One takeaway which has been made 100 percent clear — in case the first four games of the season weren’t enough — is this: Manchester United are, in every way imaginable, a different team when Paul Pogba is on the field.
Pogba returned to action on Saturday and paced Man United to a 4-1 thumping of Newcastle United. After the game, United manager Jose Mourinho wasted little time in pointing the finger as Pogba, acknowledging he’s the player that makes the Red Devils tick — quotes from the Express:
“Paul Pogba is different class. Paul and Nemanja Matic grew up together at the start of the season and are the engine of the team. It was in Paul’s hands, how many minutes to play until he began to feel fatigued. It was a great performance from him.
“I know that strikers depend on goals for confidence and happiness. I was really happy to see him score his goal.
“We go match to match — we can only play Manchester City twice in a season. In those games we will try to take points — outside of those fixtures we are not in control.”
As for another returning superstar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, we shouldn’t gloss over the fact that he returned from a torn ACL in just seven months. The original period for recovery was pegged at nine months.
“I am pleased for the three three points, the quality of our performance after Newcastle’s goal, that mentality to react without panic and in a positive way, and obviously the return of injured players is always nice, especially in Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s case. His was such a dramatic injury. To see him back is a great emotion”
The gap between United and City is currently eight points, but 26 games remain. There is time, but Mourinho’s men can afford to drop very few points the rest of the way.