‘Pogba and Fernandes can’t play together,’ claims Carragher

Arrival of Fernandes and return of Pogba inspired Manchester United to Champions League (image from ManUtdtimes)

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has claimed that Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba can’t play together. This has attracted criticism from fans as they feel that the 42-year-old is harsh and uninformed in analysis. So, it’s time for some fact checking. We’ll first look at the actual statement and then get to its analysis. Let’s get started –

Jamie Carragher’s actual statement

Let’s begin what was the actual statement from Carragher, cause we never know how media may twist words. So, here is the excerpt from what he spoke on studio –

“I said a few weeks ago after the Crystal Palace game, Fernandes and Pogba is not a midfield that can play together and never will be.

These were the exact words Carragher spoke in Monday Night Football show at Sky Sports. Carragher also criticised United for signing Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek.

So, is Jamie Carragher’s criticism true? Or he is another pundit who speaks with bias because of playing for a rival club?

Pogba and Fernandes: Yay or Nay?

The best way to analyse Jamie Carragher’s statement will be to simply look at the matches where duo played together. As this domestic season has just begun, we’ll have to use last season’s statistics with larger sample –

Pogba and Fernandes contribution when together on field
Premier League contributions when Pogba and Fernandes played together (stats assembled from Transfermarkt)

Some might still argue that sample is small, but other than these matches, Europa League and FA Cup games were all we played. If we include them, they’ll only support the argument as we were favourites to win those tournaments and lost only in Semi-Finals.

Let’s keep aside stats for a moment as some might argue against using them to judge midfielders. What’s most flawed about Jamie Carragher’s arguments is the fact that his statements depict exact opposite of what results yell. This not only nullifies his analysis, but also tells a lot about his mindset while talking about Manchester United.

Another argument by the 42-year-old mentioned how Donny van de Beek should be in Old Trafford ranks. Now, for anyone who has watched Manchester United last season, they realise that the squad screamed for good bench, and that’s what van de Beek’s arrival improved.

Keeping that aside, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer starts Paul Pogba in deep-playmaker role, while Bruno Fernandes plays as Central Attacking Midfielder. These roles allow both the players to play on their strengths. A section of fans might argue about using better formation to get best results, but that’s a topic for another day.

Carragher vs. Pogba & Fernandes; who wins?

To conclude the analysis, it’s not shocking that Jamie Carragher’s words have once again tested the mud when put to test with results. While the former Reds player might have defended on field, he has certainly been sloppy off the field. Not only his statements are controversial, they are outright false and do not sync with how team plays.

So, is Jamie Carragher’s criticism true? Or he is another pundit who speaks with bias because of playing for a rival club? Fortunately, it’s latter again.

Author: Harshil Pandit