Manchester United boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is struggling to find the best out of Paul Pogba
The Norwegian coach is unsettled whether to stick with a diamond formation which brought the best out of the French International in the routing of RB Leipzig or should he go back to his trusted 4-2-3-1 formation for Manchester United.
Manchester United faithful have been struggling to answer the best position for the Premier League giants that would not only bring success to the entire squad but also help Paul Pogba be the highlight in the midfield.
Manager Solskjaer might have found the answer to this dilemma. The French star’s form has been pretty inconsistent ever since he made the switch to Old Trafford, with injuries keeping him on the sidelines from time to time.
Prior to the international break, Pogba seemed to have started his campaign in an inconsistent fashion. But after the international break, since the restart of the campaign, the Frenchman looks to have regained his form and has been pretty instrumental in some of the wins such as the win over Paris Saint-Germain where he provided the crucial assist for Marcus Rashford’s winner.
He also had a great outing in the 5-0 win against RB Leipzig, where he operated on the left of a midfield three. Solskjaer opted to go with a diamond midfield in the game which saw the new summer signing Donny Van De Beek operate as the attacking midfielder, while Pogba had Fred and Matic for defensive cover.
Fred and Matic took care of the defensive duties, meaning that Pogba did not have to drop deep, which in turn meant that he had the freedom to drive forward and express himself. The benefits of this were on display for everyone to see in the game against Leipzig where he was able to drive forward and provide a pinpoint pass which resulted in Mason Greenwood’s opener.
As the Norwegian manager put it,
Paul can do everything on a football pitch more or less. He can play long passes, he can get in the box, he can play combinations outside the box, but he played really well against Leipzig, I have to say.”
“We love to see him when he’s driving forward and affecting the game. With Paul having been injured for so long, and then being ill, it’s all about getting the fitness back for him now.”
“He needs to recover his sharpness because the fitter Paul is, the more he can do for us.”
Solskjaer now has some tough decisions to make ahead of the next few games, as he tries to figure out which formation can get the best out of the team. The only disadvantage that he has if he chooses to continue with the midfield diamond, would be that he would have to drop one of the pacey forwards, demoting either Anthony Martial, Rashford, or Greenwood to the bench.
Players possessing such pace and talent can often wreak havoc off the bench, so it may not be such a bad idea in hindsight. For example, look at the impact that Rashford had off the bench against Leipzig.
As the Manchester United manager put it,
We have the possibility to play a 4-3-3, a diamond, 4-2-3-1 or 3-4-1-2,” the former striker admitted. But it’s about execution, principles and work-rate. They’re the keys here”
In short, as compared to last season when the United squad lacked depth and genuine game-changers off the bench, Ole now has the capability to change the course of a game with the pool of talented players he now has at his disposal on the bench. It is now up to Ole to make the tough decisions and improve the form of the Red Devils in the Premier League.
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