Manager Jose Mourinho has hinted that he has finally found the most effective midfield of his current squad. Much has been made about the consistently changing midfield of ours this season, and there have been suggestions that Mourinho hasn’t yet figured out the perfect position for our record-signing Paul Pogba in the starting lineup.
However, it appears like Mourinho has struck gold in our current midfield trio of Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera.
Carrick was initially ignored by Mourinho in the earlier parts of the season, and he only made his first league start of the season against Swansea City.
The veteran midfielder seized the opportunity with both hands and produced an impressive performance in the 3-1 win against the Swans. His performance earned him a spot in the game against Arsenal, and he once again proved his credentials to Mourinho.
Meanwhile, Herrera has been superb this season and has been one of our better players. He didn’t feature in the game against Swansea, but was impressive alongside Carrick and Pogba in the game against the Gunners.
Mourinho also hinted that Carrick would continue to be an important member of his squad for at least one more season. The 35-year-old signed a one-year contract extension only in June, and his current contract expires in June 2017. However, Mourinho’s comments suggest that Carrick might stay with us beyond this season.
The Portuguese manager thinks that Pogba is developing more and more relationships in the team and will only grow better in the coming days.
He said: “The midfield is playing very well. Pogba, Carrick and Herrera are playing very well.
“Pogba is adapting much better in relationships, with the intensity of the competition and he’s much more confident.
“Obviously he plays with some guidelines over his position, but at the same time with some freedom to occupy some attacking areas where he feels and thinks he can be important.
“He’s comfortable on the pitch. That’s the best way of saying it. Michael is such a fantastic player, and it’s a pity about his age, because I always loved him.
“Instead of being his manager when he was 25, I’m his manager when he is 35. But we have a good understanding.
“We know when he can play. We know when he’s ready and when he needs a rest. I’m still having Michael Carrick, probably for one more season.”
It’s certainly a good indication that Mourinho has finally seemed to figure out his midfield options. Our midfield was really good against Arsenal, and the signs do look good for the future at the moment.
We are pretty much sorted out in defence, and I think Mourinho is very much sure about his preferred back four. We have been without some of the key defensive players of late, and results will only improve once we have the likes of Bailly and Smalling back in our squad.