Why Solskjaer Has Reduced Paul Pogba To The Role Of Impact Substitute

Why Solskjaer Has Reduced Paul Pogba To The Role Of Impact Substitute

So what has Ole Gunnar Solskjaer done to so quickly turn the mood around at Manchester United?

The most notable fix has come in midfield, where Paul Pogba has been conspicuous by his absence in the last two games.

After a slow start to the season and a truly dismal performance in that shocking defeat by Spurs, United's £89million man has been Solskjaer's fall guy.

That it is Pogba who has had to make way to force through this positive change for United, says as much about the Frenchman as it does others in the United side.

The Pogba that spearheaded the early days of the Solskjaer revolution has been missing in action for some time.

Bruno Fernandes was surprised to be handed the captaincy in Paris, but it was testament to the leadership he has displayed since his arrival from Sporting Lisbon in January.

He is not just the creator-in-chief on the pitch, but he exudes the leadership qualities that United have been sorely lacking for years. He was meant to complement and work in tandem with Pogba, instead he has usurped him and is starting to have a greater influence over the culture of this United side.

He has become Solskjaer's main man on the pitch, showcased by his return of 16 goals in 28 games.

United were irresistible going forward for patches of the return, and Solskjaer named the same XI in five consecutive games.

The lack of rotation caught up with United eventually as they limped out in the semi-finals of the Europa League.

A lack of options on the bench made United predictable.

If you could stop Solskjaer's first choice lineup, there was little those in reserve could do to change that.

Pogba has now become that impact substitute that many felt Solskjaer lacked last season.

Donny van de Beek may well come to represent a trusted option, but he is still bedding in at the club.

For now it falls to Pogba, and he proved crucial in turning the tide of these two wins over Newcastle and PSG.

Using their £89m midfielder as an impact substitute may not be the best of resources, but for now it is bringing results.

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Pogba has been far from his best for the last 12 months, his 2019-20 season was wrecked by injury, and getting him to play his way back into a semblance of form with cameo appearances may well be no bad thing.


This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago