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Lack of creativity rears its head as Pogba-less Man United revert to type

Saturday02 November 2019 | 15:31
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A 1-0 loss to Bournemouth on Saturday epitomised Manchester United's lack of creativity as their run of away wins came to an end.

There is a train of thought that Manchester United would be better off without Paul Pogba.

Move on from an inconsistent performer, cut your losses on your record signing, and perhaps United could benefit without 'the headache' of their World Cup-winning Frenchman.

Yet that theory gained little support on Saturday.

United, shorn of their only dynamic midfielder for a fourth successive Premier League game, reverted to type, displaying a lack of creativity and ideas in going down 1-0 to Bournemouth, whose winner was scored by Manchester United academy graduate Joshua King.

The Cherries had not kept a clean sheet prior to their last home game against Norwich City and yet their defence enjoyed a largely worry-free afternoon in the wind and rain.

A central-midfield three of Fred, Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira might have impressed in the win over Norwich City on Sunday, but the trio epitomised everything that is wrong with this United, producing ponderous, pedestrian play and failing to conjure up anything of note in an attacking sense.

Pereira was the chief culprit. The Brazilian made only 25 passes and completed just 60 per cent of them - the fewest of any outfield United player. The most damning statistic, though, was that he failed to complete one pass to his team's centre forward Anthony Martial.

His performance was not an anomaly. Pereira has scored just once and contributed only two assists in 30 Premier League appearances, while making four big chances and providing one throughball.

Given he turns 24 on New Year's Day, you have to wonder whether Pereira is ever going to be good enough for United.

His infuriating moments on Saturday included failing to beat the first man from a set piece and overhitting what should have been a routine pass to Martial as he approached the Cherries' penalty area.

And when Solskjaer looked to his bench to replace his underperforming midfielder 68 minutes in, his only real option was the woefully out-of-form Jesse Lingard - a man who is yet to have a shot on target, provide an assist or deliver a throughball this season.

Solskjaer had spoken of the "good relationship" Fred and McTominay have in the build up to this game, but neither man is known for their creativity or flair.

Fred at least tried to take the challenge on, creating more chances than anyone else on the pitch on Saturday, but in seven appearances this season he has not scored, provided an assist or a big chance.

The problem is, without Pogba, who can make something happen in that United midfield?

Saturday's showing should serve as a cautionary tale for those wanting Pogba gone.


source: SportMob