Five reasons Paul Pogba might be underperforming and what to do


Five reasons Paul Pogba might be underperforming and what to do

Picture: ardfern

Paul Pogba has failed to live up to the expectations dragged with the tag of ‘world’s most expensive footballer’ since his move to Manchester United for a world-breaking fee in the summer. The price tag has placed his underperformances under the microscope and the reached consensus is he needs more time.

But the reasons for the poor form and the solutions might lie elsewhere:

Narrow down positional responsibilities

Could narrowing his role down extract his full potential?

Pogba is being allowed too much freedom, juggling between a deep-laying and a more offensive position. The French midfielder enjoys the athleticism and technical attributes needed for the positional flexibility required for his current role but one wonders whether he would fit better in a more specialized position. Say, if he set an anchor on the No.10 position.

In this scenario, Pogba will be free to stay forward and be more incisive with his through balls. The strong midfielder can also shield the ball more, helping United teammates move forward and find free space around him. This is a difficult plan to achieve as this shift in formation would need a good short-passer, someone who can build the play behind him—someone in the mold of the now-retired Paul Scholes. The options for Jose Mourinho in this scenario are Michael Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera. Despite his advancing age, Carrick seems to be the best bet for such a role. He is a stable accurate passer that could release Pogba.

Paul Pogba

Picture: Xavier Natlachyan

Rooney may be a factor

Rooney has been a major problem for Manchester United for several years now. He’s been employed in a variety of positions ranging from a centre forward to defensive ones.

Rooney is currently living life as a No.10 under Mourinho, while Pogba and Carrick sit behind him. But one wonders whether Rooney is preventing Pogba from unfolding his full potential in this case.

An easy solution would be a ruthless one here. Just get rid of Rooney. His form has taken a downward trajectory in the last years. That looks unlikely to change. It seems his passion has faded, and he’s past his best. Getting rid of him would open a path for Pogba and obtain the funds for a decent replacement midfielder.

Not enough

Now to Pogba’s individual deficiencies: Believe it or not, he has them.

The reason Pogba would be wasted on a specialised deep-lying position is he does not seem to spend enough energy for that. He seems lazy on the ball as if overestimating his big strides. To increase chances of intercepting more balls, Pogba needs to make more effort in running off the ball. Perhaps he has still not made that transition to the faster pace of the Premier League yet.

Either way, adding ‘sting’ to his running is a possible solution.

Paul Pogba

Picture: Francesca Correale

Needs more focus

Pogba is more focused on NBA, NFL and Instagram than on displays on the pitch. He seems to have the modern-day-football bug of social networks and vanity. What Pogba needs to do is emulate the lifestyle of people he used to look up to when he was at United as a youngster–people like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes. In a word, he needs to take his football more seriously.

It might bore, but it is necessary for a top athlete.

Needs more ball time

The more Pogba plays with the ball the more confidence he will build. He needs it. For that he needs to run off the ball more and find those open spaces where he can receive it. A player of his technical ability and strength spending more on the ball will only be beneficial for Mourinho’s side because he can make those runs, passes and shield the ball, all the better if he remains in the centre and does not stray wide too much.


Add comment

   Dimitar Tabakov  
This comment has been removed by a site administrator for violating the submission guidelines.

   Dimitar Tabakov  
This comment has been removed by a site administrator for violating the submission guidelines.

Load More

Manchester UnitedCantona makes brilliant comments about Barca's historic win over PSG

ArsenalWenger’s values for Arsenal are unfit for competitive football

LiverpoolLiverpool and Arsenal given boost in Aubameyang chase

ChelseaRoma midfielder refuses to rule out Chelsea move amidst interest

ArsenalMonreal: Atmosphere of uncertainty has taken over Arsenal

ChelseaKante impressed by 'exceptional' France teammate Mbappe

ArsenalMbappe v Henry: A breakdown and comparison of their football qualities

Manchester UnitedFerguson to come out of retirement for Carrick’s testimonial

ChelseaCourtous reveals desire to stay at Chelsea long-term

Manchester UnitedManchester United's Schweinsteiger off to the MLS

Manchester UnitedHow Mourinho’s ‘outsider mentality’ has shaped his tactics

Manchester UnitedMourinho slams EPL bosses for ‘not caring’ about Europe

Premier League

P GD Pts
1 Chelsea 28 38 69
2 Tottenham 28 34 59
3 Man City 28 24 57
4 Liverpool 29 25 56
5 Man Utd 27 19 52
6 Arsenal 27 22 50
7 Everton 29 21 50
8 West Brom 29 1 43
9 Stoke 29 -9 36
10 Southampton 27 -3 33
11 Bournemouth 29 -12 33
12 West Ham 29 -12 33
13 Burnley 29 -11 32
14 Watford 28 -15 31
15 Leicester 28 -14 30
16 Crystal Palace 28 -10 28
17 Swansea 29 -27 27
18 Hull 29 -32 24
19 Middlesbrough 28 -13 22
20 Sunderland 28 -26 20
23,424 Subscribers
Select a reason...
Report   Cancel
Select a reason...
Report   Cancel
Select a reason...
Report   Cancel

Delete Post

Deleted posts are gone forever. Are you sure?

Изтий   Откажи


Discard edits to this post?

Discard   Откажи

Cancel Changes

Your changes will not be saved. Continue?

Yes   No

Reblog Post

Reblog this post to your followers?

Изпрати   Откажи

Undo Reblog

Mute Topic

This will prevent any content posted to this Topic from displaying in your feed.

Mute   Откажи


Block Member

Are you sure?

Block   Откажи


Delete Comment

Are you sure?

Изтий   Откажи

Delete Account

All content will be permanently removed from the site. Are you sure?

Изтий   Откажи


Update   Cancel

Unban User

Remove User

Remove Moderator

Remove yourself as a moderator

Are you sure?

Submit   Cancel

Leaving Moderation!

Are you sure you want to stop being a moderator?

Yes   No

Select a reason...
Submit   Cancel
Select a reason...
Submit   Cancel

By opting in to see NSFW content you certify that you are 18 years of age or older.

Yes   No