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POGBA OUT Paul McGrath: There's no room there for Paul Pogba to play as a link man for Man United

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Turning point: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba reacts after conceding a penalty against Arsenal. Photo: PA

Turning point: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba reacts after conceding a penalty against Arsenal. Photo: PA

PA

Turning point: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba reacts after conceding a penalty against Arsenal. Photo: PA

I don’t know the answer and that is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s problem after yet another poor performance at Old Trafford ended with a defeat against Arsenal on Sunday.

Never mind the whole team being inconsistent, the manager doesn’t know what he will get from individual players from match to match.

Some games Harry Maguire looks assured and competent, next time out he looks like an accident waiting to happen and you can write that down for David de Gea in goal too.

Up front, some weeks any, or all, of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood look like they could take apart any team in the world. The next they look lifeless and uninspired.

It was interesting to hear Ole having to defend Mason Greenwood in the media last week about rumours that his time-keeping wasn’t the best and that there were other issues around the lad.

Such stuff brings me back to Roy Keane and his complaints about young players making it in first-team dressing rooms.

Suddenly they are more interested in flash cars and fancy watches than amassing medals in their pockets.

It’s a growing phase that these young lads have to be guided through as they begin to find a lot of money in their bank accounts every month.

Ole was there himself not so long ago, he has to get these young lads back onside, as it were.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was again left facing questions over the direction of his team (Paul Ellis/PA)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was again left facing questions over the direction of his team (Paul Ellis/PA)

PA

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was again left facing questions over the direction of his team (Paul Ellis/PA)

Two more points about United as they go forward. One, Bruno Fernandes is the exception to the rule that says you can’t get a decent player in the January transfer window.

The Portuguese midfielder has been excellent for United since joining them last January.

He looks a real steal when you see the lunatic money spent on unproven players during the summer window.

And, secondly, I am more convinced than ever that United should have taken the financial hit on Paul Pogba and moved him out of the club during the summer. No matter how much it hurt their balance sheet.

Pogba, or perhaps his agent, was at it again about ten days ago, mumbling about how it has always been a dream to play at Real Madrid.

But then he was at that when a Juventus player, musing on how he would love to go to back to Old Trafford, that he had unfinished business there.

The big problem seems to be that there is no room for him in the tactical scheme favoured for United by Solskjaer.

This sees United using two sitting midfielders, Scott McTominay and Fred, one attacking midfielder in Bruno Fernandes and then he turns loose any three of his attacking talent, with the likes of Jesse Lingard, Daniel James and even Juan Mata to back up the trio already mentioned.

The argument being that as long as ‘the sitters’ give the back four plenty of protection, Fernandes and whoever is playing from among the ample attacking force, ought to score enough goals to win any game.

There’s no room there for Paul Pogba to play as a link man, taking the ball from the back and ushering it forward.

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Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring the winner from the penalty spot with his team-mates. Photo: PA

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring the winner from the penalty spot with his team-mates. Photo: PA

PA

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring the winner from the penalty spot with his team-mates. Photo: PA

And anyway, Paul’s style of sometimes ambling around the pitch may be fine in Serie A or La Liga, but it won’t cut the mustard in the Premier League.

United's inconsistent form is all the more galling because it is clear this is a season when the Premier League title is up for grabs.

I’d hate to be one of the many people who backs trebles or accumulators on the football every weekend, because there is no pattern at all to the results. The bookies must be rolling in money.

All these strange results tell me that a club won’t need 100 points to win the Premier League this term. More like 85 would do it, as even the best teams are drawing and losing games they really ought to be winning.

Maybe it will settle down soon and some club will go on a ten-match winning streak to open up a serious gap at the top of the table, but it seems unlikely..

Is it because of the lack of crowds this season? The results seem to be all over the place.

You have Aston Villa beating Liverpool 7-2 and then being spanked by Leeds in their next home game.

Manchester City concede five goals in a match and then United concede six, and then there were Liverpool’s not-so-magnificent seven shipped at Villa Park.

There were no 0-0 draws in the Premier League for weeks, and now we’ve had a spate of them together.

I’d hate to be one of the many people who backs trebles or accumulators on the football every weekend, because there is no pattern at all to the results. The bookies must be rolling in money.

All these strange results tell me that a club won’t need 100 points to win the Premier League this term.

More like 85 would do it, as even the best teams are drawing and losing games they really ought to be winning.

For the reasons I’ve outlined, I can’t see that being Manchester United.

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