Football Expert & Columnist
United beat Tottenham 1-0 thanks to Marcus Rashford goal
Last Updated: 13/01/19 7:55pm
Jamie Redknapp thinks every Manchester United player has improved under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after they “downed tools” under previous manager Jose Mourinho.
United made it six wins from six under caretaker manager Solskjaer as Marcus Rashford’s goal proved decisive over Tottenham on Sunday.
Paul Pogba, who provided a brilliant assist for the goal, was the subject of much discussion after the game, but Redknapp said it’s not just the midfielder who has raised his level in recent weeks.
“I just think Pogba is enjoying his football. He has freedom, he has a manager that believes in him, but the point is it’s not just Pogba, it’s everybody,” he said.
“Pogba is so high profile that he’s the one we focus on, but what about all the other players? What about the goalkeeper [David de Gea] that couldn’t make a save to save his life a while ago, now he looks like the keeper we all knew.
They had downed tools for the last manager, whether you like it or not, it was so obvious. All of a sudden a new manager comes in and they have a bit of freedom and they are enjoying it.
“It’s the same for every player in that United side. They had downed tools for the last manager, whether you like it or not, it was so obvious. I have watched United this season and they have been diabolical for pretty much all of it. All of a sudden a new manager comes in and they have a bit of freedom and they are enjoying it and Pogba looks like the player from the World Cup.
“The way to get the best from Paul Pogba is get him in the box. When you ask him to do that it’s very difficult to stop him, but it’s not just Pogba, it’s every player in that team who looks better.
“Ole deserves credit but I don’t think it needed a rocket scientist to go in there and do that. It was purely because the other manager they weren’t keen on and they couldn’t wait for a new manager to come in. He has come in and now they are playing well and playing at the level they should be.
“It’s not just about Pogba but I do think he’s a good player who sometimes needs to be told that. I don’t think he’s as confident as he makes out with social media, I think he needs an arm around the shoulder like most good players.”
Graeme Souness has been critical of Pogba in the past, but said he has “the potential to be one of the best out there”.
“For two years I have been saying the same thing. When I watch a game of football I look at the midfielders first and think would I have liked to have played against him? I would not have liked to have played against Pogba, doing what he did in the first half [against Tottenham].
“I don’t want him running into my box and I’m having to track back with him. I think there is a real player in there, someone who has all the equipment to be a top midfielder player.
“He has the athleticism to arrive in the box late and get lots of goals that way and get well into double figures every year. That will be an enormous asset to United.
“He has the potential to be one of the very best out there.”