To have one of the best players in the world, and utilising him correctly, are two different matters. Having procured the services of Paul Pogba, United fans were looking for the hundred million man to take the league by storm, blow all the fishes out of the water, all the while shooting them in a barrel. I never understood the animosity the English language has against fishes, but enough understanding on the subject of football to tell that Paul Pogba hasn’t exactly been played to his full potential by Jose Mourinho. Here are three points T4O humbly offer to counter the problem.
#1 Free Him Of Defensive Responsibilities
Paul Pogba isn’t one of the best tacklers out there, and shackling him in a deep role makes him a liability when Manchester United are hit on the counter. The Manchester Derby highlighted the Frenchman’s lack of spatial perceptivity in closing down space, and positioning himself aptly to stem the attacking tempo of the opposing team. Pep Guardiola saw that potential weakness and directed his players to play first-time through balls to catch the most expensive player in the world, flat-footed, and going through the middle, easing in like hot knife through butter, leaving Bailly and Blind without cover and hapless.
#2 Maximise Offensive Potency
Playing Paul Pogba at the attacking tip of the midfield three would bear more fruits (in the form of goals and assists) than deploying Wayne Rooney there. His front-footed drive would set the tempo of the team’s attacking play, and provide more penetration in the box, and leaving a trail of defensive midfielders in his wake, unleashing the fury of his physicality and athleticism on the exposed centre-backs, readily forming a partnership with The Zlatan. Sentiments aside, this tactical move would see Wayne Rooney rightly occupying the bench.
#3 Jigsaw Falling Into Place
In consequence of giving Paul Pogba the free role behind the striker, Morgan Schneiderlin (or Fellaini, even though T4O believes, he’s as mobile as a sack of potatoes on an incline) and Ander Herrera would occupy their best positions on the pitch, maximising their output as well, thereby giving the entire midfield a working equation, a lot more solidity and method in their play.
The perfect blend of Ander Herrera’s playmaking abilities, Morgan Schneiderlin defensive competency, and Pogba’s momentum would set the precedent of Manchester United modus operandi for the rest of the season; affording cover for the backline, enough to plug the channels, opponents have looked to thread the ball through, and enough ammunition for the attackers to keep on the front foot, and not having to drop deep, searching for possession.