Such has been Pogba’s importance to United so far this season, Jose Mourinho handed him the captains armband for their return to the Champions League. On the pitch Pogba has provided driving runs from midfield, scoring two goals and adding two assists as his offensive output has been cranked up several notches compared to last season.
Who will replace him in United’s lineup on Sunday against Everton (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com)?
Marouane Fellaini is the main contender to slot right in for Pogba after his Man of the Match display against Basel in midweek where he scored and set up the third with a commanding display in central midfield. In many ways the role Pogba has been playing is perfect for Fellaini.
100 – Marouane Fellaini's goal is the 100th scored in the Champions League by a Belgian player (excl. own goals). Devils. pic.twitter.com/j6FItI1KTU
The Belgian had been restricted to a deeper central midfield role under David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and even Mourinho last season, but if the Portuguese coach wants to lessen the impact of Pogba’s loss, Fellaini should slot in to start against his former club on Sunday. Mourinho continues to call Fellaini one of his “most important” players and the aggressive midfielder seems to have fed off that confidence given to him by his boss.
Both would be a safer, more defensive option than Fellaini and given the Belgian midfielder facing his former club, tempers could flare in midfield just like they did last season at Goodison Park when he gave away a penalty kick moments after coming on as a substitute.
Fellaini will probably start but with Everton set to pack the midfield with playmakers like Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and maybe Davy Klaassen, having an extra defensive midfielder may be the smarter move for Mourinho.
With games against Burton Albion in the League Cup, a Premier League clash at Southampton and then a trip to CSKA Moscow in the UCL, Fellaini is likely to have a bigger impact against those teams. Yet with Mourinho’s love for the Belgian midfielder very well, don’t be surprised to see Carrick and Herrera both on the bench this Sunday at Old Trafford.
The 31-year-old Irishman scored eight goals on loan for new Sunderland boss Simon Grayson while at Preston North End last season. He has 90 caps and five goals for the Republic of Ireland.
The other attacker is a bit more of an unknown despite having seven Premier League goals to his name, the last coming in 2011 at Everton.. James Vaughan had a career season after dropping down to League One last season, where he scored 24 times in 37 matches.
The Black Cats have now added four players, all with connections to Everton (Earlier this window Sunderland added Tyias Browning and Brendan Galloway on loan from the Merseyside set). That’s a bit ironic given that longtime Toffees boss David Moyes left Sunderland this offseason.
Plus, click on the link above to follow all of ProSoccerTalk’s reviews of the 2016-17 season.
Let’s get to it.
Final position: 6th (Europa League group stage) Star man: Paul Pogba — It’s clear that he’ll never justify his price tag to some critics, but once he found his footing in late Fall there was no turning back for one of the most complete players in the world. Only David De Gea played more minutes for the Red Devils. The Gaffer: Jose Mourinho — There were typical odd Mourinho moments, and his fixture congestion talk was tiresome, but all-in-all he navigated the Europa League all the way to the final despite an absurd rash of injuries to defenders and long absences for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Juan Mata, and Paul Pogba amongst others. Mark out of 10: 6/10 – Sixth is no prize for Manchester United, but a win on Wednesday against Ajax may bump this mark up to 7 (perhaps 8 given the injuries). Season summed up in a word: Patience.
Final position: 19th (Relegated) Star man: Ben Gibson — The 24-year-old defender played all 3420 Premier League minutes for Boro, and was the most consistent performer on a team that defended like a top half side. The Gaffer: Aitor Karanka / Steve Agnew — Karanka has a right to feel a bit hard done-by after leading Boro to the Premier League, but he couldn’t orchestrate goals and that is what doomed the Smoggies down to the Championship. Mark out of 10: 4/10 – Even with relegation, Boro didn’t embarrass itself like their Northeast neighbors Sunderland. Season summed up in a word: Inoffensive.
Final position: 8th Star man: Oriol Romeu — The hard-nosed tackler with an eye for the smart pass showed us what Barcelona and Chelsea saw in the center midfielder. The Gaffer: Claude Puel — Not back in Europe, and that’s a disappointment, and seems destined to start next season somewhere else. Is that fair for a League Cup final campaign, one that probably deserved better than a loss? Mark out of 10: 6/10 – An injury to stellar center back Virgil Van Dijk is likely what kept them from contending with Everton for seventh place. Their Europa League return was decent, and Puel (or whoever) will need to boost the club back into the Top Seven discussion early if he wants to stick around St. Mary’s. Season summed up in a word: Acceptable.
Final position: 13th Star man: Bruno Martins Indi — The Dutchman was a beast in the back for Stoke, but heads back to Porto this summer unless Mark Hughes can work a sale. The Gaffer: Mark Hughes — An injury to Geoff Cameron hampered their season, but the Potters stumbled too much given their talent. Mark out of 10: 3/10 – There’s a difference between leveling off and dropping off, and Stoke massively underachieved when it comes to taking any sort of step forward. Season summed up in a word: Underwhelming
Final position: 20th (Relegated) Star man: Jordan Pickford — The young backstop won’t be long for the Stadium of Light. The Gaffer: David Moyes — From word one the Scottish boss said his club wasn’t good enough for the league, which sure didn’t help them en route to relegation. Oddly enough, he could’ve been the right man to lead an undermanned rebound to the Championship. Instead, he’s resigned. Mark out of 10: 1/10 – There was nothing to like from the Northeast, but Jermain Defoe, Didier N’Dong, and Pickford were bright spots. Season summed up in a word: Moribund.
Final position: 15th Star man: Gylfi Sigurdsson — The Icelandic star is simply the reason Swans stayed alive long enough to see their season rescued by Clement and Co. The Gaffer: Francesco Guidolin / Bob Bradley / Paul Clement — Not one of these men were given enough talent to keep the team in the Premier League, so credit to Clement for getting it done. Mark out of 10: 3/10 – Selling Ashley Williams and not adequately replacing him as a leader or center back could go down as the worst move in a long time. Season summed up in a word: Fortunate.
Final position: 2nd (Champions League group stage) Star man: Harry Kane — Two Golden Boots before he’s turned 24, and the latest Englishman to have a deserved comparison to Alan Shearer. The Gaffer: Mauricio Pochettino — He’s one of the best managers in the world, and Spurs are fortunate to have him. Mark out of 10: 10/10 – From the development of Dele Alli to the steadiness of their back line, Spurs could be the next dynastic club in the Premier League. Season summed up in a word: Precipice.
Final position: 17th Star man: Etienne Capoue — Impressed in possession and finishing touch. In some ways he may be like Gylfi Sigurdsson as a player best suited to stand out on a lesser squad than contribute on a well-oiled machine. The Gaffer: Walter Mazzarri — Like Quique Flores, another Watford manager sent packing by an impatient brand. Mark out of 10: 6/10 – Avoided the other end of the yo-yo worry. Season summed up in a word: Alive.
West Bromwich Albion
Final position: 10th Star man: Ben Foster — Saved points for the Baggies on so many occasions. The Gaffer: Tony Pulis — Yes he was in the running to be Premier League Manager of the Year, but that feels a bit hollow, like honoring a domestic mainstay for talking down his club’s chances and then keeping them from the drop. At some point, like with Stoke, stagnation makes staying alive less impressive. Mark out of 10: 6/10 – Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans, and Foster helped defend to the death, but the club dropped off a cliff. Season summed up in a word: Sated.
West Ham United
Final position: 11th Star man: Winston Reid — The New Zealand captain was a steady presence in a tumultuous season. The Gaffer: Slaven Bilic — Given the club’s massive aims, this season will be combed through in a fine manner. But the Dimitri Payet saga clobbered the team after the Frenchman welched on his commitment to the club. Bilic deserves another chance. Mark out of 10: 5/10 – The chairman will want more than this, and he has to get it early this Fall. Season summed up in a word: Wobbly.
David Moyes has resigned as manager of Sunderland after the Black Cats were relegated from the Premier League following a dismal 2016-17 season.
Sunderland won just six of their 38 PL games, finishing bottom of the table and 16 points from safety as they were relegated to the Championship.
Below is the statement from Sunderland who confirmed Moyes’ departure following a meeting with owner Ellis Short on Monday.
Sunderland AFC has announced that David Moyes has resigned from his position as manager of the football club.
David advised the chairman and chief executive of his decision to leave the club at a meeting in London this morning (Monday 22nd May 2017).
Sunderland’s owner said he had “pursued Moyes for a considerable period prior to his appointment last summer” and also stated that Moyes “has chosen to leave the club without compensation.”
Short added that “in the days ahead we will take some time for reflection, and then focus on recruitment and pre-season as we prepare for our Championship campaign.”
Moyes had the following to say after walking away from Sunderland after just one season in charge at the Stadium of Light.
“I would like to thank Ellis Short and the Board for giving me the opportunity to manage Sunderland and the fans for always being so passionately supportive of their club,” Moyes said. “I wish the players and my successor well in their efforts towards promotion back to the Premier League.”
This was what Sunderland’s fans would have wanted as they need a huge rebuild of the squad and a fresh start in the second-tier.
With Short actively trying to sell the club, instability at the top has gone through the team and the likes of Jermain Defoe, Jordan Pickford and Lamine Kone are all expected to follow Moyes out of the door this summer.
In truth, Moyes was doomed from the start as a club which lost Sam Allardyce as manager during preseason as he took charge of England never recovered. With top players sold and Moyes given few funds to strengthen, the fact he was talking about a relegation battle just a few weeks into the season said it all.
Moyes’ reputation is in tatters after disastrous spells at Manchester United and now Sunderland.
Silva’s loses home league game for first time since March 2014
Sunderland grab first win in 11 games
Already relegated Sunderland won their first game since February 4 as they beat Hull City 2-0 at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday.
Billy Jones and Jermain Defoe scored in the second half as David Moyes‘ side played for pride and delivered with Hull suffering a damaging blow in their bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
With the win Sunderland move on to 24 points for the season, while Hull remain just two points above the drop zone with two games remaining.
Pickford then launched a long ball forward which found Jermain Defore but his low shot was smothered by Eldin Jakupovic and cleared.
Kamil Grosicki then crossed the ball to the back post and Pickford flapped at the cross with Alfred N'Diaye surprised and stabbing the ball wide. Hull then went close again as Hernandez’s shot was blocked by O’Shea brilliantly.
Sunderland stuck with it and could’ve gone ahead as Defoe was free on the edge of the box but blasted over. Soon the Black Cats did go ahead as Honeyman’s corner found Jones who sent a diving header into the net. 1-0 to Sunderland.
Hull wasted another good chance late on as Niasse toe poked wide and then Pickford denied Hernandez with a brilliant stop. Late on Hull threw everything at Sunderland but couldn’t break through and Defoe scored (although he was in an offside position) to make it 2-0, as the Tigers’ survival hopes took a massive blow.