Paul Pogba suffered yet another poor outing as Manchester United lost to Arsenal at Old Trafford. The Gunners ended their 14 year run of failing to win at Old Trafford in the Premier League, officially marking it as United’s worst start to a season, based on home form since the 1972/73 campaign. The Red Devils have now failed to win any of their opening 4 home league games of the season, with the only point coming from their draw against Chelsea last week.
However, the focus shifted onto Pogba yet again, just as it was following the Chelsea game. The Frenchman endured another tough game and found it difficult to control play with Thomas Partey dictating the midfield throughout the game. Giving away the winning penalty in the second half was the final nail in the midfielder’s coffin as Pogba was bombarded with a wave of criticism right after the United vs Arsenal game.
Pogba suffered a shaky end to the previous season as he conceded an injury that put him out of action for more than six months. Fans were hopeful of seeing a better version of him this season, but his subpar run so far has left pretty much everyone in disappointment.
Surprisingly though, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to sympathise with his star player. Ahead of their Champions League clash against Istanbul Basaksehir, the Norwegian expressed his wishes to be patient with him:
“Paul [Pogba] knows with that exact incident he could have done better,”
“He’s held his hand up. That’s how football is – it’s high intensity, high tempo.
“Every player is frustrated, himself too, after a defeat. We need consistency from every one of our players.
“Paul [Pogba] has been going through a difficult period with injury last season, with coronavirus this season, so I think we have seen plenty of positives recently and hopefully it will continue.”
Solskjaer’s approach is understandable. Throwing a player, struggling for confidence, under the bus publicly would be the worst possible thing to do right now. It makes sense as to why the gaffer would defend the French international.
The former Cardiff City boss would likely deal with his player’s performance-related issues in his way behind the scenes. The former United player has shown his professionalism here, instead of taking the blame off himself for the defeat against Arsenal and singling out Pogba in the eyes of the public.
The ex-Juventus midfielder’s form is certainly of concern. The Mancunians need him at his very best in situations like the Arsenal game, where they were completely dominated in midfield. It’s games like these where “world-class” midfielders like him should be making a difference.
Nevertheless, it’s quite obvious that the World Cup winner would also want to improve and get back to his best, so it’d be best to remain patient as Solskjaer seems to be.