Ryan Giggs Tells Jose Mourinho Where Manchester United Must Play Paul Pogba

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 03: Paul Pogba of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Huddersfield Town at Old Trafford on February 3, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs believes manager Jose Mourinho should deploy Paul Pogba in a midfield three to get the best out of him.

He told Sky Sports' Super 6 Class of '92 Diary that United have an attacking lineup capable of matching Manchester City's, but the Sky Blues thrive thanks to the presence of Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva supporting their front line—a role Pogba could fill if Mourinho plays to his strengths.

The Wales manager continued:

"One of the best games Pogba had was the Everton game, when he was on the left of [Nemanja] Matic—in a similar position to the one he played at Juventus—and Ander Herrera was on the right.

"I think that position where he's on the left of a midfield three is where he's at his best. He's a brilliant crosser of the ball and I don't think he's as effective when he's having to do more defensive work in central areas.

"I would like to see him in a 4-3-3 with Matic sitting, Herrera to the right and Pogba to the left, with a selection of the front three thriving off more creativity behind them."

A number of pundits would agree with Giggs' assessment of the Frenchman, particularly after United were dismantled 2-0 by Tottenham Hotspur at the end of January.

Pogba was utilised alongside Matic with Jesse Lingard, Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Martial and Romelu Lukaku ahead of them, but as ESPN's Rob Dawson noted, the formation invited pressure from Spurs:

The 24-year-old was hauled off after just 63 minutes at Wembley Stadium having put in a subpar performance.

Football writers Liam Canning and Tom McDermott are in agreement with Giggs regarding Pogba's best position:

Pogba played on the left side of a midfield three for much of his time at Juventus, as the system made the most of his dynamism and ability to contribute both defensively and going forward.

Andrea Pirlo would often occupy the central role as a deep-lying playmaker, while Claudio Marchisio or Arturo Vidal shuttled up and down on the other side.

As Giggs noted, Mourinho replicated a similar system with Pogba, Matic and Herrera in United's 2-0 win over Everton on January 1, in which Pogba produced two assists.

ESPN's Michael Cox praised the tactic:

Mourinho hasn't been helped by Herrera's form declining significantly from last season, or Matic seeming to lose some steam over the course of this campaign.

However, Pogba is the most important player in United's midfield, and they need to get the best out of him for the team to be able to compete at the highest level possible.

A dip into the transfer market this summer will give the Special One more options when it comes to deploying the required system, but until then, he could and should use Matic and Herrera alongside him.

He's still left with the dilemma of coaxing them back into form, but it should make Pogba—and by extension, United's forward players—more effective.  


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