Jose Mourinho has been left with a tactical headache after the arrival of Alexis Sanchez, and will need to work out a better way of accommodating his top players according to Frank Lampard.
That’s after United fell to defeat against Tottenham Hotspur, and Paul Pogba’s position on the field provoked mass discussion.
Lampard said on BT Sport: “Pogba has so many great forward-thinking attributes – athleticism, ability on the ball, can find a pass. But if he’s being asked to do a job next to Nemanja Matic, he has to do that complete responsibility.
“When you’re facing a team where there are lots of threats around you, you have to think ‘what is happening around me?’ Not just when we get the ball.
“He didn’t switch on enough to that and sometimes when the ball went on the other side of him, he doesn’t run back as fast as he runs forward and that’s a big problem.”
It wasn’t just Lampard with that opinion – Danny Murphy agreed, and claimed that defensively, Pogab is fairly poor in comparison to other players, and the fact that he left so much space next to Matic caused the centre backs to have issues as well.
He said: “Pogba is one of the best attacking midfielders in the world but defensively he is reactive rather than proactive. [Phil] Jones and [Chris] Smalling kept getting dragged out because Pogba kept vacating that space next to [Nemanja] Matic and it just caused United all sorts of problems.
“Pogba has been great for United and I prefer him in a more attacking role. In terms of his defensive discipline, it’s not really in his nature.”
It seems that Jose Mourinho will now move for another defensive midfielder in the summer, with Marouane Fellaini struggling with injury this term – and Michael Carrick set to hang up his boots and join the coaching staff.
The United boss has made it clear he doesn’t expect the squad to be at their peak until 2020, and it seems that this could well be another indication there is plenty more work to do.