| 9.8°C Dublin

Solskjaer's Riddle Niall Quinn on the 'big question mark' hanging over Paul Pogba as United appear to improve in his absence

Close

Manchester United's Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba prepare to make their entrance against Chelsea

Manchester United's Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba prepare to make their entrance against Chelsea

PA

Manchester United's Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba prepare to make their entrance against Chelsea

Niall Quinn believes there is 'a big question mark' hanging over Paul Pogba at Manchester United, after he was left out of their last three matches.

Pogba has not been selected to start a game by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since he turned in a woeful performance in United's 6-1 home defeat against Tottenham earlier this month, with the French World Cup winner a high-profile bench warmer in the three games since.

United have shown improved performances in Pogba's absence and the statistics suggest they are more successful when he is not in their line-up, with former Ireland striker Quinn suspecting that he might no longer be part of Solskjaer's first-choice team.

"There is a big question mark around Pogba now," said Virgin Media Sport analyst Quinn. "He was left out of the last few games and United have done well in his absence, so you wonder where that story will go now.

"The stats tell us that United do better when Pogba is not playing, but stats only tell you part of the story.

"We don't see what goes on behind the scenes at the training ground every day and you throw determination, a team ethic, application, desire, taking one for the team when you need to... all these things add up.

"I think Solskjaer is beginning to get it right now and he is getting a response from his squad. If that is coming without Pogba starting games, he has to go with that and it is up to the player to make an impact if he is coming off the bench.

"Those being picked to play for United have given Solskjaer the kind of commitment you need to display when you play for a big club and it will be interesting to see if he picks Pogba for the Leipzig game."

Quinn went on to suggest United have found a balance in their line-up that will give them a platform to thrive in their last three matches, as he argued their win against Paris Saint-Germain in the last round of Premier League games provided Solskjaer with a blueprint to success.

"I really enjoyed the PSG game," added Quinn. "Their performance was fantastic. A lot of us have a soft spot for the manager as he seems to be such a great guy.

"Axel Tuanzebe's performance was the one that stood out for me. A lot of people were worried about him before the match, but he was sensational in that game as he handled Neymar and Kylian Mbappe so magnificently and it was a team performance.

"No one was being carried on the night and they got what they deserved with Marcus Rashford's late goal. They all put in a performance that confirmed they wanted it badly and when you look at the quality of the front three PSG had out there, it was a fantastic performance.

Close

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manager of Manchester United. (Photo by Oli Scarff - Pool/Getty Images)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manager of Manchester United. (Photo by Oli Scarff - Pool/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manager of Manchester United. (Photo by Oli Scarff - Pool/Getty Images)

"They didn't think about how to stop the PSG front three and instead, they looked at how they would score goals and how they could win the game.

"It was such a positive night for United and it would point to their manager coming of age to an extent. Plenty of questions were being asked after the Tottenham game, but the players have responded in the right manner since then and that suggests they are fighting for their manager.

"Their performance at Newcastle was good coming out of the international break and then they had the win in Paris, so now they should go into this Leipzig game at Old Trafford on a high.

"They have set a standard for themselves and have to try and live up to it now."

Virgin Media Sport will screen all Champions League and Europa League games this week, including Manchester Utd v Leipzig on Wednesday and Arsenal v Dundalk on Thursday.


Online Editors


Privacy