Manchester United‘s 3-2 loss against Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend has divided fans. Fans who are in disagreement about pretty much everything within the club, from the owners down to the players. Many are blaming the humiliating defeat on CEO Ed Woodard and his lack of summer signings. Others are pointing fingers at specific players. United fans couldn’t wait for their midfielder, Paul Pogba, to return to the squad and emulate some of his performances from the summer. However, speculation of a move away and an awful second-half performance last weekend has angered fans.
Paul Pogba Should Be Dropped for United’s Clash Against Spurs
Paul Pogba the “leader”
Debate has been sparked over a twitter battle between Paul Scholes and Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola. In a very critical analysis of Pogba’s performance against Brighton, Scholes accused him of not being the leader that Mourinho and Manchester United portray. Raiola defended his client by tweeting; “Paul Scholes wouldn’t recognize a leader if he was in front of Sir Winston Churchill.”
Some people need to talk for fear of being forgotten. Paul Scholes wouldn’t recognize a leader if he was in front of Sir Winston Churchill. @paulpogba
— Mino Raiola (@MinoRaiola) August 21, 2018
Pogba’s performance against Brighton was quite frankly abysmal. He showed very little fighting spirit, thus unable command his teammates to unite and systematically break down their opponents.
It is clear that Pogba and Jose Mourinho do not get along, and have conflicting personalities. What is concerning for United fans is that the Frenchman has not clearly expressed his feelings about his future at Manchester United.
These controversial decisions and poor performances by the Pogba and his agent are only adding to fans’ growing discontent.
Paul Pogba vs Brighton
In today’s era, the question: “Are players becoming bigger than clubs?” is frequently debated. The simple answer should be no. A categorical no. It is clear that Jose Mourinho holds a bias towards certain players, which is unprofessional.
Last season, Anthony Martial lost his position in the starting eleven. He was finally finding form towards the end of the calendar year. However, when Alexis Sanchez arrived in Manchester he was given priority in the left wing position. Martial was pushed out to the right flank as a result. One poor game in his new position saw him ousted from Mourinho’s best eleven.
In any other club, under any other manager, a performance like Pogba’s would see him dropped for at least one match. He is expected to be controlling the tempo of the game. Executing pinpoint passes and acting as the “creative spark” going forward. However, against Brighton, his performance was in stark contrast to expectation.
It is fair to say in the second half he was the worst player on the pitch. Therefore, he should be dropped against Spurs. This would teach him a lesson, and motivate him to deliver, because right now, due to his name and his potential, he is seemingly guaranteed a spot in Manchester United’s starting team.
Ever since the arrival of Jose Mourinho, Manchester United have had trouble establishing a robust style of play. Fans complain that Mourinho ‘parks the bus’ and reverts to ‘route one football.’ The manager’s style of play at United has been extremely negative with little attacking intent. Mourinho’s tactics have over been very predictable which has resulted in the Reds dropping points.
During an underwhelming first season, Pogba was playing in a more defensive role. However, fans were optimistic they would see the Paul Pogba of France and Juventus if he were to play in a midfield three. He got his wish was during parts of last season. In the first two games of the current campaign, however, he was still inconsistent in his performances, failing to create chances.
If Mourinho is still keen on playing a 4-3-3 formation, he has the options of Spaniard, Ander Herrera, and last years Managers’ Player of the Year, Scott McTominay. Both midfielders are definitely in Mourinho’s favour and could feature in the tie against Spurs.
Another solution to this problem would be no replacement. Fans are growing agitated with the club. A potential answer could be going back to basics, and lining up in a 4-4-2 formation. We saw on opening day against Leicester City that Fred and Andreas Perreira both have the ability to win the ball back. They also cover a lot of ground in the middle of the park. A robust 4-4-2 may not be a bad idea – play some direct football that offers the manager defensive and attacking tactics.
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