Paul Pogba

Should Paul Pogba start against Sheffield Utd?

Monday 22 June 2020 16:00

Four former Manchester United players, including two-time Champions League winner Wes Brown, believe Paul Pogba has earned the right to start in the Reds' next Premier League game, against Sheffield United.

The Frenchman played his first competitive minutes of 2020 in last Friday's match against Tottenham Hotspur, and made a decisive contribution by winning the second-half penalty that enabled Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to claim a deserved point.
And in today's MUTV Group Chat, Brown and ex-players David May, Ben Thornley and Danny Webber were unanimous that the 2018 World Cup winner should be selected in the starting XI for Wednesday's clash with the Blades.
MUTV Group Chat: Bruno, Pogba and Crowd Noise Vidéo

MUTV Group Chat: Bruno, Pogba and Crowd Noise

Wes, Maysie, Ben and Danny debate Spurs, Sheffield Utd and the crowd noise question in the new MUTV Group Chat...

“You get your opportunity when you're on the bench and you get a little bit of time to show something,” analysed Webber, “and he came on and did it. He came on and said: Right, let me show you why I should be playing. And the whole team raised its level. So for me, definitely [he should start].
“I think the signs were positive based on what we saw the other day – if Pogba's in there, and Fernandes, and either [Nemanja] Matic or Scott [McTominay], whoever sits.”
“I think after Pogba did come on, everyone saw the change in the game and what he brought to it,” agreed Brown. “His movement... he was moving around a bit, he had a bit of freedom. He ended up on the right wing [before winning the penalty], he can take men on, and I think that's what we need from him.”
Former winger Thornley, who made 14 appearances for the Reds after graduating from the Academy with the Class of '92, said fans should be optimistic about the prospect of Pogba and impressive new signing Bruno Fernandes taking to the pitch together.
“I think that the Pogba-Fernandes partnership that we've all been talking about for weeks and for months, and how it's going to be, I think that we can see that it's going to be the start of something extremely exciting, with all the other players that we've got in there.”
The pair linked up positively in the 30 minutes or so that Pogba spent on the pitch at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as United cancelled out Steven Bergwijn's first-half opener and came close to snatching all three points in the final stages.
How Pogba won our crucial penalty Vidéo

How Pogba won our crucial penalty

During his first appearance since Boxing Day, Paul did brilliantly to win a game-changing spot kick...

The quartet provided in-depth analysis of the Spurs game in the chat – which you can watch in full above – and then turned their attentions to Wednesday's game. As a former Blade, Webber thinks United are in for a tough game when Old Trafford hosts its first behind-closed-doors fixture in two days' time.
“It's going to be a tough one, because they've just been beaten 3-0 by Newcastle and they always recover well,” warned the 38-year-old. “If you look at the last three years, whatever division they're in, they always recover well if they've taken a defeat. It's a case of winning the scrap and earning the right to go and play, if United are going to go and win the game. But it's a must-win.”
Thornley is able to offer insight into Chris Wilder's team, having played under the forthright Yorkshireman at Halifax Town, and Ben thinks the absence of a crowd may harm the Blades' chances as much as it will affect United.
“Their away record has been tremendous, so [Sunday's defeat to Newcastle] just proves that they can't play in front of no fans!” suggested Thornley. “They need fans there in an away stadium to be able to perform, and let's hope that that vein continues on Wednesday night. I played under Chris Wilder for a short time, and I know how much his man-management skills come into it by whipping people up, and he's not going to have the help of any sort of crowd to feed off for that.”

The match kicks off at 18:00 BST on Wednesday 24 June, and will be televised on Sky One, Sky Sports and Pick.