New Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended Paul Pogba after a non-existent performance in a 2-1 defeat against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Pogba v Wolves:
Pass completion – 69% (2nd worst on pitch)
Dispossessed – 3 times (2nd worst on pitch)
Dribbled past – 2 times (2nd worst on pitch)
Tackle success – 33%
Aerials won – 67%
Interceptions – 0
Clearances – 0
Dribble success – 50%
Shots on target – 0
Through balls – 0 pic.twitter.com/P3Xbs4FnjJ
— bet365 (@bet365) April 2, 2019
The French International did not have the best start to season under former United manager Jose Mourinho. However, the appointment of Solskjaer provided a spring in his performances as the midfielder scored 9 goals in the Norwegian’s first 12 games in charge. However, Pogba has now failed to find the net in his last 7 games for the Red Devils in all competetions.
When asked if he was concerned for Pogba, Solskjaer told the news conference:
“Sometimes today he could have easily had an assist, and it was great play with him and Rom [Lukaku]. It’s figures and numbers, he is working as hard as any player in the team. Some days it just doesn’t come off.”
However, Solskjaer was pleased by Scott Mctominay’s performance as the Scottish international grabbed his maiden goal for the club in his 41st appearance.
Scott McTominay’s first ever goal for Manchester United.
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) April 2, 2019
“Scott has never let us down and today was another very, very fine performance by Scottie.”
“So it won’t be hard to see him play for Man United for many, many games. He’s got such a great mentality, he is so athletic, he can play in different positions. Today we feel that’s his best position as a high midfielder, but he can play defensive role like he did against PSG and Liverpool. So I was very very pleased with him.”
Manchester United always lacked a great midfield engine under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal. When Jose Mourinho arrived, there was freshness in the air and new belief instilled in the fans. Adding to Jose Mourinho, came the then record signing of Pogba.
Pogba was thought to be the long term governor of the midfield for Manchester United. However, the Frenchman was rather inconsistent in his first two seasons under Mourinho and also fractured his relationship with him in the
The torn relationship showed no signs of mending as Mourinho’s third season syndrome kicked in and he was later shown the door after a 3-1 derby loss to rivals Liverpool. The arrival of Solskjaer did bring out the best of Pogba for some games but the midfielder has again become non-existent since the FA Cup loss to Wolves.
Pogba’s recent performances cannot put question marks on his quality, however, with Ole at the wheel, the boss needs to sort out the best position fiasco for Pogba and get the best out of him.
Don't blame Ole. His switch to back three worked, and United could have been 3-0 up in 20 mins. Utd lost their heads after Wolves equalised and senior players like Pogba/Lukaku/Young/Smalling/Lingard did not take responsibility in 2nd half.
Simply not good enough from them. pic.twitter.com/TnK41aRJqe
— The Peoples Person (@PeoplesPerson_) April 2, 2019
With Real Madrid lurking for two of our best players, David de Gea and Paul Pogba, Ole needs to assure both the players of their future and make the big Dave sign the contract and maximise Pogba’s potential for further use in the future.
Solskjaer has a big task on his hands of rebuilding one of the biggest clubs in World football, and it will take him time and support to sort out all the problems that have prevailed since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.