Paul Pogba delivered a moment worthy of a packed house and loud to cheer but he was still of great importance for Manchester United, even if he came in the middle of the empty seats to echo the atmosphere of immense Tottenham Hotspur back home.
The 27-year-old of France World Cup winner is Manchester United is a big conundrum, richly gifted, but insanely inconsistent and apparently seen often hiding near the Old Trafford exit.
And yet, the sleight of hand, he showed nine minutes of time, which shifts the ball from left to right, in an instant, tempting and Eric Dier to beam him awkwardly on the ground, was the decisive moment in the Organization to win a point which can be crucial in the manager of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of the continuation of the Champions League football next season.
The fact that the penalty was sidelined with confidence by Bruno Fernandes, equalizing Steven Bergwijn from the first half of the effort in this 1-1, only added another layer of the conundrum, Solskjaer must now solve.
In fact, as Solskjaer’s left north of London, after his and the United Kingdom’s first indoor football experience behind closed doors, the final step in the Premier League Project “Restart” in the global pandemic Coronavirus, he had two key questions to mull over the return trip.
The first centers on how it can achieve the right balance, and in Pogba the case, press the buttons on the right, to establish a mouth watering and very powerful partnership with Fernandes.
The second is to reflect on yet another example of the uncertainty and mistakes that continue to grip goalkeeper David de Gea out of the game.
We will deal with Pogba first.
Make no mistake, there is a world-class of talent trapped in this great and mighty character, but previous inconsistencies and the great noise around him to signal a note of caution should always accompany any suggestion that he is about to finish cracking on a consistent basis at United.
What is beyond doubt is its ability.
If his job to win the penalty was smart, a half-volley right foot hit hit over long distances to find Marcus Rashford with five minutes to go was a piece of genius.
It certainly met with the approval of those who some lucky ones of us gathered in the huge arena on the last night of “the new normal”, when Seven Sisters Road and Tottenham Top of the Road were no longer a crowd of thousands of fans and a cacophony of noise, they normally become when the Spurs are at home.
Pogba demonstrated the difference he can make when introduced as a 63rd minute substitution, if not exactly from the transformation of a previously apathetic kingdom then, at least, to give them momentum, to threaten and training.
These games can be played in front of around 300 people, let alone in the remaining weeks of this season, but the stakes are high in the middle of the strange silence.
They certainly weren’t there for both the United and the Spurs.
If Pogba can repeat what he showed on Friday night, rejecting the persistent transfer of speaking and outside criticism, then he may be a central figure in recent weeks, especially in tandem with the club. of the new golden boy Fernandes.
Fernandes was excellent, again, although he was, rightly, denied the chance to give United victory in overtime when the VAR overturned a terrible decision by referee Jon Moss to award another barely where it collided with Dier.
Portugal, the star has always been directly involved in the six Premier League goals, three goals and three assists, since his debut in February following his move from Sporting Lisbon, two more than any what other player right now.
The pair were able to spare the blush from de Gea who rightly had the blame finger pointed in his direction for Bergwijn’s 27-minute opening.
Yes, the blow was heavy, but he was next to De Gea at a comfortable height and he had little more than to deviate on his way into the roof of the net.
He was very poor for a goalkeeper with such a reputation and was another sign of weakness and faults, which are just too often appearing in his game.
Just before this campaign took place in the cold storage, De Gea produced a disastrous error to Everton when his clearance flew off Dominic Calvert-Lewin in a 1-1 draw.
It’s just not been his habit, the air of certainty around De De Gea this season. In fact, he hasn’t been in top form for some time.
And now there is another factor for Solskjaer, and more aptly De Gea, to take into account.
While no one suggests De Gea is in imminent danger of a demotion, a glance through The Pennines at Sheffield United hints at the rich potential of being shown by Dean Henderson, on credit from United.
Sergio Romero is an adjunct but not a long-term threat. Henderson will be if he maintains his progression. He is certainly offering Solskjaer food for thought, for the next season, if not to apply even greater pressure on De Gea.
De Gea owes his game back to its previous standards (even if he did make a nice record from Heung-Min, the Son of the header just after his mistake) and not just for the Kingdom -good, but actually justify its long-standing reputation as one of the best in the world.
Spanish is the form, but in one game, must improve.
The result is more satisfying for the Organization than the Spurs and that Pogba’s cameo will give Solksjaer a lot to think about as he charts a route back to the Champions League.