Huge ‘question mark’ over Man Utd man as Ole finds balance, says pundit

Date published: Wednesday 28th October 2020 9:31

Solskjaer Pogba TEAMtalk

Niall Quinn believes there is “a big question mark” hanging over Paul Pogba at Manchester United, after he was left out of their last three matches.

Pogba has not been selected to start a game by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since he turned in a woeful performance in United’s 6-1 home defeat against Tottenham earlier this month. The French World Cup winner has instead been a high-profile bench warmer in the three games since.

United have shown improved performances in Pogba’s absence and the statistics suggest they are more successful when he is not in their line-up. And former Ireland striker Quinn suspects that he might no longer be part of Solskjaer’s first-choice team.

“There is a big question mark around Pogba now,” said Virgin Media Sport analyst Quinn. “He was left out of the last few games and United have done well in his absence, so you wonder where that story will go now.

“The stats tell us that United do better when Pogba is not playing, but stats only tell you part of the story.

READ MORE: Woodward warns Paul Pogba over new Manchester United contract

“We don’t see what goes on behind the scenes at the training ground every day and you throw determination, a team ethic, application, desire, taking one for the team when you need to… all these things add up.

 

 

 

“I think Solskjaer is beginning to get it right now and he is getting a response from his squad. If that is coming without Pogba starting games, he has to go with that and it is up to the player to make an impact if he is coming off the bench.

“Those being picked to play for United have given Solskjaer the kind of commitment you need to display when you play for a big club and it will be interesting to see if he picks Pogba for the Leipzig game.”


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United look balanced

Quinn went on to suggest United have found a balance in their line-up that will give them a platform to thrive in their last three matches.

He has argued their win against Paris Saint-Germain in the last round of Champions League games provided Solskjaer with a blueprint to success.

“I really enjoyed the PSG game,” added Quinn. “Their performance was fantastic. A lot of us have a soft spot for the manager as he seems to be such a great guy.

“Axel Tuanzebe’s performance was the one that stood out for me. A lot of people were worried about him before the match, but he was sensational in that game as he handled Neymar and Kylian Mbappe so magnificently and it was a team performance.

“No one was being carried on the night and they got what they deserved with Marcus Rashford’s late goal. They all put in a performance that confirmed they wanted it badly and when you look at the quality of the front three PSG had out there, it was a fantastic performance.

“They didn’t think about how to stop the PSG front three and instead, they looked at how they would score goals and how they could win the game.

“It was such a positive night for United and it would point to their manager coming of age to an extent. Plenty of questions were being asked after the Tottenham game, but the players have responded in the right manner since then and that suggests they are fighting for their manager.

“Their performance at Newcastle was good coming out of the international break and then they had the win in Paris, so now they should go into this Leipzig game at Old Trafford on a high.

“They have set a standard for themselves and have to try and live up to it now.”

Virgin Media Sport will screen all Champions League and Europa League games in Ireland this week, including Manchester Utd v Leipzig on Wednesday and Arsenal v Dundalk on Thursday.

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