Jose Mourinho has noted that Paul Pogba, like many other Manchester United players, overcomplicated his game against West Bromwich Albion.
The Frenchman was Man United’s hero against Manchester City last weekend, hauling his side forward in a remarkable 3-2 win, but he looked lethargic here.
He was sloppy in possession, failed to bring any impetus going forward, and picked up a yellow for trying to punch the ball into the net before being taken off after 56 minutes.
And Mourinho, speaking after the game, noted that Pogba’s booking and tendency to overcomplicate things on the ball was why he came off.
Mourinho: “Paul had a yellow card and Paul’s game was complicated like many others.” #mufc [Sky]
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) April 15, 2018
The commentariat will no doubt point towards Pogba’s substitution as further evidence of some imaginary rift between himself and Mourinho, but the fact of the matter is that any member of either midfield or attack could have deservedly been taken off against West Brom.
Pogba’s sluggishness and unnecessary amount of touches were not why United lost the game; they were, instead, indicative of a wider problem for the attack. After 30 minutes of some solid West Brom defending the players started to doubt themselves to an extent, taking just a bit longer on the ball than they needed to, refusing to create an option in behind.
It was a kind of collective neurosis which unfolded, and it was another example of these players lacking believe themselves and Mourinho lacking a clear attacking plan.