Gary Neville identifies player key to Man United’s title hopes

Gary Neville believes Manchester United's slim title hopes rest with Paul Pogba's form

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba (Photo: Adidas)

Gary Neville believes Manchester United’s slim title hopes rest on Paul Pogba’s performances.

The France international has enjoyed a good run in the Manchester United team over the past weeks to help hoist Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to the top of the Premier League table.

Pogba scored Manchester United’s winner in a 1-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor last week to fire the Red Devils to the top of the Premier League table.

The 27-year-old missed Manchester United’s best opportunity in their 0-0 goalless stalemate with defending Premier League champions Liverpool FC at Anfield on Sunday.

The French star was criticised by former Manchester United captain Roy Keane for squandered the Red Devils’ best chance at Anfield after Liverpool FC goalkeeper Alisson Becker managed to step Pogba’s attempt.

But ex-Manchester United defender Neville reckons that Pogba holds the key to the club’s hopes of winning their first Premier League title since 2013.

“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,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“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.

“It’s easier to come off the left onto your right and slip inside, but it’s not natural for them on that right wing, so I thought he was given a tough gig on Sunday in terms of his natural position.

“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.”

Pogba has scored two goals in 15 games in the Premier League this season, while the former Juventus midfielder has made two assists in five Champions League appearances.

Manchester United will travel to relegation strugglers Fulham in their next Premier League fixture on Wednesday night.

Solskjaer’s men will take on Liverpool FC in the FA Cup fourth round at Old Trafford on Sunday.

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