Football

Gary Neville Believes Manchester United's Title Hopes Rest On Paul Pogba

Gary Neville Believes Manchester United's Title Hopes Rest On Paul Pogba

While it was not the statement victory that their supporters hoped it would be, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be fairly happy with his side's showing in yesterday's 0-0 draw with Liverpool.

United were outplayed in the opening period of the game, but they would grow into the contest. They also had the two best chances over the course of the 90 minutes, with Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba both directing their close range efforts straight at Alisson.

Their defence played very well, but it's fair to say that both Fernandes and Pogba didn't quite have the impact on the game that was required. That will probably be the most disappointing aspect of their trip to Merseyside.

In fact, Gary Neville believes that Paul Pogba's form will be the deciding factor in United's title hopes over the remainder of the season.

Speaking on the Gary Neville Podcast, he said that while he thinks United's chances of winning the league remain slim, Pogba is the player who could push them to the next level.

I think Manchester United's chances of winning this league are slim - Liverpool and Man City are still the best two teams in this league.

But the slim chance they have to win this league will depend on something like Paul Pogba delivering a cameo of two or three months of brilliance, which he is capable of.

He's got confidence, he's got arrogance - good arrogance, in a sense that he believes in himself. He thinks he should be playing in the biggest games in the world, and winning titles, and thinking positive thoughts, thinking you're the best is a big thing when you're looking to win.

Just in that last 20 minutes, I felt United just had that little bit of missing belief. It's not a long way away, but that's the bit that will stop them winning the title.

I thought it was tough for him on Sunday. I've seen it over the years, where Sir Alex Ferguson had to put Wayne Rooney or Danny Welbeck out on that right-hand side, and it's not easy when you don't play there, to play there...

If you asked Paul Pogba: you can play any position in midfield or any up front, that's the one he wouldn't pick, right of midfield.

I didn't criticise his performance at Anfield because I thought it was a tough gig - the same with Rashford, who prefers to play on the left - but I do think he can have a big influence on United.

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Pogba has put in a couple of good performance in the lead up to yesterday's game, but has had a disappointing season overall.

The Frenchman has found himself in and out of the team, while his agent has also made noises about the player wanting to leave Old Trafford this summer. If United are to win the title, they may need Pogba to deliver the type of consistent performances that we have failed to see from him since his return to Manchester.

Looking at how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can push this team to the same level that we have seen from Liverpool and Manchester City in recent years, he believes that filling one or two obvious gaps in the squad would go a long way to doing so.

I look at the game on Sunday and think: how do you go from that to becoming title winners? I think one area is that United need to push up the pitch a bit more, up in the game a bit more. If you look at Liverpool, even with Fabinho and Henderson in defence, they are well up the pitch, on the halfway line.

One more area is that the right-hand side is a problem. Juan Mata has played there, Dan James has, Paul Pogba has, Marcus Rashford has, Van de Beek's played there, Greenwood's played there, and nobody has cemented it.

We know Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted that right-wing position filled in the summer, and he didn't get it, and it's just posing a little bit of a problem.

If there was a goalscoring right winger in that squad today, with Rashford and Martial, that I think would be a difference. So a centre-back that gets them up the pitch that 10 yards, and a right winger, they are the two positions I'd focus on.

SEE ALSO: Roy Keane Feels Liverpool Have Lost Their Spark After United Stalemate

Gary Connaughton

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