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NEV FEAR 'They are in a desperate position' - Gary Neville fears for Man United as he gives a damning verdict on Paul Pogba

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Gary Neville fears for his former club Manchester United after their woeful start to the season, as he suggested they are in a 'desperate position' as they languish in 15th place in the table.

Sunday's 1-0 home defeat against Arsenal at Old Trafford sparked a fresh debate over Old Gunnar Solskjaer's future as United manager, but Neville told the Sky Sports that the troubles at the club run deep.

"They are in a desperate position - nine points off the top - and Ole couldn't really afford a bad start in the league," he said on the Gary Neville podcast.

"I don't think anyone expected him to get a league title this season but to fall behind so much, so early just puts pressure on. Only the Champions League performances have provided some sunshine.

"The performances have been really poor with a real lack or urgency. United thought they'd found the solution to this incredible amount of midfielders they have - six of them - by playing a diamond and trying to get four of them in.

"Solskjaer thought he'd found the system against RB Leipzig but it's not going to be as easy as that. It's a big pitch at Old Trafford.

"You can't put it down to the fans not being in because we've known that situation for some time now. They had a problem at the back-end of last season - they struggled against Southampton, West Ham - and it's continued into this season in the league."

Sunday World columnist Paul McGrath is among those now calling for United's club record signing Paul Pogba to left out of United's first choice team by Solskjaer and Neville echoed those comments.

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Manchester United’s Paul Pogba after the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester (Paul Ellis/PA)

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba after the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester (Paul Ellis/PA)

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba after the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester (Paul Ellis/PA)

"If we're discussing his performance, he was really, really poor in every part of his game - simple as that," he said of Pogba.

"I've said for a long time, my issue has been that Pogba's agent has publicly said he'd like to play for Real Madrid so there's no secret. Remove the emotion: if you're the No 1 player - the Rooney, the Beckham; the Neymar or Mbappe, Ronaldo or Messi - you're going to be talked about more than the rest. It's a compliment. You're the man. You've been bought for £90-odd million.

"He wasn't alone - I thought (Scott) McTominay was poor, Fred below his normal standard and (Bruno) Fernandes well below his normal standard; I don't think anyone covered themselves in glory in that midfield. Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey knew their jobs and dominated.

"They had no balance, particularly on the right - I never thought Scott McTominay being there worked at all. He did change it at half-time and it was a little better but there's a real problem of confidence and lack of urgency aligned with inconsistency with regards to shape and team selection.

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" It's getting worse, too. Does Edinson Cavani come in? Does Donny van de Beek come in? Where does Pogba play? Do you need McTominay and Fred both in there because they seem to win the ball back? It's creating more confusion.

"I had a long discussion with Jamie Carragher on Monday Night Football about how you get Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the team and where does Van de Beek play - but there are too many of them and now there's a lack of balance.

"He took Mason Greenwood off - who I thought should probably have stayed on because of that balance - but that exacerbated it."

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