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Should Jose Mourinho Drop Paul Pogba?

Wednesday 30th August 2017
With summer signing Victor Lindelof out in the cold as far as Jose Mourinho is concerned, it's clear the Manchester United manager is willing to drop a player who isn't performing up to the required standard - but why is the Portuguese so hesitant to leave out the one player who is still not living up to expectations: Paul Pogba?

Previously the world's most expensive player, Pogba, was expected to feel a great deal of relief when Neymar's move to PSG officially removed the title from his shoulders. Sadly, it hasn't worked out quite that way as Pogba still divides opinion around the globe - he might've scored in two of his last three appearances but he needs to be doing much more than just increasing the team's lead to impress those who are so heavily against him.

Against Leicester City, Pogba reverted to his former self and put in something of a lacklustre showing where he'd actually shown signs of improvement against both West Ham and Swansea. Wasteful pot shots from 40 yards drew nothing but groans from the United fans and a player of Pogba's class shouldn't be so eager to lash a thunderbolt from such a long way out - especially not against a strong goalkeeper such as Kasper Schmeichel.
Pogba was also wasteful in possession as the Frenchman continues his habit of casually strolling with the ball instead of joining in with the rest of the team's high tempo pressing. His dribbling may be very cute to watch when the moves come off but a roulette here and there isn't enough for anyone to truly rate Pogba as world class in possession.

There's far more that can be said to damn Pogba for his performance against Leicester but that isn't the point of this piece. Instead, the questioning needs to be directed squarely at United's chief question avoiding expert: Jose Mourinho.

With Lindelof exiled until further notice, Andreas Pereira potentially on the move (AGAIN) and no concrete place for fan favourite Ander Herrera in the squad - why is Paul Pogba allowed to retain his place in the team no matter his obvious failings? One thing Mourinho clearly hasn't learned from his great friend Sir Alex Ferguson is the cutthroat approach to team selection.

SAF will be the first to admit that no one was guaranteed a place in his matchday squad unless they were playing at the top of their game. Not even the heroes of the Class of '92 nor their leader Roy Keane were on the team sheet unless they were outperforming the others in their position - Cristiano Ronaldo was regularly dropped to the bench if his tantrums got the better of him.

It just so happens that CR7 is the key example here that Mourinho must look to for guidance on managing Pogba. Neither Ronaldo nor Pogba ever want to miss games, they both live for their football but their managers have always been bold enough to bench them in the past - Mourinho is even counted in that number as far as Cristiano is concerned.

Just drop Pogba for one game and observe the difference, we're waiting!
Kristian Webb
A Manchester United fan who actually knows where Manchester is; I'm the chief writer for AccumulatorTips, ForzaSwansea and a contributor to WhatCulture's video game section. I'm a professional proofreader, content author and SEO Expert but that doesn't mean there won't be the odd grammatical error!

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