Pogba is not a left winger

Gandalf

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Definitely not a Left Winger but very good on the Left which is something else entirely. The main issue is that The Right Hon. Sir Marcus Rashford Esq. is also very good on the left and not much use played elsewhere. The ideal solution is a player like Rice to replace McFred and let Pogba play in a more advanced role closer to Bruno and the attack.
 

jem

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Not sure why this needa thread to point out but apparently this compltely obvious fact isn't completely obvious enough for our own manager. So, here are some reasons

a) Pogba is not a left winger
b) Oppositon teams when he plays there just attack freely down that side for the entire game, often creating multiple chances as a direct result and scoring multiple times. e.g. Liverpool, right now.
c) Pogba is not a winger, he doesn't know how to play as one. He doesn't score often enough to play in a front three. I mean, he just isn't a winger. It's like saying that a circle isn't a square. It's impossible to break it down anymore simply because it is as obvious as it can possibly be already.

Here's some other things.
a) Rashford is a left winger
b) Rashford has 20 goals this season, as a left winger, making him our top scorer from open play and one of the most prolific left sided attacking players in Europe.
c) No other team, in the world, would sacrifice their most dangerous attacking player, in order to play a midfielder out of position, score less goals, and let the oppositon team score more often.
d) Scoring less and conceding more is not an effective way to win games.

I'm sorry but Ole undermines all the good work he does with shite like this. You may as well stick Shaw in goal and then persist with it all season and act like there's no connection between that and conceding goals due to goalkeeping errors. This is basic fecking common sense level stuff. If you HAVE to play Pogba, play him in his position, or in a position that you don't have someone better to play in. You wouldn't play him instead of Maguir because he'd be a worse centreback than Maguire is, so don't fecking play him instead of Rashford, in Rashford's position. Or at the very fecking least don't then shove Rashford into Greenwood's position instead of just playing Greenwood, just to play Pogba.
For me, it's frustrating because it involves playing one player out of position (Pogba) to accommodate the apparent need to play Fred and McTominay while keeping arguably our best player (Pogba) on the pitch, which in turn means shifting another one of our best players (Rashford) to the opposite wing, where he is nowhere near as effective. So much would be improved by buying a better CB partner for Maguire (which would seemingly negate the need for the overly defensive, yet still not very good Fred/McTominay combo), along with a top-notch CDM who would allow Pogba to move back to his natural position (shunting Fred and McTominay to the bench), which in turn would allow Rashford to move back to his best position, where he could compete with Martial.
 

He'sRaldo

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When you put it like that, I think him on the left is actually the solution. We've now discovered that expecting any significant defensive contribution from Pogba is a mistake. Now we use him at his best, driving forward, looking for passes, making runs, taking shots, without having to be as intricate as an attacking midfielder. Our midfield sucks, but that doesn't mean Pogba is to blame. Its on us to sign midfielders than can allow us to win midfield battles in these big games. If that happens, I'm sure we'll see Cavani, Bruno, Pogba, Greenwood and Rashford take teams apart in these big games.
Ole has done well to try him out on the left, and it is close to the solution, but the problem is Rashford then becomes the odd man out because he's not that great on the right.

Pogba - Cavani - Greenwood has looked very good recently, but there's no way Rashford doesn't start somewhere in the lineup so Greenwood becomes the sacrifice on the bench, to enable us to play Fred and Scott.

Pogba - Cavani - Greenwood is definitely best for the team for now, but eventually we'll need to get a defensive midfielder at the level of Pogba and Bruno, and allow the 3 of them to play in a properly constructed 3-man midfield. That will also free up Rashford and Greenwood to play in their natural positions in the same lineup.
 

NZT-One

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World cup with France and with Juventus.
I thought, it was already established that with France, he played with Kante (not just your really good DM but lauded by some as a physical freak for his workrate) and had Matuidi as LM to tuck in. Iirc the fullbacks also weren't very adventurous so the base was pretty solid. The whole France teams wasn't the most exciting. It was functional and played some nice stuff because of awesome offensive players. Not that Pogba didn't participate. But it isn't like he channeled his inner Keane back then.

And for Juve: Pirlo was never really employed like Carrick. Pirlo dictated play, he wasn't a DM. The 3rd player in midfield was Vidal (also above average at workrate and contribution) or Marchisio. And lets not forget the small detail, that Juve employed 3 at the back with argubly one of the best defenses of the last decade in Chiellini, Barzagli and Bonucci. So Pogba had the environment where he flourishes: not too burdened by defensive responsibility and not even burdened to dictate play. Not even needed to be the X-factor in offense. He was free to roam - pop up at unlikely spots, use his skillset to do great stuff. Just like what we have seen in the caretaker period when Ole employed him further up and just like for a few weeks when Ole started to start him from the left side.

Pogba can play in a double pivot. But it doesn't bring out the best of Pogba because he is then needed to be somewhat disciplined which he has issues with and it also hinders the team because the team would have to compensate for some of his flaws which then would require others to not play to their strength. A sole DM won't bring a solution - in todays game, you don't get away in big games, if you don't defend and attack as a team.
 

bosskeano

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That's an understatement to say he can't play left wing. Ole is trying to force having Pogba on the pitch as he feels he's one of the better XI players but at what cost??? pushing Rashford to the right where he clearly isn't comfortable.

The balance of the squad is more important sometimes than getting the best XI on the pitch. Against the top sides, Pogba can't play in the midfield with the current group as we don't have a Kante type of holding mid that can make up for Pogba's lack of defensive work.

I think we'd be better off selling him this summer.
 

tjb

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Ole has done well to try him out on the left, and it is close to the solution, but the problem is Rashford then becomes the odd man out because he's not that great on the right.

Pogba - Cavani - Greenwood has looked very good recently, but there's no way Rashford doesn't start somewhere in the lineup so Greenwood becomes the sacrifice on the bench, to enable us to play Fred and Scott.

Pogba - Cavani - Greenwood is definitely best for the team for now, but eventually we'll need to get a defensive midfielder at the level of Pogba and Bruno, and allow the 3 of them to play in a properly constructed 3-man midfield. That will also free up Rashford and Greenwood to play in their natural positions in the same lineup.
I've always said this, it's on rashford to prove he's more effective. If we sign Grealish or Sancho and they prove more impactful that Rashford, should rashford start?

On the three man midfield, there are two issues I have with it. First, ole is comfortable with the current system. Pep can negate the defensive issues city would have with 2 AM's because he created a system that uses inverted full backs. That doesn't mean Ole will know how to use it like Pep. Pep struggles with 3 at the back, what Conte struggles with a 433. It's not that easy to create new systems.

Secondly, Bruno. He's our best player and has been brilliant all season as our no.10, being able to score goals from runs in behind, pushing him deeper might take away our most potent threat. And to do so for Rashford, who is more of an x factor than a consistent threat would be juvenile.

The truth is, Rashford isn't good enough to have a place guaranteed. He's not better than Robben at Chelsea regardless of any stats. Robben was comfortable competing with Cole and Duff. Just like Sterling competes with Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Foden. If he is better than Pogba on the left, then he has to be more impacted in our games, prove it.
 

He'sRaldo

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Pogba can play in a double pivot. But it doesn't bring out the best of Pogba because he is then needed to be somewhat disciplined which he has issues with and it also hinders the team because the team would have to compensate for some of his flaws which then would require others to not play to their strength. A sole DM won't bring a solution - in todays game, you don't get away in big games, if you don't defend and attack as a team.
I don't think a double pivot is the way forward either.

But as for the rest, that's how teams work. Pogba compensated for Kante's offensive flaws by being a beast of a passer in the world cup, while Kante was a beast defensively and they had a wonderful partnership. Pogba also played a big part in Mbappe being able to stay forward and be released with his favourite type of passes into space. That's how it works, and only stating that others compensate for Pogba's flaws and not taking into account Pogba's contributions is not a balanced way of looking at it.

When Fred and Scott start and the only creativity we have is Bruno, we look pretty bad, pretty often. Compare that to when Pogba plays, and you'll see that he compensates a lot for the team's creative issues. With that in mind it makes the most sense to find a DM that can form a mutually beneficial partnership with Pogba alongside Bruno, and I wouldn't be so quick to say it isn't the solution when (1) it has worked to a degree elsewhere and (2) we haven't even actually tried it yet.
 

Chesterlestreet

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Well, no - he isn't.

But he hasn't been playing as one either.

He can definitely play on the left, in an attacking midfielder capacity - in fact, it's the ideal position/role for him.

"Just" a question of getting the other pieces of the puzzle together.
 

He'sRaldo

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I've always said this, it's on rashford to prove he's more effective. If we sign Grealish or Sancho and they prove more impactful that Rashford, should rashford start?

On the three man midfield, there are two issues I have with it. First, ole is comfortable with the current system. Pep can negate the defensive issues city would have with 2 AM's because he created a system that uses inverted full backs. That doesn't mean Ole will know how to use it like Pep. Pep struggles with 3 at the back, what Conte struggles with a 433. It's not that easy to create new systems.

Secondly, Bruno. He's our best player and has been brilliant all season as our no.10, being able to score goals from runs in behind, pushing him deeper might take away our most potent threat. And to do so for Rashford, who is more of an x factor than a consistent threat would be juvenile.

The truth is, Rashford isn't good enough to have a place guaranteed. He's not better than Robben at Chelsea regardless of any stats. Robben was comfortable competing with Cole and Duff. Just like Sterling competes with Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Foden. If he is better than Pogba on the left, then he has to be more impacted in our games, prove it.
If Ole can't get it to work, then the solution would be to sell Pogba and replace him with a top level DM to fit Ole's 4-2-3-1.

That problem is that would be putting a huge amount of faith in Ole, seeing as we've sold good players and passed up very good managerial opportunities because of him. If we were to also sell one of our best players on the basis that he can't fit into Ole's formation, it's fair to say that we should expect a pretty substantial return for that faith.
 

Abraxas

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If Ole can't get it to work, then the solution would be to sell Pogba and replace him with a top level DM to fit Ole's 4-2-3-1.

That problem is that would be putting a huge amount of faith in Ole, seeing as we've sold good players and passed up very good managerial opportunities because of him. If we were to also sell one of our best players on the basis that he can't fit into Ole's formation, it's fair to say that we should expect a pretty substantial return for that faith.
I'm not sure it's that much of a problem to put faith in the manager over one player, even if it's a good one. We have already trusted and will continue to trust the manager with hundreds of millions of pounds as well as the success of our team, which is ultimately why they're the first to be sacked when it goes wrong. What he does with Paul Pogba is a drop in the ocean in terms of faith shown.

I don't think it's necessarily the manager getting the best out of Paul Pogba, it seems to be hard for Pogba to get the best out of himself in that he can have a patch of good games and then poor ones to follow. This seems to have been the case in every position and throughout his whole career with us. This is the rather inconvenient reality for those that think it's all about tweaking tactics and that the manager somehow has a responsibility for peak performance out of every single player and somehow he should lead every horse to water. What he has to do is get the best out of the overall team and get results. Perhaps if there is a criticism of the manager in relation to Pogba it is that he seems to know the limitations of the player in our setup but he is now trying to shoehorn him into roles in certain games.

It's at the point where maybe it's not about us fiddling things around Paul Pogba and maybe this team has to move ahead without him being seen as a key man. He either stays and we accept the inherent inconsistency in exchange for the good moments and accept he is more of a bench player in some fixtures. Or maybe we cut our losses depending on whether the value we can get is good in relation to what he offers to us. Also depends on his view on his contract because clearly that informs the value proposition in terms of retaining the player.
 
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Born2Lose

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If Pogba gave 100% every match he could probably play most positions on the pitch. He doesn't always and that's the problem.
 

Eddy_JukeZ

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Not at the moment he isn't, his greediness needs sorting out, plus it's about balance, if we have Mason, Rashford and Cavani starting then Bruno is the only creator in the front 4 and we are easier to snuff out.
You don't think Rashford is a creative player?

Really?
 

finneh

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Our best midfield two for better or for worse, irrespective of all the flack they get right now is Fred-McTominay. It is the only duo that has a balance of defensive competency, along with the ability to press the opposition midfield and also bring play forward, albeit not at a level we want to see. Both are flawed but both actually do the fundamentals of the role. Matic when paired with either of these two can also fulfil this role (albeit more sporadically these days). We patently need to upgrade one of these two.

If we bought Rice however... Our best midfield duo would be Rice and still either Fred or McTominay (the latter in my view). Rice is currently proficient when playing next to a player like Soucek; so buying him and hanging him out to dry as a one man midfield would be like playing Bailly at RB.

We'd still be in the position of having to view the squad in the same (albeit stronger) lens. Our best left sided attacker is still clearly Rashford; he'll score 20+ goals from this position and is key to Ole's tactics.

Our best right sided attacker is still clearly Greenwood. Our best creative fulcrum is clearly and unarguably Fernandes. Our best centre forward is unequivocally Cavani.

Pogba will still be a problem in that he cannot be a key feature of a successful team unless:

a) We decide to play Pogba rather than Fernandes (net loss)
b) We play four midfielders (McT*-Fred*-Pogba-Bruno), sacrificing a key component of our team - width, pace and/or a proper CF (net loss)
c) We play both Pogba and another key player out of position, whilst also dropping a key player (net loss)

The current train of thought seems to ignore these realities. We seem to believe that on the evening of his contract signing Rice (or similar) will transmogrify into a prime Makelele. We seem to believe that Lindelof can be replaced by someone who will become Cannavaro reincarnated when he puts on the shirt.

Neither of these will happen. There aren't transferable defensive midfielders or centre backs out there that can cover for Pogba's inability to do the basics of a central midfielder.

*Or a new holding midfielder
 
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Bondi77

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If we get Sancho then Rashford goes to the left and Pogba goes to the bench as a squad option along with Fred and Scott, it is as simple as that. And if another club will pay big money for one of our squad options we should take it and invest the money on a target that would be a genuine starter for our team.
 

NZT-One

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You don't think Rashford is a creative player?

Really?
Without wanting to interrupt, I thought, that this seasons Rashfords was a totally different player from last years Rashford. Back then, there were spells, where he created moves by getting the ball in deep areas, playing in others, make crosses, cutbacks, movements. I don't know, if this is a personal thing or asked for by the manager, to be honest, I liked last years Rashford more because he improved the overall team performance while still scoring. This year, it was mostly scoring, which is great in itself but as has been pointed out - if there are to many scorer and not enough creator, you become easy to defend against.

I don't think a double pivot is the way forward either.

But as for the rest, that's how teams work. Pogba compensated for Kante's offensive flaws by being a beast of a passer in the world cup, while Kante was a beast defensively and they had a wonderful partnership. Pogba also played a big part in Mbappe being able to stay forward and be released with his favourite type of passes into space. That's how it works, and only stating that others compensate for Pogba's flaws and not taking into account Pogba's contributions is not a balanced way of looking at it.
I understand what you mean and you are right, if we could "just" add "a beast defensively" and an attacker of Mbappes quality, then I guess it could work. But thats probably way easier said than done and how big are the chances to get that? And are you really sure, that there are not more underlying factors in France's success than these two players? Varane and Umtiti at the center of defense isn't too shabby as well, certainly faster and therefor more mobile than Maguire and Lindelof. Heck, I just checked - in the WC final France played Pavard and L. Hernandez at fullback, players way more known for their defensive ability than for they attacking participation.

To be honest, I never really had the feeling, that Pogba was the star man in either France or Juve. A vital cog in a great machine. Is it worth a try to get a DM and try him with Bruno in front of the DM? Sure, but neither am I very optimistic that it would bring out the best from Bruno who since month is way closer to our striker (which suits him stats wise) than he is close to any centre circle. And I don't see a DM that is attainable either. Rice certainly doesn't strike me as very "beast-like".

My concerns stem from a slight fear of entering some sort of sunken cost fallacy. "We know, how talented Pogba is, so we cannot allow him to leave". The team should come first and if Pogba doesn't find a way to integrate himself into the team, than I know what I would do... If the manager also doesn't really find a way, it makes two for two...

I don't think, the player would be fine with some sort of golden-sub position, and I guess, extending his contract would even raise his wages. Wages he hasn't really paid back in performances (in relation to his talent) during the last years. (Admittedly not the best environment but still. And the environment isn't going to change anyway). I don't see any reasonable way and at this point, I simply have not enough hope left for him to finally become the player he potentially could be.

When Fred and Scott start and the only creativity we have is Bruno, we look pretty bad, pretty often. Compare that to when Pogba plays, and you'll see that he compensates a lot for the team's creative issues. With that in mind it makes the most sense to find a DM that can form a mutually beneficial partnership with Pogba alongside Bruno, and I wouldn't be so quick to say it isn't the solution when (1) it has worked to a degree elsewhere and (2) we haven't even actually tried it yet.
(1) Yeah the degree is subjective I guess, but it needs to be very high given the potential consequences (extending his contract) - and I don't think his impact justifies that
(2) Us not having tried that makes the outcome not more predictable unfortunately. And while I can understand your stance, from what I've seen from Bruno and Pogba, I don't think, they will work together as a box2box midfield, as long as we don't find a cross between Matic and Kante somewhere. They are simply not defensively proficient enough. If people around here bash McFred for their tackling or Matic about his "dribbled past"-stat, what would they say about these two?

I might be all up for it, if there wouldn't be a contract extension necessary. Pogba is a great player, one of the most talented in world football right now. I understand, fans don't want him to leave. But the problems he solves currently (yesterday not so much), can also be solved without him. Simply adding for example Sancho on the right adds another creator (probably an elite one) to the site. Coaching Rashford to be a little more of a creator than these days, can help, Mason learning a few moves from Cavani. We could get away with one major transfer in Sancho while keeping the relative security that McFred is able to offer while potentially adding a talent for the future there (because I see no obvious targets). Seems more reasonable to me.

(Having said that, I just don't see it with Rice. For me he is a "Maguire" just waiting to happen. Good player for insane money. So thats another factor in my stance, I can relate, being convinced of Rice, makes the "Bruno, Pogba, Rice"-idea more attractive to some.)

Pogba will still be a problem in that he cannot be a key feature of a successful team unless:

a) We decide to play Pogba rather than Fernandes (net loss)
b) We play four midfielders (McT*-Fred*-Pogba-Bruno), sacrificing a key component of our team - width, pace and/or a proper CF (net loss)
c) We play both Pogba and another key player out of position, whilst also dropping a key player (net loss)

The current train of thought seems to ignore these realities. We seem to believe that on the evening of his contract signing Rice (or similar) will transmogrify into a prime Makelele. We seem to believe that Lindelof can be replaced by someone who will become Cannavaro reincarnated when he puts on the shirt.

Neither of these will happen. There aren't transferable defensive midfielders or centre backs out there that can cover for Pogba's inability to do the basics of a central midfielder.

*Or a new holding midfielder
Very accurate description from my point of view.
 
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He'sRaldo

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Without wanting to interrupt, I thought, that this seasons Rashfords was a totally different player from last years Rashford. Back then, there were spells, where he created moves by getting the ball in deep areas, playing in others, make crosses, cutbacks, movements. I don't know, if this is a personal thing or asked for by the manager, to be honest, I liked last years Rashford more because he improved the overall team performance while still scoring. This year, it was mostly scoring, which is great in itself but as has been pointed out - if there are to many scorer and not enough creator, you become easy to defend against.


I understand what you mean and you are right, if we could "just" add "a beast defensively" and an attacker of Mbappes quality, then I guess it could work. But thats probably way easier said than done and how big are the chances to get that? And are you really sure, that there are not more underlying factors in France's success than these two players? Varane and Umtiti at the center of defense isn't too shabby as well, certainly faster and therefor more mobile than Maguire and Lindelof. Heck, I just checked - in the WC final France played Pavard and L. Hernandez at fullback, players way more known for their defensive ability than for they attacking participation.

To be honest, I never really had the feeling, that Pogba was the star man in either France or Juve. A vital cog in a great machine. Is it worth a try to get a DM and try him with Bruno in front of the DM? Sure, but neither am I very optimistic that it would bring out the best from Bruno who since month is way closer to our striker (which suits him stats wise) than he is close to any centre circle. And I don't see a DM that is attainable either. Rice certainly doesn't strike me as very "beast-like".

My concerns stem from a slight fear of entering some sort of sunken cost fallacy. "We know, how talented Pogba is, so we cannot allow him to leave". The team should come first and if Pogba doesn't find a way to integrate himself into the team, than I know what I would do... If the manager also doesn't really find a way, it makes two for two...

I don't think, the player would be fine with some sort of golden-sub position, and I guess, extending his contract would even raise his wages. Wages he hasn't really paid back in performances (in relation to his talent) during the last years. (Admittedly not the best environment but still. And the environment isn't going to change anyway). I don't see any reasonable way and at this point, I simply have not enough hope left for him to finally become the player he potentially could be.


(1) Yeah the degree is subjective I guess, but it needs to be very high given the potential consequences (extending his contract) - and I don't think his impact justifies that
(2) Us not having tried that makes the outcome not more predictable unfortunately. And while I can understand your stance, from what I've seen from Bruno and Pogba, I don't think, they will work together as a box2box midfield, as long as we don't find a cross between Matic and Kante somewhere. They are simply not defensively proficient enough. If people around here bash McFred for their tackling or Matic about his "dribbled past"-stat, what would they say about these two?

I might be all up for it, if there wouldn't be a contract extension necessary. Pogba is a great player, one of the most talented in world football right now. I understand, fans don't want him to leave. But the problems he solves currently (yesterday not so much), can also be solved without him. Simply adding for example Sancho on the right adds another creator (probably an elite one) to the site. Coaching Rashford to be a little more of a creator than these days, can help, Mason learning a few moves from Cavani. We could get away with one major transfer in Sancho while keeping the relative security that McFred is able to offer while potentially adding a talent for the future there (because I see no obvious targets). Seems more reasonable to me.

(Having said that, I just don't see it with Rice. For me he is a "Maguire" just waiting to happen. Good player for insane money. So thats another factor in my stance, I can relate, being convinced of Rice, makes the "Bruno, Pogba, Rice"-idea more attractive to some.)


Very accurate description from my point of view.
You're right that the debate around Pogba has long been from a theoretical perspective of his talent (even with him being one of our better players most times). This season however, Pogba has had key contributions to this campaign with a lot of point-gaining goals and assists as well as the go ahead goal vs Milan in the EL to progress us when we were in danger of dropping out.

He already plays at the level of a key player, so the question isn't even how to make him perform. The question is how to construct our midfield to the level where we are winning PL titles and competing for the CL, basically having one of the best midfields in the world like a club our level should have. Everybody knows that top teams usually need a Makélélé type to balance out all the attacking talent they field, f.e Fernandinho, Fabinho, Busquets, Casemiro, Kante, Kimmich, Brozovic, etc. That's the level we should be looking at, and just because it's not an attacking position doesn't mean we can get away with playing lower quality players there all the time.

Regardless of whether Pogba stays or goes, I don't see this setup with 2 mainly defensive mids being the way forward, and at some point we'll have to upgrade to a more creative mid to support Bruno, and as such will have to get a top level DM anyway. So there's no reason not to try it right now especially since we currently have Pogba and don't need to go out and buy a creative mid. I understand that theoretically Sancho could replace Pogba's creativity, but that's no excuse to keep McFred in there. We need to upgrade if we want to progress.

Tbh, I do understand you when you ask who is available, because I also am not 100% convinced by Rice, and also have no idea who else is out there at the level we need. But regardless we have to try. I don't think we can leave that area as unattended as we have in the past, and still expect to compete at the top.
 
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jamesjimmybyrondean

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I don't want to speak too soon because a DM-Pogba-Bruno midfield working out is not outside the realm of possibilities especially if we change tactics. But going into next season, Pogba should mainly be used at LW or AM competing with Rashford and Bruno.

Its been said and witnessed a number of times but Pogba is a liability at the double pivot both on and off the ball. Off the ball he can't defend for shit. On the ball he can't dictate play and he dwells on it too much for someone that should be linking the defense to the attack. He also can't beat the press and play facing our post which is strange for someone of his strength and technical ability

Asides from him being a liability at the double pivot we are simply not going to get the best out of him there. Pogba has has more in his arsenal than what he offers there. So even if we get a DM, Pogba's spot in the team should be competing with Rashford and Bruno for LW and AM.

That said, we should still try to see if we can fit a DM Pogba Bruno and Rashford in the starting 11 but if it doesn't work we should not dwell on it and simply make Pogba compete with Bruno and Rashford for their positions
 

OmarUnited4ever

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With that in mind it makes the most sense to find a DM that can form a mutually beneficial partnership with Pogba alongside Bruno, and I wouldn't be so quick to say it isn't the solution when (1) it has worked to a degree elsewhere and (2) we haven't even actually tried it yet.
I agree with this in principle, but in practice it's quite tough to do, we'll need a DM who's on the same level of Prime Fernandiho or Casmeiro, a DM who's not only competent defensively, but also able to pass & retain possession under pressure and find forwards consistently, and if we find said DM, (assuming we do a Medfield 3 of Bruno & Pogba + DM) Bruno & Pogba would need to work incredibly hard in both defensive & offensive aspects of the game, also the wingers will need to trackback a lot, Ole's insistence on the 4231 formation is due to him wanting reduce the defensive responsibilities on the front 4, using the 2 holding midfielders who are disciplined in their roles.
 

Ceteris

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Lord Rashford that everyone is pandering for isn't anything to write home about. He got done for pace by Robertson a few times on Thursday, I don't remember the last time he dribbled past anyone, he plays walking football and leaves Basaka alone to be double teamed.

I watch wingers in mid table even lower bottom teams and their work rate is better than him
 

cyril C

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Definitely not a Left Winger but very good on the Left which is something else entirely. The main issue is that The Right Hon. Sir Marcus Rashford Esq. is also very good on the left and not much use played elsewhere. The ideal solution is a player like Rice to replace McFred and let Pogba play in a more advanced role closer to Bruno and the attack.
Not a single DMF can cover for Pogba, in any game against decent opponents with strong MF. You either play 2 CMF covering for Pogba, or 1 DMF partnering with Pogba against bottom clubs. I think we have been experimenting on different formation for Pogba in past few seasons. Get rid of Pogba for a more standardised formation, or live with his strength and limitation. Credit to Ole for coming up with 2 scenario in accommodating Pogba, any further adjustment is futile.
 

Henandez14

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I don't think a lot of people realize this, he played 'left wing' at Juventus anyway. As the left midfielder in a diamond or a 3-5-2, he exclusively played on the left channel, combining with the fullbacks (Evra, Asamoah) and the central players. Even before Ole tried him out at left wing, his best work came from the left or right channel(pinging long balls to Rashford or Zlatan aside). So of we want his best form, left wing is the way to go (even if we get better midfielders than Fred and McT). I don't know why people are so averse to this idea, especially when it's been demonstrated with success in the EPL- KDB played in the right channel in City's 100 point season. With Pep having his wingers stay really wide(akin to how we expect overlapping fullbacks to play) with the fullbacks tucked in and supporting Fernandinho (almost like auxillary DM's - and that's how you play a lone DM with Bruno and Pogba for those who keep asking) in certain phases of the game, KDB and Silva found themselves in the channels most of the time- this was more noticeable with the former as almost all his assists came from the right flank, while his midfield partner was prone to drifting all over the place (like Bruno). In defense and transition, they played a normal 433 with KDB sending long balls over the top to the front 3 (with Sterling&Sane leaving the wings to create 3 vs 2 or 4 vs 3 situations in the centre).

Obviously, we can't and don't need to replicate City's tactics. 1) We should be aiming to do better and 2) We nullify our wide forwards threat by asking them to stay wide. (I do think Shaw and AWB are suited better to tucking in to support the midfield than overlapping but that's another discussion)
I think Ole has found a compromise with Pogba as LW. The only problem is, he has displaced a very important player in Rashford. I feel the next solution would be to have Rashford and Bruno swap places. If Bruno can do a similar Job to Pogba on the right, then Rashford can be a supporting striker, which I think suits him even more than LF. It would reduce our reliance on getting Sancho in the summer (which is looking unlikely now that Dortmund have champions league) and a two striker system would work well with us having four inconsistent (bar Cavani who needs rotation anyway) strikers to rotate. We could then focus on getting a quality centre back and strengthening the midfield to challenge for the title.

TLDR- lw is Pogba's best position and we're a tweak away from a genuinely title winning team
 

Dante

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You can't judge Pogba by how poorly he plays out of position. But you can judge Rashford by how poorly he plays out of position.

Because reasons.
 

AltiUn

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He doesn't really play as a winger, he's a wide playmaker and I think he's been very good in that role.

Also, I'm not sure I agree with people who say he can't play in a midfield 2, he played very well next to either Herrera or Matic (when he's in form), McTominay and Fred are just serious downgrades. If you put a good DM next to Pogba in midfield I'd wager he'd be absolutely fine.
 

pcaming

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You can't judge Pogba by how poorly he plays out of position. But you can judge Rashford by how poorly he plays out of position.

Because reasons.
I don't understand this forums obsession with downplaying Rashford. He's had another amazing season, playing through injury for us and is getting absolutely zero respect. In my mind the reason for all this debate, rashford, fred-mcT, is because Pogba refuses to be disciplined. He is literally the problem. Yes his amazing skills means we want to try to accommodate him as best as possible, but if he were to perform to the level he should be, we wouldn't need to be having any of these discussions.
 

sincher

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Left midfield in a 3-5-2 is very different to left sided attacker in a 4-3-3, or a left winger in a 4-4-2. He is not a left winger.

He continues to cause us problems with calamities when played in central midfield. That is the main problem.
 

Zen86

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He’s not a left-winger, but then again what is he? I have no idea what his best position is. Wherever he plays, it seems like that’s not where he‘s best or supposed to be.
 

Still ill

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I think most are agreed that the only solution is a top class defensive midfielder that will allow Pigba to play with Bruno and Rashford to remain on the left. We have zero consensus as to who that magical midfielder should be.
 

caid

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I think most are agreed that the only solution is a top class defensive midfielder that will allow Pigba to play with Bruno and Rashford to remain on the left. We have zero consensus as to who that magical midfielder should be.
I really dont think that true. That player doesn't exist and it wouldn't work very well if they did regardless
 

amolbhatia50k

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I really dont think that true. That player doesn't exist and it wouldn't work very well if they did regardless
Have my doubts too.

DM
Proper ball playing 8
Bruno

Would actually be the solution. But where were going to find the transfer market know how and funds to get those two is beyond me.

Pogba is fine filling in for 8 /Bruno/LW, class player, but he's not really a midfield solution
 

OrcaFat

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If he stays, his future will resemble his past. He won’t play all the games. He will play somewhere in the midfield, either on the left or in the middle depending who we are playing and depending who we have got fit.

Sometimes he’ll look like a world beater, sometimes he’ll be ineffective.

Despite his talent, it’s probably debatable whether he gets into our first choice 11 when everyone is fit.
 

amolbhatia50k

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If he stays, his future will resemble his past. He won’t play all the games. He will play somewhere in the midfield, either on the left or in the middle depending who we are playing and depending who we have got fit.

Sometimes he’ll look like a world beater, sometimes he’ll be ineffective.

Despite his talent, it’s probably debatable whether he gets into our first choice 11 when everyone is fit.
In our interest, it would be best for him to play his current role of one of our good options rather than having a whole around him. He's just too difficult tactically for that. Question is we can afford for him to be such an option and if he wants that
 

caid

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If he stays, his future will resemble his past. He won’t play all the games. He will play somewhere in the midfield, either on the left or in the middle depending who we are playing and depending who we have got fit.

Sometimes he’ll look like a world beater, sometimes he’ll be ineffective.

Despite his talent, it’s probably debatable whether he gets into our first choice 11 when everyone is fit.
I'd say he doesn't in perfect circumstances.
Realistically Rashford hasn't been in particularly good form for a while, Cavani wont play every week and Bruno could have done with more games out this season. Then theres games against fulham were you put him in midfield regardless of his defensive shortcomings. He wont be short of games in a season.
 

MadDogg

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Ole doesn’t trust him in a midfield 2 against the better teams,but with a good partner next to him,he can be a good deep lying midfielder...
He's never been able to do it consistently before in his entire career. The key word there is consistently. He can play well there, hell he can even have brilliant matches there. But for every brilliant match he'll have a terrible match.
 

Scholsey2004

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Personally i think hes been really good on the left. Of course, we're not exactly short of players there. I think if we get an offer we should cash in. We've been shuffling him around the team since he got here.
 

Scholsey2004

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Then we'll ultimately need to sacrifice one of them, and it'll be Pogba as Bruno is so important for Ole. Pogba isn't a winger no matter how much he tries. He can play some good games there but he'll never be a winger long term. He's an attacking midfielder through and through.

Pretty big headache for us to be able to play both in a balanced formation and in their positions while also not having to play with both Scott and Fred together.
I disagree in that i think hes done well on the left, but of all the positions we need a player in long term, left wing is the absolute last. If a player has been at the club for years and we've still not managed to settle him down in a regular position then realistically hes at the wrong club and we've got the wrong player. Part of me wonders if we're playing him on the left to put him in the shop window to a particular club.?
 

jem

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I don't understand this forums obsession with downplaying Rashford. He's had another amazing season, playing through injury for us and is getting absolutely zero respect. In my mind the reason for all this debate, rashford, fred-mcT, is because Pogba refuses to be disciplined. He is literally the problem. Yes his amazing skills means we want to try to accommodate him as best as possible, but if he were to perform to the level he should be, we wouldn't need to be having any of these discussions.
I love Rashford but saying he has had an amazing season while also saying that Pogba is underperforming is a bit odd.
 

justsomebloke

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For me, it's frustrating because it involves playing one player out of position (Pogba) to accommodate the apparent need to play Fred and McTominay while keeping arguably our best player (Pogba) on the pitch, which in turn means shifting another one of our best players (Rashford) to the opposite wing, where he is nowhere near as effective. So much would be improved by buying a better CB partner for Maguire (which would seemingly negate the need for the overly defensive, yet still not very good Fred/McTominay combo), along with a top-notch CDM who would allow Pogba to move back to his natural position (shunting Fred and McTominay to the bench), which in turn would allow Rashford to move back to his best position, where he could compete with Martial.
That's not the issue. The issue is that no8 isn't Pogbas natural position, and he does not play well in that role.