Thursday 22 February 2018

Gary Neville is far from convinced that Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera can be Jose Mourinho's midfield two

Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba
Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United legend Gary Neville believes the selection dilemmas are far from over for the club’s manager Jose Mourinho, despite their empathic 4-1 win against Premier League champions Leicester on Saturday.

With skipper Wayne Rooney dropped to the bench, United’s midfield trio of Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata caught the eye in a thrilling display that produced four first half goals, yet Neville suggests Mourinho still has plenty to work on.

“I don’t think Mourinho will look at that performance and think Pogba and Herrera are his midfield two,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“For Manchester City at home or Liverpool away or Chelsea away, they still have to build up that trust to him, to us, the crowd, that they are good enough to play in these big matches.

“United have got three games in the next six that are against Chelsea, Liverpool and City.

“In those games Pogba and Herrera, if they are going to play together, can they then go and deliver in the bigger games and against the better opposition? That’s when the ultimate test will come.”

Neville went on to praise Pogba’s best display since he returned to United in a world record £89m move from Juventus last month.

“We look at the scrutiny on Wayne Rooney, but a lot of people are saying that for £90m on a central midfield player, you have to influence the game,” added Neville.

“The first half he was the best player on the pitch. In the first half, he seemed more determined, like Mourinho had told him to sprint back and win the ball. I think he’s had a bit of a wake-up call in the week.

It was an all-round performance. It is the best I’ve seen him.

“If you think about what you want your midfield player to do for £90m, you want him to pass well, come forward, be a threat in the box, be dynamic, sprint back and be a force defensively. All the facets of what would be an all-round midfield player

“He’s one of those rare midfield players who can do most things and we saw him have a big influence on the game.”

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