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Highlights on Off The Ball

Alex Ferguson would have gotten rid of Paul Pogba, Klopp wouldn't take him for free | John Giles

Paul Pogba is a major fault in the Manchester United dressing room because he splits the power dynamic between Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to John Giles.

Alex Ferguson would have gotte...

Alex Ferguson would have gotten rid of Paul Pogba, Klopp wouldn't take him for free | John Giles

Ireland legend John Giles joined Richie McCormick on Off The Ball to discuss Paul Pogba.

Paul Pogba has had a relatively quiet few weeks. Of course, that's because he was benched for the Liverpool game and then sent off soon after coming off the bench.

Manchester United beat Tottenham 3-0 without him on Saturday. Pogba will serve two more games for his suspension, next missing out on the Manchester City tie next weekend. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer played an extremely defensive 5-3-2 setup against Tottenham. Pogba doesn't fit in that formation.

Bruno Fernandes is in the attacking midfielder role so Pogba won't start ahead of him. Both Scott McTominay and Fred are better defensive midfielders than Pogba, though not by much. Solskjaer will pick both ahead of Pogba for every game.

Amid suggestions that Pogba could leave for Real Madrid in the Summer, the question becomes how many more games will Pogba start for Manchester United.

"Take the Pogba case for example," Giles said when discussing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's failings.
"They were terrible against Leicester a couple of weeks ago. I didn't see all of the match but Pogba was one of the leading men in it. He was very, very, very poor. And who is out after the match telling how it should be done, only Pogba. 'We have to do this, we're not getting this right, we're not getting that right.'

"He left him out for the next match."

Pogba didn't start the following Premier League game against Liverpool. The French midfielder called for change and Solskjaer saw him as the change that was needed. The performance of the team in the first half suggests benching Pogba didn't fix anything.

His performance when he was brought on suggests starting him wouldn't have fixed anything either.

There was a report after the Liverpool game that said Pogba was no longer speaking to Solskjaer. Pogba himself denied that report. Pogba is always the first target for media outlets whenever there is unrest in the United dressing room, but whether that is fair or not remains unclear.

Former players have supported him, whereas Jose Mourinho famously had problems with him. The French national side has no character concerns for him and much of the controversy surrounding him is based on analysts judging his demeanour from afar.

Having been part of plenty of dressing rooms over the years, Giles understands how each dressing room is unique. He attributes the sustained speculation surrounding Pogba to Solskjaer's lack of leadership.

"It's very, very difficult because you don't have every player the same in the dressing room. Everybody has their own ideas and their own way. Usually looking after a dressing room, it's 'How does it affect me when we play badly?' That's what happens when you don't have a Ferguson or a Guardiola or a Klopp as manager.

"You have to lead and players will always find a way out."

Clarifying that it's just his own opinion, Giles believes that Pogba is one of the major faults in the team because he's telling others to do things he's not doing himself. Pogba is a disruption because he's not committing his future to the club and that makes it difficult for Solskjaer to have full authority in the dressing room.

It's unfair to compare Solskjaer to past Manchester United managers but it's also something that has to be done to contextualize his performance.

"If you look back on Ferguson and Matt Busby, the great managers, they wouldn't allow that. They wouldn't allow it to get to that stage, they just wouldn't. So I feel sorry for Solskjaer in many ways because I don't think he has the control at Old Trafford that managers need.

"There are forces in the club that don't respect him.

"I don't think he's in charge of the comings and goings and that's 90% of the job. As a manager you get rid of the players you don't want and you bring in the players you do want. That's how you create your vision of the team...the Pogba situation, he hasn't signed a new contract. They've offered him an increase on his contract.

"He's refused it so far. As a manager in his case, Ferguson, the first thing he'd say is 'I don't want this guy here. If he's not going to sign the contract, he's not part of the team, I want him out.'"

"If Klopp was offered Pogba for nothing, he wouldn't take him."

ANALYSIS: Manchester United's 3-0 win over Tottenham was lucky


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