If the final result of Newcastle United 1-0 Manchester United wasn’t a surprise in itself, considering the passion that the Geordies have for games with the Red Devils, then the performance and ultimate substitution of French midfield superstar Paul Pogba was.
Pogba was largely ineffective in United’s midfield – an area they usually dominate but today failed to control. Restored to the side, Pogba was hauled off the pitch by United boss Jose Mourinho just after Newcastle scored – a strange move considering that Pogba is usually one of the United’s most creative players and there to provide the ammunition for the likes of Romelu Lukaku and, now, Alexis Sanchez. But Mourinho clearly felt that Juan Mata and Michael Carrick would be able to unlock the stern door being slammed shut regularly by the Newcastle defence more than Pogba and Jesse Lingard.
It is his form and contribution to the cause that will be of huge concern to the United faithful – especially as the race for the top 4 heats up with both Tottenham and Liverpool addressing recent form issues, and Chelsea expected to bounce back with a comfortable looking fixture at West Bromwich Albion tomorrow. Notwithstanding that, but the Champions League returns to knockout phase action very soon, with United having Spanish side Sevilla standing in their way from progressing to the last 8. Pogba will clearly, or should be, central to Mourinho’s plans, but returns of just 7 FPL points from 4 Premier League games (Burnley, Spurs, Huddersfield and Newcastle) show just how ineffective Pogba has been. Pogba had returned 28 FPL points from the four games previous.
It could just be that United’s biggest name could also be their biggest problem. Comments abound that he is being utilised wrongly by Mourinho, with his attitude and commitment also questioned – posts on social media after todays game only served to reinforce this :
Paul Pogba that is supposed to lead the rallying cry to get United back in the game was replaced by a 50 year old Michael Carrick.
This here is as damning as it can be. Let no one tell you the drama that ensued btwn Pogba & Mourinho was one off
— Lord of the Memes ⚽ (@dejazimako007) February 11, 2018
— Pablo Gonzalez (@MUFC1Pablo) February 11, 2018
— James Millard 🦁 🇬🇧 (@millardko) February 11, 2018
Hahahha ol Jose is now blaming football gods for @ManUtd loss to @NUFC – how about just admitting you got it wrong… for once! Newsflash Jose! Paul Pogba is NOT defensive mid he needs to play further forward #NEWMUN
— Ian (@Ian_H81) February 11, 2018
It will be fascinating to see how Manchester United, Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba all react to this setback. One loss doesn’t ruin their season, but neighbours Manchester City are now out of sight and with Chelsea (A) and Liverpool (H) upcoming as two of the next three Premier League games for United, with Sevilla chucked in there also, the season could quickly disintegrate if the Pogba problem there seemingly is, isn’t solved.
LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS BELOW!!!!