Tuesday, June 18, 2019
Home Sport Paul Pogba watches from the United States rediscover their mojo

Paul Pogba watches from the United States rediscover their mojo

Before anyone gets carried away, it's Fulham. Bottom-of-the-table Fulham. Without a win in 11 Premier League games, losing seven in a row, Fulham.

That said, this is another encouraging performance from Manchester United after the comeback draw with Arsenal in midweek.

Jose Mourinho's side seagull to have re-discovered her mojo thanks to an injection of young blood and a high-energy approach.

Paul Pogba warmed up before Manchester United vs Fulham but he remained unused sub

Paul Pogba warmed up before Manchester United vs Fulham but he remained unused sub

Paul Pogba warmed up before Manchester United vs Fulham but he remained unused sub

Pogba was seen grinning while watching United from the bench as they hammered Fulham 4-1

Pogba was seen grinning while watching United from the bench as they hammered Fulham 4-1

Pogba was seen grinning while watching United from the bench as they hammered Fulham 4-1

Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard's enthusiasm are rubbing off on their team-mates. Diogo Dalot is beginning to show why United paid FC Porto £ 19million for him in the summer. Romelu Lukaku looks to be in his last two games, and Ashley Young scored his first for more than a year.

And watching it all, Paul Pogba.

These are strange times for him. Less than five months ago, Pogba was inspiring France to glory the World Cup. Now he can not get away from the United States.

Mourinho has decided United's £ 89million record signing is better off on the bench – and it's hard to disagree with him.

United have looked more fluid, cohesive unit without him against Arsenal and Fulham. Pogba lacks the defensive discipline that Mourinho demands, and slows down the showcasing his tricks when quicker distribution is often required.

On his last two starts, against Crystal Palace and Southampton, he was guilty of breath-taking wastefulness for a player of his caliber, and a lack of desire to correct his own mistakes.

Arsenal on Wednesday night, there was a decidedly mixed reception from Old Trafford crowd.

He was back on the touchline here, with the rest of the Substitutes, partially hidden beneath him.

Yet Mourinho opted to put on Fred before him, having openly admitted 24 hours earlier that he is reluctant to risk the Brazilian while United remain so defensively fragile.

Pogba stewing on the bench until the final whistle.

Mourinho says he wants to play in what is most likely to be a meaningless Champions League tie with Valencia in midweek, but it's clear Pogba has a first-choice selection again.

Marcus Rashford in fine form as the youngster is a goal and two assists for United

Marcus Rashford in fine form as the youngster is a goal and two assists for United

Marcus Rashford in fine form as the youngster is a goal and two assists for United

Belgian star Romelu Lukaku (center) scored his second goal in three Premier League games

Belgian star Romelu Lukaku (center) scored his second goal in three Premier League games

Belgian star Romelu Lukaku (center) scored his second goal in three Premier League games

Mourinho said: 'He has to play with the same mentality. Paul can be a fantastic player. He has the potential to be a fantastic player.

'Against Valencia he is going to start and have a fantastic football match to play and to show everybody how good he is.'

So what does the future hold for United's most expensive player? When Pogba's desire to leave the club again and join Barcelona in January first emerged last summer, it seemed inconceivable that United would let him go.

It's still highly unlikely that Edward Woodward's executive vice-chairman would give it up, re-signing the Pogba from Juventus title in the summer of 2016, and the player's importance to the United brand.

But, the thought of a midfield without Pogba is no longer such a strange one. The sight of his name is no longer a shock.

He has made himself dispensable and Mourinho has been ruthless in dropping him off the team as he was stripping him of the vice-captaincy in September.

The relationship between the two men has stabilized to a degree since then, although it is understood to be civil at best. Equally, the interest from Barcelona is said to have gone quiet for now.

Pogba could be stuck at United, at least until the summer, when he could have been working under a different manager and the situation could change again.

Until then, he might have to get more accustomed to the bench.

Mourinho's decision to leave Pogba out of his side have been vindicated during recent games

Mourinho's decision to leave Pogba out of his side have been vindicated during recent games

Mourinho's decision to leave Pogba out of his side have been vindicated during recent games

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