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Should Paul Pogba walk straight back into Manchester United’s team amidst Mctominay injury scare?

By - - [ Sports/Football News ]


Pereira is arguably the most likely to give way but this would either force Pogba to play as an out-and-out No.10 – a little further forward than his best position – or for there to be a change from the 4-2-3-1 formation that Solskjaer prefers, and which the team is getting used to and starting to make work. A formation change for this young side when just building momentum may not be a wise move and could interrupt the progress that’s being made.

Another reason to think twice before dropping Pereira is that the team will lose his prowess with set pieces and we could be back to Ashley Young taking the free kicks and corners. If that really is our second best option, then frankly it makes Pereira’s inclusion in the side very important indeed.

The other obvious option is for Pogba to replace Fred in the starting line-up. However, this could make the side a bit top-heavy with attacking players. Fred’s work rate and defensive skills far exceed those of Pogba and it would place a massive burden on McTominay to protect the defence single-handed.

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Pushing Fred back into the holding midfield role and dropping McTominay is another option, but that presents similar problems to those that would be caused by swapping out Fred. Besides, McTominay has excelled in that role and surely merits a place in the starting XI. Indeed, all three – Pereira, Fred and McTominay – have been playing so well in recent games that despite a crying need for more creativity, none of them really deserves to be dropped. Of course, with Scott’s injury still being assessed as I write this, this might be all be a moot point.

Excess of luxury

You could argue that Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Pogba are all “luxury players”. Martial and Pogba, especially, are flair players who try the unusual and unorthodox; they are heavily technique-based, mercurial and unpredictable. And all three are inconsistent – brilliant one minute and incredibly frustrating the next. The question is, can you afford to have three such capricious players in one team? There can be moments or even entire games of brilliance, but you also know that a lot of possession and in Rashford’s case, chances, will be squandered as well. Again, for a young team like this current United side, maybe this is too much flair at this stage.

Work rate

One of the key ingredients of the Solskjaer method is the high press and high work rate of his side. This is not, and never will be, one of Pogba’s strengths. Whichever of the current starting XI you replace him for, you will be losing their energy and replacing it with his languid strutting. This dialling down of urgency and tenacity can sometimes transmit itself to the rest of the team.

Off-field distractions

Another thing that can distract and undermine the rest of the team is the Pogba media circus. He’ll be coming back into the side in December, just as the January transfer window rumour mill starts to heat up. His agent Mino Raiola will, no doubt, be stirring the paella pot and rekindling his courtship with Real Madrid. Do United really need that kind of grass-is-greener, want-away or pay-me-a-fortune-to-stay mentality to radiate from their main man at this stage?

How will it affect the rest of the team – a team that Solskjaer is trying to build from players who are committed to playing for Manchester United? As the team prepares itself for those big games, do we want the dressing room to be all about new contracts, new cars, new haircuts and new inane goal celebrations, or about how to win a game of football?

Look, I am not stupid. I know what a class player Pogba is and how desperately this team needs players of his quality and in particular, some creativity in the middle of the park. The issue for me is about how he is reintroduced and the effects of his early inclusion need to be considered very carefully. Solskjaer may be wise to just put the Frenchman back on the bench for the first couple of Premier League games and limit his starts to within an already rotated side against the likes of AZ Alkmaar or Colchester United. And in the meantime, let’s face it – what an option to have on the bench.

Posted by Red Billy Date: November 12, 2019
Tags:Andreas PereirafredOle Gunnar SolskjaerPaul PogbaScott McTominay
Red Billy
Red Billy has been voicing opinions on Manchester United since 1968.

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From Italy: Manchester United facing competition from AC Milan for Mario Mandzukic
Date: November 12, 2019
Manchester United will reportedly face competition from AC Milan in January for Mario Mandzukic, according to reports from Italy.

Reports have stated that United had reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of Mandzukic to Old Trafford, with the Croat expected to cost around £10m.

Maurizio Sarri, who took over in the summer, has not handed Mandzukic one minute of action as the 33-year-old looks destined to leave in January.

According to Tuttosport, however, Milan are also keen to make a bid for the unwanted Juventus striker when the window opens.

Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has already noted that Mandzukic was free to speak with other clubs, meaning that there could be a bidding war for the talented forward.

Reports surrounding the Mandzukic saga have always favoured United, who were keen to do a deal in the summer and were the first linked with him as the January rumours started to enter full bloom. One report from Italy claimed that it had all been agreed, and that Mandzukic would move to Manchester in December in order to settle.

As with rumours like these, United fans will just have to wait and see. It could be that the player is yet to make a final decision.

Posted by Leo Nieboer Date: November 12, 2019
Tags:Mario Mandzukic
Leo Nieboer
Leo is a regular contributor to The Peoples Person’s match day coverage and is still mourning the loss of Danny Welbeck to Arsenal.



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