The manager of Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has come to the rescue of his midfielder Paul Pogba who made a “stupid mistake” that led the club to lose 1-0 to Arsenal on November 1. The defeat was the club’s third defeat in the Premier League this season.
Recall that the 27-year-old French midfielder committed an unnecessary tackle on Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin in United’s box-eighteen. The foul gifted Arsenal a spot-kick which the club’s talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted in the 69th minute. Unfortunately for Pogba, coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not able to come up with any strategy that could help the club to get at least a point from the match.
At the end of the match, the scoreline remained 1-0 which attracted criticism from most fans of the club and even from coach Solskjaer who was quoted as saying that “Paul knows in that exact instance he could’ve done better and held his hand up”.
But during United’s press conference ahead of the club’s UEFA Champions League Group H match against a Turkish side, Istanbul Basaksehir, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives reasons why Pogba’s critics should cut the midfielder some slack.
Solskjaer recalled how Paul Pogba struggled throughout the 2019-2020 season where he played only 22 games due to a series of injuries that interrupted him throughout the season. The coach also noted that the Fifa World Cup-winning midfielder just recovered from Coronavirus before the commencement of this season and he needs time to attain full fitness before the club will start getting the best of him.
Solskjaer said: “Every player is frustrated and is disappointed after defeat. We need consistency from every one of our players.
“Paul has gone through a difficult period with an injury last season and Covid, now working up to full fitness. We have seen plenty of positives now and hopefully more can continue. It’s high intensity and the fitter you are the better.”
Manchester United will be in action against Istanbul Basaksehir in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, November 4, away at Istanbul Basaksehir Fatih Terim. The club has been enjoying the best of form in the Champions League this season as they have defeated group H favorites – Paris Saint Germain and RB Leipzig to remain top of the group.
Fans and critics of the club will be looking forward to seeing whether Solskjaer will use Pogba in the game or replace him with the club’s new signing Donny van de Beek. Most fans of the club have been advocating for Beek ahead of Pogba and they won’t mind seeing him replace the embattled midfielder on Wednesday.