Neville: Fernandes and Pogba are Man United's ONLY creative players

Gary Neville claims Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba are the ONLY players who can unlock the door for Man United while their rivals City have five or six as he insists Solskjaer’s men must do better against ‘compact’ teams after narrow win over West Ham

  • Manchester United scraped past West Ham with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford
  • Hammers defender Craig Dawson’s own-goal from a corner was the winning goal
  • Gary Neville claims the Red Devils need to improve at breaking down deep teams
  • The pundit claims Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba are their only creative stars 

Gary Neville claims Manchester United need to improve at breaking down teams despite the Red Devils’ 1-0 victory over West Ham. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were frustrated for most of Sunday’s encounter at Old Trafford but found a way through in the second-half as Scott McTominay’s header s deflected off Hammers defender Craig Dawson to go in for an own goal. 

Former United defender Neville claims Solskjaer’s men are not good enough against teams playing in a low block, which they must fix in order to get closer to rivals and league leaders Manchester City at the top. 

Gary Neville says Paul Pogba (left) and Bruno Fernandes (right) are Man United’s only creative players

United struggled in open play against West Ham on Sunday but still beat the Hammers 1-0

Neville told Sky Sports after United’s slender victory: ‘You know how Man Utd are, they struggle to break down teams. They’ve got to be better against teams in those deep blocks with ten men behind the ball. That’s where the next stage is.

‘It’s about being more higher quality in the final third. There are more organised and compact teams around now, especially teams in the bottom half. 

‘You need fantastic players: you look at Man City – (Kevin) De Bruyne, (Ilkay) Gundogan, (Riyad) Mahrez, (Phil) Foden… they have five or six of them. 

Neville highlighted only two or three players capable of creating chances from open play against the lesser sides.

Nevile says Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s (left) side struggle against teams who drop deep to defend

Bruno Fernandes was one of them – the Portuguese midfielder failed to make an impact against West Ham on Sunday but still has 23 goals and 13 assists to his name in all competitions. 

Paul Pogba was another name but the French midfielder has missed the last month with a hamstring problem but is now close to returning to action. 

Neville then claimed that left-back Luke Shaw is the next most creative option in Solskjaer’s squad behind Fernandes and Pogba. 

The ex-United defender added: ‘Fernandes and Pogba may open up defences in these situations, the rest need space to operate. 

Neville says Luke Shaw (above) is United’s next creative option behind Fernandes and Pogba

‘Man City have five or six players, if two are injured someone else can unlock the door. If it’s not Fernandes then it’s probably Luke Shaw who’s most likely to do something (after that). 

‘They need to up their speed and their game a little bit. They play too slow against teams that drop off. When they played against City the passing was really good, they need to do that against teams that drop deep.’

Jamie Redknapp claims Manchester United currently miss Pogba in their midfield as the double pivot of Fred and Scott McTominay does not do enough to support Fernandes. 

Jamie Redknapp claims United miss Pogba playing in their midfield due to his creativity

The Sky pundit claimed: ‘They (United) need more creativity in the team. They miss Pogba.

There are games when you have Fred and McTominay in there and you don’t have the balance in home games like that. It’s easy to play against them. 

‘When you have Pogba and Bruno they are more difficult to break down. When he comes back, they are a different proposition.’ 

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