Paul Pogba began the recent season in spectacular manner. The Frenchmn provided a stunning four assists.
That was always an unrepeatable number, but it showed what Pogba was capable of.
You would think by adding Cristiano Ronaldo into the team, a second world class player to add to Pogba, that the pair would benefit each other.
Instead the connection between the two has been non-existent.
Pogba has a further three assists since the Leeds game, setting up United’s goal against Southampton, and then two against Newcastle for Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored five goals since joining United. Pogba is not responsible for any of those assists.
What’s going on?
The lack of synchronicity between Pogba and Ronaldo is a failure on the part of both players. It’s also on the coaching staff.
But when you have two players this talented, they shouldn’t need coaching, they should get in tune and it should just click.
Ronaldo and Pogba have started 7 games together and have nothing to show for it as a combination. Why can’t these two world class players figure it out?
Pogba was playing well prior to Ronaldo’s arrival. Part of that may have been down to his connection with Mason Greenwood, which flourished late last season.
Greenwood’s movement is different to Ronaldo’s, who is more of a poacher nowadays than the vibrant player who liked to drift in from the left circa 2006-2008.
But in the absence of a lack of natural spark, the coaches must try to create one, and Solskjaer and his coaching staff have failed to get Ronaldo and Pogba clicking so far.
Pogba has played during this time on the left, and at the weekend in central midfield.
His assists have dried up. It is now eight games for club and country in which Pogba does not have a single one.
Amid an attack which has scored just 11 goals in the last 7 league games, the lack of Pogba to Ronaldo connection is a contributory factor.
Pogba now droppable
With all the media hype on whether Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo could co-exist, Pogba has been lost in the shuffle.
Fernandes has stepped up, he has provided one assist for Ronaldo so far, but he has also provided another three assists for Ronaldo’s teammates since the win over Newcastle.
It is Fernandes rather than Pogba who is the player in form, and the weekend showed that United may be better off with just one of them in the team than both.
Suddenly Pogba looks most droppable of the two, with United requiring more tenacity in midfield.
Unless Pogba can show a spark with Ronaldo, then his place is in jeopardy.
United’s attack has to become Ronaldo-centric. It is all about finding the right combination to get the best out of the number 7.
At the moment that does not look to be a combination which includes Pogba. He has not seized his chances so far.
- Who is Ronald Araujo and why is he being linked to Manchester United?
- Cavani issues fitness update ahead of United’s clash with Chelsea
- Josh King admits blocked Manchester United move was worst moment of his career
- Carrick says van de Beek is capable of playing as a false nine
- Rangnick tipped to have same impact at United like Tuchel did at Chelsea