Midfield

boothstownred

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For me it definitely puts a damper on what has otherwise been a good window. Just feel it is short sighted not to at least attempt to get someone. Of course they might have tried but it just doesn't appear that way
 

olou

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@Mr C No, only last season his form dipped but as per reports he had some issues both on off the field so change of scenes might do him wonders. Discarding last year form, he is an excellent player.
 

jsp

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On MoTD they analysed Pogba, and basically there was no movement from our front four for him to pass to. Often they were static in a line.

If you want to play Pogba deep he needs more from the four up front

I thought second half that was a clear tactic as Wolves wanted the ball into that area where they could pounce instead Utd looked to turn their defence and force them backwards. First half we tried playing into Bruno and the wide guys but Wolves just swarmed us and sprung counters the second half it was all about being more direct.

I don’t see that being the plan every week when Pogba plays deep.

I just don’t think you can play Pogba in that position for Utd unless you have a team that’s just parking itself on the edge of their own box.
 

Mr C

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It was an odd decision to drop him back for James. I guess it shows how much Ole doesn't like Donny
 

jsp

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It was an odd decision to drop him back for James. I guess it shows how much Ole doesn't like Donny

Think it was the lack of trust in VDB or Matic to handle the physical challenge that comes from Wolves.

Unless Bruno gets injured for a sustained period it’s hard to see VDB ever getting a run Ole doesn’t fancy him and I can see why. I’d love to know the full story on that one as it very much seems like Ole has no time for him. I’m really surprised he’s still at the club.

It even feels like Lingard is ahead of him in that number 10 spot now.
 

olou

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This is the reason i said we should part with him and invest in DM and if possible get Neves as well. DM CM would absolutely transform us but anyway we are not gonna challenge for title now.
 

jsp

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We obviously don’t know all the ins and outs of why players don’t move.

Just think Ole is waiting for the one he really wants seems to be his way even if it leaves him a little short.
 

RichH2016

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The simple reality is this... With the players Ole has in attack and defense he's going to be expected to win a trophy and compete for the title. However, I'm not sure he's going to be able to achieve that with such an imbalance in midfield.
 

boothstownred

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Sort of with you on this. The three signings made have raised expectation massively but the midfield is such an important area of the pitch and we are lacking genuine quality.
 

jsp

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We won titles in the past with a pretty iffy midfield but in 2011 and 2013 we at least had Carrick in his prime carrying whoever it was next to him.
 

RichH2016

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What I don't get about it is this... United have seen what Pogba can do alongside a genuine DM. So why haven't they tried to address that issue? People say Pogba can't play in a 2 but he can with someone good in a defensive sense next to him. He can't play in a 2 with a steaming pile of do do next to him which is what he has to do at United. The same would be true of Scholes. He wouldn't have been the same player if he didn't have a Keane or a Carrick alongside him.
 

boothstownred

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Scholes had way more awareness than Pogba has. The problem with Paul is the amount of times he is caught 30 yards out facing his own goal unaware of the opposition around him. It might help him having a world class DM next to him but it will not make him more aware imo. In truth I dont think we have ever really seen Pogba do well in a 2, with Juve and France he seemed to be in a midfield 3 with the likes of Kante and Matuidi. That might work but i dont see a place for Bruno doing that.
 

jsp

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What I don't get about it is this... United have seen what Pogba can do alongside a genuine DM. So why haven't they tried to address that issue? People say Pogba can't play in a 2 but he can with someone good in a defensive sense next to him. He can't play in a 2 with a steaming pile of do do next to him which is what he has to do at United. The same would be true of Scholes. He wouldn't have been the same player if he didn't have a Keane or a Carrick alongside him.

Scholes was a fantastic all round footballer so not sure what is achieved by bringing him into the conversation he would have adapted to any partner like he did through his whole career. There were times when Scholes played the deeper defensive role (he could tackle he just also liked to kick people) and others where he was much more attacking but always his ability on the ball meant he could take it anywhere and make sure he didn't lose it. That is the bit where Pogba struggles to often he gets the ball and gets caught in a trap taking to many touches.

Pogba I think there's enough evidence there now to suggest it just doesn't work. It did work for France in 2018 but behind him he had 4 centre backs, alongside him was Kante, in front of him was Griezmann and to his left Matuidi. The point is he was surrounded by incredibly hard working elite level defensive players. In 2021 they changed that system slightly playing him left of a 3 as they introduced Rabiot into the midfield.

Deschamp built a lot of protection around him and generally played a pretty conversative style.

Pogba's best football at Utd has been playing in a 3 man midfield or playing from this new role on the left so I think it's time to accept he's the problem not everyone else.
 

IDFD

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Not sure on that. At United Pogba has proven he can play consistently well in a 2 when he had a younger Matic alongside him.
 

RichH2016

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Scholes was a fantastic all round footballer so not sure what is achieved by bringing him into the conversation he would have adapted to any partner like he did through his whole career. There were times when Scholes played the deeper defensive role (he could tackle he just also liked to kick people) and others where he was much more attacking but always his ability on the ball meant he could take it anywhere and make sure he didn't lose it. That is the bit where Pogba struggles to often he gets the ball and gets caught in a trap taking to many touches.
Because Scholes was a fantastic footballer but so is Pogba. Scholes of course is better no doubt but the point remains that Pogba is supremely talented. My point is that Scholes always had a quality CM partner next to him. The benefit of that shouldn't be overlooked. It doesn't take away from how good Scholes was.
 

O-Dog

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I'm not sure the club feel Pogba is a long term solution. Bruno could've been bought in as the club felt Pogba was likely to leave. No progress had been made on a DM because, again, they're not sure what to do with Pogba.
 

jsp

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Not sure on that. At United Pogba has proven he can play consistently well in a 2 when he had a younger Matic alongside him.

His best spell in the two was probably after the lockdown in 2019/20 when those two had a good run as Utd charged towards 3rd place but the following season that partnership was straight in the bin.

2017/18 was Matic first season don't remember Pogba being that great that season.
 

jsp

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Because Scholes was a fantastic footballer but so is Pogba. Scholes of course is better no doubt but the point remains that Pogba is supremely talented. My point is that Scholes always had a quality CM partner next to him. The benefit of that shouldn't be overlooked. It doesn't take away from how good Scholes was.

Scholes was a much better player when it came to playing one or two touch football something Pogba isn't great at. He wants to take 3 or 4 touches everytime he gets the ball whereas Scholes was as good as it gets at playing quick short passes that meant he was always in space in midfield.

Pogba is of course a very talented player but he's a very different player to Scholes.

Someone managing to get the ball off Scholes was a very rare occurance with Pogba it's happening a couple of times a game.
 

IDFD

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Pogbas best form for us came in 18/19 once Mourinho was sacked.

In 18/19 Pogba and Matic were our only two midfielders to start more than 16 games (Pogba 34 Matic 28) in the league. Pogba finished the season our top goalscorer and top assist. With 16 goals and 11 assist.

I can't remember every game but I believe a lot of those came in a 2 alongside Matic/Herrera with Lingard ahead.
 

Mr C

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Bruno is the problem not Pogba, to play him in the role he likes, we need two DM's.

That makes Bruno shine and look amazing, but it also makes what's behind him suffer

I don't think Pogba and Bruno can play in the same team unless Pogba is in front left role as per the first two games
 

jsp

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Pogbas best form for us came in 18/19 once Mourinho was sacked.

In 18/19 Pogba and Matic were our only two midfielders to start more than 16 games (Pogba 34 Matic 28) in the league. Pogba finished the season our top goalscorer and top assist. With 16 goals and 11 assist.

I can't remember every game but I believe a lot of those came in a 2 alongside Matic/Herrera with Lingard ahead.

I think when Ole came in he generally played a 3 in midfield with Pogba Matic Herrera. Lingard was normally part of the front 3 with Martial/Rashford. At the time I remember there being a lot of praise for him putting Pogba in his favourite position by bringing in the extra midfielder and playing him on the left of the 3. It wasn't always set in stone as we got hit with a lot of injuries about 10 games into that first spell.

Of his 16 goals around half of them were penalties.

I think in this team as it is now his best spot seems to be on the left of the 3 behind the striker.
 

boothstownred

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Bruno is the problem not Pogba, to play him in the role he likes, we need two DM's.

That makes Bruno shine and look amazing, but it also makes what's behind him suffer

I don't think Pogba and Bruno can play in the same team unless Pogba is in front left role as per the first two games
Not sure we can blame Bruno for having insane stats for making Pogba look bad. I partly agree, I am not convinced the pair of them gel in the same team. It works ok playing Paul from the left although there will be an argument for Rashford to play there when he is fit.
 

jsp

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The thing to remember in all of this is next season it's very likely that Pogba will no longer be a selection headache as he won't be here.

That's why I don't think we should be changing the system to accomodate him any time soon so for me he's now playing from the left or if we are short he will play in that midfield two but I think we all know if he does play in that two the defence will need to be on their toes.
 

Cruella ne Ville

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On MoTD they analysed Pogba, and basically there was no movement from our front four for him to pass to. Often they were static in a line.

If you want to play Pogba deep he needs more from the four up front
I think that's fair, as the front 4 had a poor game overall as well. The thing with Pogba playing in a 2 and spraying balls over the top is that it works amazingly well against sides like Leeds who give up space in behind, but not against a low block. Given the current state of our midfield, we might be better off just going back to front and bypassing Fred/Matic all together. If that's the case, the front 4 need more movement to create spaces for Pogba to hit.

Against a low block, if Pogba plays on the left of the 3, that means somebody misses out when Rashford comes back.

Personally, we've got to find a way to get him involved further up the pitch or he's not worth playing.
 

jsp

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Quality in depth is a good thing not a bad thing so I'm not worried if we have to start games with either Rashford or Pogba on the bench because there's no space in the front 4. That means our best players are under pressure to perform no one can rest thinking their place in the team is secure now.

In midfield there's a chance for anyone to stake their claim in midfield I remember the 05/06 season where we went on a title charge with Giggs/O'Shea as our midfield pair for about 6 months due to injury. We ended up coming up just short of Chelsea but it was an example of how something that on paper shouldn't work just does.

Sometimes something just clicks on the field and we probably need that to happen in midfield it's kind of how we ended up with McFred it's now on others to work out how to play with each other and be effective.

Hopefully a bit more time on the training pitch this season they can work these things out to become more of a team and not just looking like a bunch of strangers who met at the bus stop on the way to the game. For that to happen I think Ole will want to make the starting XI as settled as possible.
 

Cruella ne Ville

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In theory, I don’t think telling Rashford, Pogba and Martial they’re competing for the left of a front 3 and whomever is on form plays, is a bad thing.

In practice, I think Ole shoehorns Pogba and Rashford in when they’re fit, hence this Pogba in a 2 that failed at the weekend.

Mitten was saying somebody at the club told him they just needed to get to the international break, so maybe there’ll be an adjustment. Hopefully.
 

Mr C

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it's like this for me

Sort out Pogba's contract, if he isn't going to sign, stop playing him to keep him happy.

If he's going to sign, play him where he's best, so either left of the front 3.

Or left of the midfield 3 which means Bruno changes his role. I love Bruno, but he can go missing for large portions, I'd have no problem dropping him IF it meant the team would be better on the day. No one should be above being dropped, but if Pogba won't sign stop playing him.

Of course the real problem is our midfield is terrible. I'd be happy to try this. Anything rather than the gash we currently are. It's not working.

Bruno DVDB/matic Pogba
Greenwood Ronnie Sancho

or

DVDB Matic
Bruno
Sancho Ronnie Pogba

but that means dropping Greenwood.

Something has got to change though. No doubt Bruno's stats will drop now Ronaldo is here, so he won't be so bullet proof.
 

jsp

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I think the comment about getting to the internationals was more of just a fitness thing as players had come back at all sorts of different levels of fitness so it was just about getting as many points of possible then starting fresh after the break.

I reckon he's hoping that a few of the players get some playing time away on internationals to get them up to speed and the lads who've stayed behind will play in some behind closed doors games.
 

boothstownred

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That sounds like you are hoping his stats drop to make him vulnerable to being dropped. The guy has insane stats and has carried this team almost from the minute he arrived and yet you want him dropped to crowbar in a guy who will not sign a contract.
 

Mr C

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no, I'm not looking for anything really.

Everytime I say (on here) why are we a playing a defensive duo, the answer seems to be to accomodate Bruno. Which is great, when he is on form banging them in. But when he isn't we need to change it up.

We don't have two players good enough to play the DM role, so something has to change.

So if we are only playing two DM to suit Bruno, should that be something we need to look at.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just floating it out there.

We do have a problem though.
 

boothstownred

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The answer is much simpler than we are making it. Go out a bring in better midfield players. I have heard all sort of rubbish on twitter today. Play Lindelof in midfield. Play Telles in midfield. Unfortunately until McT is fit again and we buy some quality we do not have much choice than play Fred.
 

jsp

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The answer is much simpler than we are making it. Go out a bring in better midfield players. I have heard all sort of rubbish on twitter today. Play Lindelof in midfield. Play Telles in midfield. Unfortunately until McT is fit again and we buy some quality we do not have much choice than play Fred.

That is what it comes down to we've had all these players for years tried them in various combinations and the only one that's looked half decent is Fred/McTominay. If we want the midfield to be better than that it needs new players to emerge.

Given the depth of our problems we better hope like hell that in 12 months Garner comes back ready to be a first team player at Utd same with Mejbri as next summer those positions need a total overhaul.
 

olou

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We won titles in the past with a pretty iffy midfield but in 2011 and 2013 we at least had Carrick in his prime carrying whoever it was next to him.

Pep and Klopp raised the bar, PL overall is more competitive than 2011 / 2013.
 

olou

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The answer is much simpler than we are making it. Go out a bring in better midfield players. I have heard all sort of rubbish on twitter today. Play Lindelof in midfield. Play Telles in midfield. Unfortunately until McT is fit again and we buy some quality we do not have much choice than play Fred.
Exactly, why make fuss on Pogba. Our options at 8 and 6 positions are just sham and OLE refuses to play VDB at 8.
 

Cruella ne Ville

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The answer is much simpler than we are making it. Go out a bring in better midfield players. I have heard all sort of rubbish on twitter today. Play Lindelof in midfield. Play Telles in midfield. Unfortunately until McT is fit again and we buy some quality we do not have much choice than play Fred.
Saw those as well. To be fair, I think Lindelof in midfield wouldn't be worse than Fred. He can pass better than Fred and always looks much more comfortable when the ball is on the deck.
 

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