In the latest Super 6 Class of ’92 Diary, Ryan Giggs discusses Paul Pogba’s best position, Manchester United’s new frontline and whether the atmosphere at Old Trafford has changed since his playing days.
United’s best system
Manchester United’s attacking players are, without a shadow of a doubt, capable of winning the Premier League next season. They’ve got pace, guile, goals, experience and make up a really top forward line.
I would say the forward line is as good as Manchester City’s, but the difference is the way of playing, with Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva behind consistently finding the front three for City.
United have Paul Pogba who could potentially be as good as them, but then Nemanja Matic is more defensive, so it is just that creative area where City have got the upper hand.
One of the best games Pogba had was the Everton game [2-0 win on January 1], when he was on the left of Matic – in a similar position to the one he played at Juventus – and Ander Herrera was on the right.
I think that position where he’s on the left of a midfield three is where he’s at his best. He’s a brilliant crosser of the ball and I don’t think he’s as effective when he’s having to do more defensive work in central areas.
I would like to see him in a 4-3-3 with Matic sitting, Herrera to the right and Pogba to the left, with a selection of the front three thriving off more creativity behind them.
Mour options for Jose
It was interesting watching Wayne Rooney on Monday Night Football saying when Jose Mourinho buys somebody he plays them.
That has obviously been the case with Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, but generally you’ve got to be excited about the competition Manchester United have in the attacking areas now.
If I was in the position of Marcus Rashford or Anthony Martial I would think it would force you to raise your game and that it is only healthy for competition in the team.
Jose is finding out who can play where. Sanchez played on the right for Barcelona so I don’t think it is set in stone that he’ll play on the left every game.
I also think Jose has different options for different games. When you need a counter-attacking team then you go with Lukaku, Martial and Rashford, but then Juan Mata plays when United need his creativity to break teams down.
The main problem for Rashford is his best position is as a striker and it doesn’t look as though he’s going to get in ahead of Lukaku. He was very good in that position against Yeovil but ultimately he’s not going to get as many goals over a season as Lukaku.
However, I can’t see Rashford looking at his future at the moment. He’ll get enough games across the four competitions, but the issues are when he isn’t involved in the big games.
When I first came into the team there were two places for three players – me, Lee Sharpe and Andrey Kanchelskis. So I was just thinking that when I get minutes I have to prove myself.
Everton 2-2 Palace
Stoke 1-0 Brighton
Swansea 0-0 Burnley
West Ham 1-2 Watford
Derby 2-0 Norwich
Wolves 3-0 QPR
Old Trafford atmosphere
I think first of all, United have the best away fans. Obviously at home you get 75,000 so a lot of the fans maybe aren’t regulars and maybe want to be entertained before they support the team.
The away fans aren’t like that, they support the team with different songs throughout every game.
Also, when you’re at home you’re often coming up against 11 men behind the ball and you’ve got to be patient as a team and as the crowd. It has always been the case in home games when United are struggling to break sides down that you start to get groans when the ball goes backwards.
What I’d say is it hasn’t changed at Old Trafford, even when we were at our very best. The fans will be well up for it when the teams needs them against Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City and Tottenham, but in games like Huddersfield, the players just have to do what is expected and get the job done.
Spurs’ golden generation
I also agreed with Wayne’s suggestion that Harry Kane should be England captain. I think he had the armband against Scotland and scored the crucial equaliser so it doesn’t affect how he plays. He may not be the most vocal of players but he leads by example.
It was also interesting what Wayne said about Tottenham having an interesting few years ahead of them. I’m a big fan of Mauricio Pochettino and what is happening at Tottenham and they’ve got to push towards winning the title.
When a player goes to a team where they are going to be competing for leagues and trophies then you go up another level, but winning things with a club where you’ve come through the ranks is different and more special, so you’d prefer to do that, especially with a brilliant manager and the new stadium coming.
It is about their golden generation of young players stepping up and winning things, but it is not easy because they’re competing with United and City, while Chelsea also have the money.
He might also be looking abroad, and maybe seeing what Gareth Bale has achieved in winning three Champions League titles with Real Madrid.
I was at the draw for the UEFA Nations League so that was a chance to meet some of the other coaches, plus get a better idea of what the new competition is about.
I like the look of it as you’re in a group with countries of a similar standard to you and there’s plenty to play for with promotion and relegation, plus an extra chance to qualify for major tournaments.
The groups look evenly matched so it should be a good opportunity to get a look at where we’re at.
I’m driving down to spend the day in Cardiff head office and there’s still talks ongoing for my assistant. There’s a lot of speculation but hopefully it will all be sorted soon.