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10th Dec 2017

Manchester United fans might disagree with Graeme Souness’ latest comments on Paul Pogba

"He is the most undisciplined midfielder they have."

Reuben Pinder

He’s never been keen on flashy players.

Manchester United will be without Paul Pogba for today’s derby match against league leaders Manchester City after the midfielder was sent off for a tackle on Hector Bellerín last weekend.

Graeme Souness believes the Frenchman’s suspension will be a blessing in disguise for United, writing in The Times:

“I believe that it is a bonus that Paul Pogba is suspended because he is the most undisciplined midfielder they have. Without Pogba, United conceded three goals in seven league games, despite playing Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham. With him, they have conceded six in eight games.”

José Mourinho often approaches games of this level of importance with a must not lose attitude and in order to execute that approach well, Souness believes:

“Against the big teams you need your central midfielders to protect their defence and he’s all over the place positionally.”

If you are going to get a result against City, who are still unbeaten and firing on all cylinders, you will need to remain solid and organised, obviously. However, in recent weeks City have shown signs of a soft centre when their opponents counter attack them, and that is where Pogba will be greatly missed.

Against Arsenal, Manchester United showed how devastating they can be on the break and Pogba was key. His ability to break forward and push United up the pitch is a quality that neither Ander Herrera nor Marouane Fellaini can offer in Pogba’s absence.

The Proper Football Men may think that his absence will be a blessing in disguise for defensive reasons, they are ignoring the unique qualities he offers in attack. Maybe it’s the hair.