Should we consider selling Pogba?

cyberman

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If you come to this forum after a defeat the blame is always pointed to the same people.

Ole, Pogba, Lindelof, Maguire.

Pogba was brilliant yesterday, I thought he did everything well controlled the midfield. Our midfield was not the problem yesterday.
Im always surprised though. Its the finishing and defending that let us down. Everything else was as good as we played this season and against a top side as well.
 

Falcow

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No, Pogba is one of the most complete midfielders in Europe, once an elite DM, and a top left footed CB is next to Maguire it'll allow Pogba to drive forward more.

Pogba is essential.
Please stop with the once we get xyz Pogba will be great. The excuses are really tiring at this stage and I've been listening them since the day he arrived, heck I used to be one of those saying if we could only play him on the left of a midfield three etc. Any player will be better with better players around him but Pogba should be one of the players who makes those around him play better not vica versa.

He is great in opposition half but a liability in our own, we need someone who is great in both halves. I would sell if it allowed us the funds to buy Saul who is a more complete midfielder, particularly if Sancho is also arriving to replace Pogbas creativity.
 

Falcow

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If you come to this forum after a defeat the blame is always pointed to the same people.

Ole, Pogba, Lindelof, Maguire.

Pogba was brilliant yesterday, I thought he did everything well controlled the midfield. Our midfield was not the problem yesterday.
In the second half yes I agree he was very good, he was awful in the first however and lost the ball far too easily on 4 or 5 occasions. Fred on his own in midfield in the 15 mins leading up to their equaliser.
 

romufc

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Im always surprised though. Its the finishing and defending that let us down. Everything else was as good as we played this season and against a top side as well.
There is a big number of fans who have agendas against certain players. They wait for a loss and come hammer them.
 

JPRouve

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Thanks, I guess !:lol: In hindsight I should have took a different angle instead of such an inflammatory title, but the discussion I want is still the same.

But I really believe this will be widely recognised soon, which it clearly isn't now. The way we are playing with our wide players not defending, two midfielders absolutely have to cover the wide areas. Teams have spotted this and are exploiting it, we should be able to see it too. Bruno won't be one to defend because he plays so high up, so it will ultimately be down to Pogba and another to assist our fullbacks. I don't think there is a single midfielder that we can sign to replace Matic, that can cover the width of the pitch and allow Pogba the freedom he wants. Especially now teams use fullbacks to provide width and outnumber isolated fullbacks.
I get your point but it doesn't actually work, Bayern are the best example when it comes to 4231 since they have been using it for a while. The key to their system is that their wide players are actual wingers, they are not wide forwards despite their stats, Bayern defends in 4411 while we defend in 4213, our issue isn't Pogba, it's not even Matic but Bruno/Lingard and the fact that we are caught between two ideas and that was true even without Pogba and Bruno earlier in the season.
With inside forwards you need to defend in a flat 433, so Bruno has to completely drop in midfield otherwise regardless of the players in midfield you will get outnumbered in midfield, it won't matter if you have Makélélé and Gilberto Silva, they are not going to constantly handle 3, 4 or 5 opponents flooding the middle.

So that's the thing for us, we decided to play with Rashford and Greenwood wide, they are both attackers not midfielders which means that the 10 needs to be a midfielder not an attacker and fortunately for us Bruno is actually pretty good at it, so the ball is in Ole's court.
 

Dec9003

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I think his performances can get a bit wildly overrated on here, I’m not sure I’d sell him though. There’s a lot Pogba can improve on and I think he can impose himself more in the midfield, but he gives us a lot in terms of his ability to move the ball, and when he does fight to get it back he can be solid.
I hope that much like Martial, as time goes on he works at himself to be a more complete player in the position he’s being asked to play.
 

::sonny::

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Absolutely, lazy negative leader and useless player, a CM who think he is skilled and therefore try to dribble in the middle of the pitch (losing it in 90% of times) to show how good he is
 
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Skåre Willoch

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Absolutely, lazy negative leader and useless player, a CM who think he is skilled and therefore try to dribble in the middle of the pitch (losing it in the 90% of times) to show how good he is
This is wrong. It's not even opinion, it's just not wrong.
Usually he dribbles with great success because he actually is a skilled player. He doesn't lose it 90% of the time, he has success with it close to 90% of the time (or 80%. Or 75%. Whatever.). And those dribbles eliminates one or two players from their pressing game, gives attackers time to rush forward, opening up spaces and sets up good attacking formations and plays. He doesn't do it for fun, it serves a purpose. And he's very, very good at it.
 

pocco

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I get your point but it doesn't actually work, Bayern are the best example when it comes to 4231 since they have been using it for a while. The key to their system is that their wide players are actual wingers, they are not wide forwards despite their stats, Bayern defends in 4411 while we defend in 4213, our issue isn't Pogba, it's not even Matic but Bruno/Lingard and the fact that we are caught between two ideas and that was true even without Pogba and Bruno earlier in the season.
With inside forwards you need to defend in a flat 433, so Bruno has to completely drop in midfield otherwise regardless of the players in midfield you will get outnumbered in midfield, it won't matter if you have Makélélé and Gilberto Silva, they are not going to constantly handle 3, 4 or 5 opponents flooding the middle.

So that's the thing for us, we decided to play with Rashford and Greenwood wide, they are both attackers not midfielders which means that the 10 needs to be a midfielder not an attacker and fortunately for us Bruno is actually pretty good at it, so the ball is in Ole's court.
Yeah I get what you're saying. But in a 4231 with wide forwards that don't come back diligently, one midfielder needs to assist the side that the ball is on. From there Bruno should drop back centrally, as he is so high up the pitch that it is unrealistic for him to get back 30-40 yards to cover a fullback that is bombing forward. I think we are fundamentally agreeing with each other here. In my post that you quoted I said that there isn't a single midfielder that can cover the full width of the pitch and allow Pogba freedom. That is where many people are being incredibly naive here and completely missing the point of the thread, because their answer is simply 'sign a new DM and let Poga go forward'. They just don't understand what is happening on the pitch.
 

Josep Dowling

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He has proved time and time again he's not worth the money we paid for him. I would be happy to see him leave and replaced with a natural CM. It would provide more balance in the midfield and much more protection to our defence. He constantly messes around with the ball in dangerous areas, when there is a simple pass available to him. Last night he attempted so many Hollywood passes, even on his left foot, that went straight out and we lost possession. How many times has he lost possession which has created counter attacks against us? This cost us against Southampton during the post lockdown period. He did the same against Palace at the beginning of the season. I am sure there are many more examples this season. A player who loses possession that easily should not play a defensive role. If he gets caught out there are not enough players back to defend the situation.

He has been here for 4 years and the only time he has looked a world class player was when Ole was first appointed. He was playing as the attacking midfielder and had no defensive duties. I can't understand why Ole is now trying to make him play the deeper role. Bruno has more desire to get back. If anything I would swap the two player's positions around if we are to continue with Pogba and Bruno.
 

Reapersoul20

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He was shit yesterday but we shouldn't sell him.

He also wasn't close to being the weak link yesterday so people need to prioritize.
 

JPRouve

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Yeah I get what you're saying. But in a 4231 with wide forwards that don't come back diligently, one midfielder needs to assist the side that the ball is on. From there Bruno should drop back centrally, as he is so high up the pitch that it is unrealistic for him to get back 30-40 yards to cover a fullback that is bombing forward. I think we are fundamentally agreeing with each other here. In my post that you quoted I said that there isn't a single midfielder that can cover the full width of the pitch and allow Pogba freedom. That is where many people are being incredibly naive here and completely missing the point of the thread, because their answer is simply 'sign a new DM and let Poga go forward'. They just don't understand what is happening on the pitch.
But it has nothing to do with Pogba who doesn't need freedom. He has never been given freedom by the managers that had success with him, none of Deschamps, Conte or Allegri are that type of managers they give clear defensive instructions and create balanced defensive setups, also there isn't a single good team that plays 4231 with wide forwards because you can't balance it. So again you have a point but it's not about Pogba and again Pogba doesn't need freedom and he isn't an attacking midfielder or number 10.
 

padzilla

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We are stuck with him. He is never going to be a consistent driving force in our midfield, he is here four years now. I think that's enough time to formulate a clear picture. He was a vanity signing that hasn't quite worked out. The issue is nobody else can afford to take him so we will have a disjointed midfield for as long as he's around. I am a big fan of his but it's been like trying to fit a circle into a square.
 

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This is wrong. It's not even opinion, it's just not wrong.
Usually he dribbles with great success because he actually is a skilled player. He doesn't lose it 90% of the time, he has success with it close to 90% of the time (or 80%. Or 75%. Whatever.). And those dribbles eliminates one or two players from their pressing game, gives attackers time to rush forward, opening up spaces and sets up good attacking formations and plays. He doesn't do it for fun, it serves a purpose. And he's very, very good at it.
The problem is when he fails and losses the ball so deep, and there is nobody to cover for him. Those are good dribbling stats for a winger who is allowed to lose the ball sometimes, not for a CM.
 

The Original

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He's very far from being our best player. Bruno has done more in 5 months than he's done in 4 years. He is still technically one of our better players though I will give you that. However he's not got much competition in fairness. Other than Bruno, Martial, Greenwood and Rashford (pre back injury) there's not a great deal of quality at the club at all.
I'd say that's more than a little hyperbolic isn't it?
 

LVGSdive

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If Madrid wants to pay 80 million plus I don't see how we could turn it down.
 

Cassidy

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He's very far from being our best player. Bruno has done more in 5 months than he's done in 4 years. He is still technically one of our better players though I will give you that. However he's not got much competition in fairness. Other than Bruno, Martial, Greenwood and Rashford (pre back injury) there's not a great deal of quality at the club at all.
What utter crap, we actually won the Europa League with Pogba and without Bruno
 

MyOnlySolskjaer

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I wouldn't be upset if he left. We are playing him like Moussa Sissoko at the moment. We may as well sign someone who's more comfortable in this role such as Aouar.
 

amolbhatia50k

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Idiotic thread. Enough said
My initial thought was that we need to keep our best players and since Pogba is among the most talented midfielders in Europe, the question is non starter.

However, at the same time, considering that we don't even seem to have the cash to cough up, when and we have a free run at signing one of Euopes best young talents, then it goes make me at least consider this. I think for example Sancho is more important to our future and will perform better for us than Pogba, and hence if we truly are as short on cash as this saga suggests then we need to rethink who we would be open to selling and who we wouldn't.
 

YouOnlyLiveTwice

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No way, we would be hard pressed to find anyone better than him, he is very unique. Is he the ideal deep-lying playmaker? No, but i want to see if he can't find his feet in that position next year, and show us consistent performances.

Throw in Ndidi next to him, and i think the defensive issue of his game would be less of a problem.
 

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The problem is when he fails and losses the ball so deep, and there is nobody to cover for him. Those are good dribbling stats for a winger who is allowed to lose the ball sometimes, not for a CM.
Or when he dribbles past a player, then waits to dribble him again, one of the most infuriating/frustrating things about Pogba.

He's a top player but I never felt he can influence the big games all the time, the only games I recall were the 3-2 vs city and the EL final for getting the first goal..

Overall I dont think we have seen the Pogba juventus had and it's been like this for 3 years now...
 

JPRouve

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I wouldn't be upset if he left. We are playing him like Moussa Sissoko at the moment. We may as well sign someone who's more comfortable in this role such as Aouar.
Aouar isn't more comfortable than Pogba in that role and he is very inconsistent in Ligue 1.
 

Skåre Willoch

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The problem is when he fails and losses the ball so deep, and there is nobody to cover for him. Those are good dribbling stats for a winger who is allowed to lose the ball sometimes, not for a CM.
Oh, I agree that it's problematic when he loses the ball with no one around to help him out. But he doesn't lose the ball that often (at least nowhere close to the quoted 90%), and when he does, he usually tracks back to win the ball back, or just makes cynical foul as he should. A good DM (Matic, Fred) usually lurks behind to help him out if/when it happens as well. It's not really a big problem at all, considering it very rarely happens, but it might be problematic if everything else fails at the same time and he gives up on the play.

He's a technical, physical CM with proper qualities in both dribbling and passing. If Pogba shouldn't be allowed to dribble I agree we should just sell him, but that would be a very weird instruction to give him. That's like telling Bruno to stop making risky/overoptimistic passes. Why put limitations on a players best qualities?
 
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dal

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He’s only issue for me is receiving the ball when he’s facing our goal, his awareness seems to let him down and he can be dispossessed although he does seem to have improved here.

Honestly knowone will pay more than 50-60 million for him so let’s just keep him and develop the squad.
 

Zlatattack

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Why? He wasn't to blame for the sh1t defending, he wasn't to blame for the lack of finishing and he wasn't to blame for our fullbacks offering nothing going forwards.
 

Nou_Camp99

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I'd say that's more than a little hyperbolic isn't it?
Not really. Bruno's impact has been far greater than Pogba's at the club. Pogba still one of our better players I will concede but he's NOT our best player and he's NOT world class. World class players play more consistently than he does.

Saying that last night he wasn't the issue. The midfield I felt played well. The defence was an absolute shambles, Rashford just looks like he's forgot how to play football and Martial missed 3 sitters. That's why we lost.
 

JPRouve

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He’s only issue for me is receiving the ball when he’s facing our goal, his awareness seems to let him down and he can be dispossessed although he does seem to have improved here.

Honestly knowone will pay more than 50-60 million for him so let’s just keep him and develop the squad.
And that's why he isn't good higher up the pitch as a 10, it's a flaw that he has had for many years. Pogba is an attacking 8, you don't want him to often receive the ball too close to either box with his back to the opposition. You want him to face the play, he is also better at reading the game that way.
 

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Oh, I agree that it's problematic when he loses the ball with no one around to help him out. But he doesn't lose the ball that often (at least nowhere close to the quoted 90%), and when he does, he usually tracks back to win the ball back, or just makes cynical foul as he should. A good DM (Matic, Fred) usually lurks behind to help him out if/when it happens as well. It's not really a big problem at all, but it might be problematic if everything else fails at the same time and he gives up on the play.

He's a technical, physical CM with proper qualities in both dribbling and passing. If Pogba shouldn't be allowed to dribble I agree we should just sell him, but that would be a very weird instruction to give him. That's like telling Bruno to stop making risky/overoptimistic passes. Why put limitations on a players best qualities?
I don't agree that it's not a big problem, I think the number of times he is dispossessed in dangerous area is a big concern.
Even if we agree his dribbling is his best asset, what happens if we play top team? We can't afford to take risks in midfield, so we don't play him? Or play him with instructions not to dribble- what is the point of having him in the team then? That's why I don't think he fits this team right now.

Regarding Bruno passing, it's same story, he is allowed to do that because it's low risk high reward when he's up the pitch with many to cover behind him. Pogba is high risk high (or maybe even average) reward, what looks good on clips but in reality he'll never be that consistent.
 

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For a long time I held out hope thinking that Pogba would have the intelligence to be able to play that deeper role effectively. That he'd learn how to better apply himself to defensive situations and work hard at that part of the game. However, there's a noticeable trend from teams to double up or even triple up on Wan Bissaka, and I think this is because they know that our right sided attacker will not come all the way back, and that Pogba won't help cover his side of the pitch.

We were once opposed to losing him, but Bruno has stolen his importance from a creative point of view in our midfield. In order to build a midfield that properly supplements Bruno, should we consider selling Pogba?
It this thread a WUM or something, it's a very poor attempt at one, if it is?

Pogba helped AWB several times during the game, anyway, didn't you see it?
 

davidmichael

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Pogba was the best player on the pitch last night and was better than Fernandes, problem is Ole either has to play one of McTominay or Fred alongside him for their stamina and ability to cover the whole pitch but who aren’t defensive midfielders or Matic who doesn’t have the legs to do that game after game but who is a defensive midfielder.

A pure defensive midfielder with lots of energy and who can cover the pitch game after game (basically a combination of Matic and McTominay/Fred) is what’s needed in order for Pogba to be effective at the other end of the pitch alongside Fernandes instead of behind him.

What happens after selling Pogba ? He would need to be replaced and we’d still need a defensive midfielder regardless to play alongside Pogba’s replacement so that Pogba’s replacement can support Fernandes, selling Pogba is a case of one step forward and two steps back as his replacement most likely won’t be as good as Pogba can be and may need time to settle by which time the gap to the top two gets bigger.
 

Focusmate

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To answer the question, Pogba was for sale and was keen to move on last summer and noone was prepared to pay the asking price. Post covid and after a season of injury his stock has definitely fallen and there is little interest.
Its in Pogba and Uniteds interest to kick on next season - he can showcase his talents and help fire United to a title challenge. Maybe he then will get his move or maybe get a fat new contract and stay to help bring success. Win win
 

Rozay

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There are certainly question marks around our midfield. As someone who has very much defended Pogba as an individual, I wouldn’t dismiss the question posed out of hand.

I think he’s a great player, but signing Bruno was the problem for me. At the time, I thought it was the wrong signing in terms of what the first team had and lacked. There had been a lot of talk of Grealish, and with Pogba having been out injured for most of the season and the lack of creative quality in midfield without him exposed, I thought that the mandate was to look for cover for Pogba. I thought Grealish would come in as a creative back up for him, much as he is being linked with coming in as a creative back up for Bruno now. But for the first team, I remember saying loads in January that I was confused as to why we were not targeting a proper central midfielder like Saúl, to come in and play WITH Pogba and a DM like Matic or Fred. That would have given us the best midfield balance I think.

That said, we opted to sign Bruno, as a starter. This changed the structure of our FIRST CHOICE midfield. Perhaps Ole did not feel Pogba would stay, I don’t know. But he went for a first choice 10, when, if he was intending to have Pogba as a regular fixture in his midfield, the team would have been better served with him spending big money on a first choice 8 instead. A player like Thiago perhaps. That would have increased the quality of our first choice midfield by still removing Lingard/Pereira from the XI, but replacing their role as chief creator with Pogba. McTominay would have then been significantly upgraded with a better version of himself. In terms of quality, we are superior to before lockdown, but inferior in terms of balance in midfield.

Anyway, having Bruno in the team, I think there is now certainly scope for a different type of midfielder to Pogba to be signed instead. Ole has created a situation where it is definitely now valid to ask whether we should sell Pogba, although it wasn’t a necessary situation 8 months ago in my opinion - but we are here now. What he essentially did in January was look at whatever he thought our first choice midfield was, and sign a replacement for the best one of them in Pogba. Structurally, I think that was the wrong call, and to properly validate it, he needs to go and buy another midfielder to now play with Bruno, one who is better defensively than Pogba. Otherwise it will just be McTominay and we’d be no better off than if we had signed nobody in January. We’d just have swapped creative midfielders.

The player that I image the OP wants to come in instead of Pogba is the player we should have bought in January. I don’t think Bruno is a significant upgrade on Pogba as chief midfield creator, if we stick to the facts and not feelings. He is a far better penalty taker, but other than that, I don’t think he has a better final pass, dribbling or goalscoring, in terms of open play, from what I’ve seen. He’s a fine player, and I have no qualms with him, but I don’t think he’s the midfielder we needed most- IF Ole was still harbouring hope at the time that his future midfield would include Pogba as a key cog. If he felt Pogba was leaving, or he wanted to buy him as back up, then it makes more sense. Pogba in a double pivot isn’t optimal really. And I agree that, with Bruno in the team, we’d be better off with say Thiago or Saúl instead of Pogba.

This is not me trying to have a dig at Bruno either. It is almost the same sentiment as if we had gone and signed Manuel Neuer while De Gea was at his peak. Neuer is of course class, but it creates a problem/question regarding De Gea, as they should be competing for the same role. Unless De Gea was going to leave, we’d have been better off buying a LB or something with the money instead!
 

Dan_F

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Can someone find stats of Bruno giving the ball aways vs Pogba? Obviously Bruno is in the team to create, but Pogba cannot take the same risks when he is picking up the ball 5 yards outside our area. Most of the time he’s doing incredibly well to beat a player or two and find a man.

He has two men pressing him at all times because the opposition know that AWB doesn’t need pressing. Some of the posts on here are quite frankly bizarre.
 

Rightnr

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Big clubs with big ambitions do not sell their best players.

This is without considering the fact the American leeches will probably just pocket the money ala Ronaldo and Lukaku and not invest in another 3-4 players.
 

Real Madras

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You play Pogba further up. It’s as simple as that. He needs to play behind a striker. I know that’s where Bruno plays but I feel Bruno is far more adaptable than Pogba. Bruno I feel would be a better link player player between the midfield and attack. Give Pogba the free role.
 

Terminator

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Huh?
Pogba was very good last night. Reading some threads on redcafe makes me wonder if I even watched the same game.
 

Skåre Willoch

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I don't agree that it's not a big problem, I think the number of times he is dispossessed in dangerous area is a big concern.
Even if we agree his dribbling is his best asset, what happens if we play top team? We can't afford to take risks in midfield, so we don't play him? Or play him with instructions not to dribble- what is the point of having him in the team then? That's why I don't think he fits this team right now.

Regarding Bruno passing, it's same story, he is allowed to do that because it's low risk high reward when he's up the pitch with many to cover behind him. Pogba is high risk high (or maybe even average) reward, what looks good on clips but in reality he'll never be that consistent.
He can't play the same way every game, that's obvious. And in some games, you're right, he might be better off not playing. As is the case with any player.

I think you're making his dribbling a bigger problem than it actually is. But it's a fair opinion. I think it serves a purpose and is key to us playing the way we do attacking wise, while others would like to have a different type of player altogether. And they might both be right. Maybe another CM would suit us better. But I think Pogba is world class, and that he's a key factor when we're playing well.

But, "facts" as the one post I quoted are wrong. And it's unfair to judge him on that. He's (usually) not lazy (not running like Kanté doesn't mean you're lazy), he doesn't lose the ball 90% of the time, and he actually is very skilled technically.
 

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He can't play the same way every game, that's obvious. And in some games, you're right, he might be better off not playing. As is the case with any player.

I think you're making his dribbling a bigger problem than it actually is. But it's a fair opinion. I think it serves a purpose and is key to us playing the way we do attacking wise, while others would like to have a different type of player altogether. And they might both be right. Maybe another CM would suit us better. But I think Pogba is world class, and that he's a key factor when we're playing well.

But, "facts" as the one post I quoted are wrong. And it's unfair to judge him on that. He's (usually) not lazy (not running like Kanté doesn't mean you're lazy), he doesn't lose the ball 90% of the time, and he actually is very skilled technically.
I am focusing on his dribbling as I believe he's too relient on it in getting out of trouble. It's a wrong approach and I would rather have a midfielder who does pass and move style which would make us more fluid.

Regarding his defensive contribution, I've been paying close attention to his movement off the ball recently and it's quite clear this part of the game is not natural to him. He will get better at it with time, the point is if it's worth it.