Pogba’s defensive awareness ‘a big problem’ – Lampard

Date published: Thursday 1st February 2018 11:02

Frank Lampard says Paul Pogba’s defensive contribution is a “big problem” for Manchester United.

Pogba was substituted during United’s 2-0 defeat at Tottenham on Wednesday night, with Jose Mourinho looking to stiffen up his midfield in the face of Spurs’ threat.

One of Mourinho’s biggest challenges is to find a way to get the best out of United’s record purchase, and a deeper role seemingly satisfies no one.

Lampard believes Pogba should take more responsibility for the sake of the team.

“Pogba’s got so many great forward-thinking attributes – athleticism, ability on the ball, can find a pass,” said Lampard on BT Sport.

“But if he’s being asked to do that job today next to Nemanja Matic, he has to do that with complete responsibility.

“He has to take one on the chin and I didn’t see him have that defensive awareness. That’s why [Mourinho] brought him off early because he’s one of his prime players.

“We’ve all been there as a midfield player and I had it loads during my career with managers asking me to have more discipline – you have to try and take it onboard.

“When you’re up against a team where there are lots of threats around you, you have to think ‘what is happening around me?’ Not just when we get the ball.

“He didn’t switch on enough to that and sometimes when the ball went on the other side of him, he doesn’t run back as fast as he runs forward and that’s a big problem.”

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