he plays in advanced role.
 

Focusmate

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Until Pogba and the circus moves on I dont feel we can really reset and build monentum.
Too much of a distraction with no hope of consistent performances.
I also feel he could be an issue in the dressing room if reports of cliques are true as he is v popular with some teammates
 

MadDogg

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I'm afraid your memory is playing tricks on you. I wouldn't have remembered correctly either but I checked the line-up in each game on Transfermarkt. Out of his 105 PL starts, 61 were alongside two other recognised central midfielders, 44 starts playing in a two man midfield. For CL matches, the breakdown is 9 starts with two other central midfielders on the pitch and 3 starts in a two man midfield.

During Mourinho's first season, Pogba started 19 PL matches as part of a 3 man midfield, with two from Carrick, Fellaini and Herrera, providing support. He scored 4 goals with 3 assists in these matches.

In Mourinho's 2nd season, I've so far counted 10 PL matches in which Pogba played in a midfield three, typically Matic + Herrera, but Fellaini and McTominay also featured on occasion. I've not included the unsuccessful period when Mourinho used Pogba and Lingard as no 8s ahead of Matic. Anyway, 3 goals and 2 assists in those 10 PL starts with three recognised midfielders.

In the Mourinho/Solskjaer season, Pogba scored 13 goals (including 7 penalties) with 9 assists in 3013 PL mins. In 31 out of 34 starts, he played in a midfield 3, typically alongside Herrera and Matic but Fred, Fellaini, Pereira (used in a deep playmaker role) and McTominay also featured at times.

So far this season, Pogba has started one PL match with 2 other central midfielders (Fred + McTominay in a diamond system against Arsenal).

De Bruyne has had 3 seasons for City with superior figures. 14 goals (including 2 pens) with 20 assists in 2818 PL mins last season. 8 goals with 16 assists in 3103 PL mins during 2017/8 and 6 goals with 18 assists in 2893 PL mins during 2016/7.

Elite no 10/attacking midfielders typically average about 20 non-penalty goals + assists in an almost full, 3000 mins PL season. Ozil, Dele Alli, Eriksen all delivered at this rate on average. Bruno Fernandes currently has 7 non-penalty goals + 10 assists in 1785 PL mins since joining United.
Good post. There's quite a lot more three man midfields than I originally thought. In saying that, a lot of those times even in those three man midfields he's still been playing one of the deeper roles as he's needed to provide the passing and playmaking from deep. It's really only when Carrick played in 16/17 and when we used the Matic-Herrera combo that Pogba truly played in a more attacking role. I don't really remember how Pogba himself played at those times but I do know that the team as a whole was far better with both those set-ups. That month or two that Carrick played in 16/17 was our best period of that season (so much so that Mourinho played him every game and burned him out :( ), and Matic-Herrera-Pogba almost certainly has by far the best record of any combination we've used since Fergie (12 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss in the league). Even during those periods he's probably only once matched those kinds of goal/assist tallies though, obviously when Ole first took over.
 

MadDogg

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You would think Pogba would work great alongside Bruno and Fred but he doesnt. McTominay works a lot better.
Actually that combination of Bruno-Pogba-Fred has only ever played the last two matches of the Europa last season. Against Copenhagen where Pogba was probably our second best player and the other two were decent, then the semifinal against Sevilla where we dominated the midfield and the three of them were rated our three best players. Personally I think it would still probably leave us to open to use it regularly, but it's a combination I'd like to see again sometime (once Pogba has gotten into form) to see if it would work.
 

Adam-Utd

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Actually that combination of Bruno-Pogba-Fred has only ever played the last two matches of the Europa last season. Against Copenhagen where Pogba was probably our second best player and the other two were decent, then the semifinal against Sevilla where we dominated the midfield and the three of them were rated our three best players. Personally I think it would still probably leave us to open to use it regularly, but it's a combination I'd like to see again sometime (once Pogba has gotten into form) to see if it would work.
Agreed. On Paper it works best. I think Pogba will start against WBA at home personally and I think this midfield is what i'd choose. Fred can cover for Pogba better than anybody and our defence will be pressed up high which should help retain the ball better anyway.
 

HowYouDoin

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Actually that combination of Bruno-Pogba-Fred has only ever played the last two matches of the Europa last season. Against Copenhagen where Pogba was probably our second best player and the other two were decent, then the semifinal against Sevilla where we dominated the midfield and the three of them were rated our three best players. Personally I think it would still probably leave us to open to use it regularly, but it's a combination I'd like to see again sometime (once Pogba has gotten into form) to see if it would work.
Ideally you get someone like Tielamans instead of McTominay. Theres always question marks regarding Pogba.
McT probably doesnt have the quality to be a long term starter for us but he does the job. Pogba despite all his talents doesnt.
There is really no way to fit him in.

Wasnt there a thread recently on what positions are becoming redundant...
Midfield players that are more flair than work rate like Pogba but arent pure 10's, well thats one. For a CM these days, work rate is the most important thing. Work rate without flair can work, flair without work rate cant.
Pogba isnt box to box, he is box to middle of the pitch.
 

HowYouDoin

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Agreed. On Paper it works best. I think Pogba will start against WBA at home personally and I think this midfield is what i'd choose. Fred can cover for Pogba better than anybody and our defence will be pressed up high which should help retain the ball better anyway.
Also if anything we might have a perfect player to play alongside Fred and Bruno. VDB. We need to see how he does in that role.
 

monosierra

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Is Pogba a throwback to an older era where a playmaker can, well, just be a playmaker instead of the Swiss pocket type midfielders of today? I think of Kimmich and Pogba as polar opposites in a weird way - they are both all-action (Well, supposed to be) but while one delivers across the midfield, the other requires a perfect ensemble to work even he too can operate across the pitch. Pogba had perfect ensembles at Juve and the French NT and on paper, he should have a very good set of midfielders to play off with here at United. But for some reason its just not clicking for him. Is it a mental issue - Does he need to be in a very comfortable state of mind to be at his best? As compared to Bruno, who tries and fights even at his inconsistent worst.
 

Adam-Utd

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Also if anything we might have a perfect player to play alongside Fred and Bruno. VDB. We need to see how he does in that role.
I'd love to see Bruno/Fred/DVB midfield but it seems Ole doesn't rate him as a centre mid and would rather use him as a back up to Bruno.

Why we can't try a 4-3-3 against teams that want to counter us i'll never know.
 

HowYouDoin

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I'd love to see Bruno/Fred/DVB midfield but it seems Ole doesn't rate him as a centre mid and would rather use him as a back up to Bruno.

Why we can't try a 4-3-3 against teams that want to counter us i'll never know.
Ole could be wrong. VDB does have the work rate and he plays with a lot of energy.
Doesnt make sense to me that he played Pogba in that CM role so many times yet he wouldnt play VDB and by all indications and VDB's attributes he should be better and more disciplined than Pogba there and by a lot.
In theory (cuz we havent seen VDB in that role yet) we should be far less exposed defensively with him in that role than Pogba.
If you tell VDB go run, tackle, defend etc..he will do it.
 

romufc

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I'd love to see Bruno/Fred/DVB midfield but it seems Ole doesn't rate him as a centre mid and would rather use him as a back up to Bruno.

Why we can't try a 4-3-3 against teams that want to counter us i'll never know.
This is one thing that completely baffles me. Ole has tried 442 diamond, 4-2-31, 5-4-1, 5-3-2 but never a 4-3-3?

Surely it would give our midfield alot more balance? e.g. if ball is on right, RCM moves over to help whilst having 2 CM's covering centre and vice versa.

It also helps defensively because if one CM goes wide to cover a winger, there is 2 in the middle. It also means our wingers can press high because they have 3 CM's behind.

Bruno plays this role for Portugal so whats the issue?
 

brzez

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This is one thing that completely baffles me. Ole has tried 442 diamond, 4-2-31, 5-4-1, 5-3-2 but never a 4-3-3?

Surely it would give our midfield alot more balance? e.g. if ball is on right, RCM moves over to help whilst having 2 CM's covering centre and vice versa.

It also helps defensively because if one CM goes wide to cover a winger, there is 2 in the middle. It also means our wingers can press high because they have 3 CM's behind.

Bruno plays this role for Portugal so whats the issue?
We have no wingers and no real centerforward except for Cavani.