Paul Pogba shines in defensive midfield role in Man United’s 2-0 win over Watford

by Sam Peoples

Paul Pogba played in a deeper midfield role alongside Ander Herrera against Watford and put in one of his most commanding performances of the season.

I’ll be the first to say Pogba has been off form ever since our 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford but that display was mature, composed and measured. His combination with Herrera in midfield allowed us to dominate the game.

You can tell Jose Mourinho is keen to mould Pogba into an all-round box-to-box midfielder like Patrick Vieira in his pomp and the defensive aspect of his game in the 2-0 win over Watford is something which he’ll be extremely pleased with.

“He’s playing with his brain, he’s recovering lots of balls,” Mourinho said about Pogba’s performance. As I said, Mourinho wants to shape Pogba into a complete player and improving the defensive aspect of his game is so important in that respect.


Playing deeper also allowed Pogba to be on the edge of the box more often and gifted him more space with Watford’s defenders being so busy trying to stop our attackers. That space allowed him to take his time a bit more and control the tempo of the game.

Pogba is undoubtedly one of the world’s best midfielders already but he’s got a lot of growing and improving to do. Mourinho can get the most out of him and helping Pogba to strengthen his weaknesses is a crucial aspect of that – against Watford, we saw he can command a midfield in a deeper role and that’s a real positive heading into the business end of the season.

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