Allen Analyses: Manchester United 2-0 Manchester City- United don't need Paul Pogba

Monday, March 9th, 2020 3:18pm

Martin Allen, former manager of several football league sides and now Love Sport presenter, dissected the Manchester Derby and praised United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Continuing his weekly series, Martin Allen sat down with Love Sport Radio and broke down one of the weekend's games and explain the events which occurred.

"Well, good afternoon. What a weekend of great footballing action that it was. What a fantastic Saturday and Sunday I've had watching two fantastic games at different ends of the scale, it must be said. But when you love football, it don't matter whether it's top Premier League or top Southern Premier League. It' still great to watch football.

"Saturday afternoon, I went to Slough Town versus Hungerford Town. My God, unbelievable. Slough, second from top, captained by my one of my old players called Sam Togwell- former Crystal Palace Chesterfield and of course Barnet player. So I went mainly to watch Sam play.

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"On Sunday I was really looking forward to this Manchester Derby with real interest. My mindset on it was- I did say last week without being Mr. Big potatoes- that I thought Manchester United would win that game and win it comfortably. It wasn't comfortable, no, but it was comfortable I feel with how that game went.

"The reason I made them favourites was pre-game. Man City, and all their players, know they can't win the Premier League. Their mindset going into these games at the moment is really just to get these games out of the way and get them over with. Of course they want to win a Manchester Derby, of course they do. But there's a different edge, there's a different psyche that kicks in when you've really got a big game to play. And I just think at the moment they're off the pace, they're not quite with it. 

"And you could probably associate that with the Liverpool players' performances at the moment; they know they've won it. It's just a matter of time before this is done, they have not been playing well recently. And when you've already got something, it's just about to fall into their pocket, it does affect the Liverpool performance and as it's bound to do with the City players, and the City manager.

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"This is another thing for all football supporters to look at and consider when you pay your money of course to get your opinion, and you go in and watch your team play and your team is losing and not doing very well and you choose to absolutely batter your manager.

"That guy Solskjaer over the last few months, he has taken it from left, right and centre, from all different angles, from all different sides in the media, former players, supporters, local media, national media, the television. Every one of them has absolutely hammered him. 

"But for me, and again I'm not being Charlie big potatoes, I said, 'back off him, leave him until he signed some quality players. He should not be judged on his work that he's doing at Manchester United'. To sell Lukaku with a week before the season for me and not have a replacement was quite ridiculous. To have Pogba in the background, in that dressing room- I called him the toxic apple. 

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"And if you've got one toxic apple, it will spread to the rest of the apples in your bag and the rot will set in and spread pretty quick. It seems with the new players that have come in, with the young players that have been coming through, that they've galvanised and he's now, with Fernandes coming in, they've pushed him [Pogba] out to the side. 

"And I don't think they actually need him anymore. If he comes back into the team, I think he will be a negative on the team spirit, the unity, the camaraderie. What United are now building up is starting to look like a powerful group again.

"And with Rashford to come into that team yesterday, that is going to soon be a very, very strong Manchester United and all credit, and I was absolutely delighted for him yesterday afternoon, watching Solskjaer take the plaudits and some of those other people that have shouted from the top of their voices, from the top of the hills how rubbish he is, they've all gone quiet.

"They've got nothing to say. Because they are now starting to see he is doing a good job and he just needed time. 

"All you football supporters, just remember managers need good players to be successful and that sometimes does take time."

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