Manchester United’s midfield trio of Scott McTominay, Fred and Andreas Pereira’s limitations were exposed against Bournemouth.
The same problem continues to blight United, a lack of creativity. This is highlighted when we concede the first goal, and our inability to bounce back is even more frustrating.
The Manchester Evening News wrote a piece last week praising the Fred and McTominay partnership, also hitting out at Paul Pogba. The article suggested Pogba is not being missed by United.
In the games we have won, that’s fair. Against Bournemouth, we really could have done with the Frenchman. Don’t be fooled otherwise.
Not fully fit
Pogba’s season has been ruined by an ankle injury which looks set to keep him sidelined until at least December.
In the last three matches he did play, against Southampton, Rochdale, Arsenal, he was clearly not fully fit.
Fred and McTominay were being asked against Bournemouth to make their third start in seven days. Not having Pogba around has hurt, as the duo are being pushed to, and beyond their limits.
Of course there are times when United can get by without Pogba. We are not and have never been a one man team dependent on the Frenchman.
Yet this United side is so devoid of creative quality, that is seems asinine to dismiss the absence of United’s best all round midfielder.
The partnership of Fred and Scott McTominay does give United one intriguing option, playing Pogba in front of them in Pereira’s role.
Pogba’s early season performances saw him look constrained in a defensive role, unable to show his best quality.
United’s three best midfielders are McTominay, Fred and Pogba. It should be simple to fit them all in.
While Pereira shows flashes of quality, he largely flatters to deceive and Pogba is a big upgrade in his place.
United have to make do without the Frenchman for now, and to be fair, they have performed about as well as can be expected in his absence.
The lack of investment in midfield in the summer is really showing up in a big way, making the decisions made by the club look foolish.
But to pretend United are not missing Pogba would be wrong.
He made the difference away at Bournemouth last season with a match winning assist for Marcus Rashford to score a winner. We needed a bit of that on Saturday.
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