Perhaps fittingly for a Frenchman plying his trade in Brexit Britain, every performance by Paul Pogba in a Manchester Untied shirt seems to turn into a referendum on whether or not he's a good idea.
Just take his last few weeks. United's record signing was at the centre of remarkable revelations before the Manchester derby that he was offered to neighbours City and turned in an utterly abject performance before scoring twice to inspire a stunning 3-2 win.
Jose Mourinho's side stopped City winning the Premier League title that day only to gift it to them with a shambling 1-0 loss to basement boys West Brom at Old Trafford six days ago. Pogba had already been ignominiously hauled off before Jay Rodriguez headed the winner.
A restorative display at Bournemouth and a sublime assist for Romelu Lukaku later and the former Juventus midfielder had done enough to earn a starting berth for Saturday's 2-1 FA Cup semi-triumph over Tottenham at Wembley.
It looked a dubious reward during the early stages as Spurs tore into United, roared on in familiar surroundings.
One of the reasons United have been so criticised this season despite siting above largely celebrated Liverpool and Tottenham sides in the Premier League table – much to Mourinho's chagrin - is that when they are second best for any period of time, they generally look utterly terrible.
A side featuring Pogba, Lukaku and Nemanja Matic is not one built for lumbering after nimble schemers like Christian Eriksen or rampaging wingers such as Son Heung-min. Eriksen scampered clear of an ambling Pogba – where left-back Ashley Young was in the 11th minute is, frankly, anyone's guess – to gift-wrap the opener for Dele Alli.
Son took Antonio Valencia back to the early days of his conversion from winger to full-back, regularly perplexing the Ecuador international and giving Kane and Alli chances to extend Tottenham's lead.
Failing to fully capitalise upon being in the ascendancy was foolhardy in the extreme from Mauricio Pochettino's side. As Chelsea and Manchester City can report, being behind against high-end opponents does not overly phase this United team, even when they are seemingly dazed and punch-drunk on the ropes.
Mousa Dembele enjoyed regal early control of midfield in a performance that mocked Pogba's initial contribution. But he dallied on the ball to be ransacked by the 25-year-old, whose delicious cross invited Alexis Sanchez to head his eighth goal in as many Wembley appearances.
There were flipping fortunes all over the pitch during an undulating first half, with Valencia no doubt enjoying leaving Son on his backside to deliver a cross shortly before half-time. Tottenham partially cleared and only an excellent save from Michel Vorm denied Pogba a long-range goal of towering majesty.
United goalkeeper David De Gea endured the unfamiliar sensation of helplessness when Eric Dier's deflected drive struck the post and Spurs had worked their way back on top by the time Ander Herrera decisively struck after the hour.
They could have crossed the line more comfortably, with Lukaku failing to snaffle a glorious 72nd-minute Pogba pass as he did earlier in the week before the £89.3million man stung Vorm's palms.
But this United side do not appear to thrive when things are simple. The recent wins over Chelsea, Liverpool, City and now Spurs show a team most alive when the danger is greatest, with a nose for blood and an eye for the kill.
It explains their soporific efforts against negligible threats like West Brom and resulting lack of a top-flight title challenge over the past two seasons as well as it does Mourinho guiding them to a third cup final in five attempts. To join the ranks of league winners they must develop a taste for the mundane.
Being the poster boy for such a team must feel like a thankless task for Pogba at times, but not today – even if his was not the kind of landslide triumph to stop the debate in its tracks. Maybe that comes in the final.
|Trout hits 15th HR, Bundy strikes out 14|
|Rockets star Paul dealing with hamstring injury|
|Does he only care about his hair? - Denmark coach Hareide slams Pogba, France|
|Rockets push Warriors to brink of elimination|
|World number 84 Kicker suspended for match-fixing|
|WATCH: Paul shimmies in Curry´s face|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Estudiantes into last 16 after thrilling win over Nacional|
|Ronaldo: Cristiano and Neymar would be good together at Madrid|
|Rockets honour Santa Fe victims, first responders at game five|
|Real Madrid rejected €150m offers for Asensio – agent|
|Marshall, Baldwin react strongly to Trump´s comments on NFL anthem stance|
|Nabura handed six-week ban for wild kick|
|Pedroia to return for Red Sox on Friday|
|Warriors´ Iguodala ruled out for game five against Rockets|
|Na leads as Spieth makes solid start at Colonial|
|James Harden, LeBron James headline 2017-18 All-NBA first team|
|Manchester United target Fred to decide future after World Cup|
|´Incredible´ Salah is like Messi, says Ronaldo|
|Salah a big candidate for Ballon d´Or - Muller|
|Message from coach keeping Masters champion Reed grounded|
|Anybody can really win it - Seles feels French Open is wide open this year|
|Mambo number 5! - Non-league star channels Lou Bega hit|
|Pakistan to stop wearing smart watches after ICC intervention - Hasan|
|Saha hails ´great man´ Ferguson as legendary Man Utd boss continues recovery|
|Emery´s depth of knowledge impressed Arsenal´s Gazidis|
|Conceicao extends Porto contract|
|Lomax impresses as Saints overrun Tigers|
|McIlroy in contention at Wentworth as Bjerregaard sets the early pace|
|Bad light calls time on Thiem, Wawrinka out in Geneva|
|Garitano in, Canales out at Real Sociedad|
|Caparros accepts new role at Sevilla|
|Pliskova downed by Larsson after drawing Serena in Paris|
|They´re using the anthem as fake patriotism - Warriors coach Kerr critical of NFL|
|Lyon win record fifth Women´s Champions League title|
|French Open 2018: Doing the unthinkable - the men most likely to topple Nadal|
|French Open 2018: How can Rafael Nadal be stopped?|
|Steve Smith named as marquee player for Global T20 Canada|
|Can Emre play? Yes he Can... and so can Milner|
|Liverpool working to help fans after flight cancellations|
|Abbas and Hasan torment sorry England|
|Xavi ´thrilled´ to sign two-year Al Sadd extension|
|Holtby extends Hamburg contract despite relegation|
|Nadal begins French Open defence against Dolgopolov|
|Serena drawn to play Pliskova in French Open first round|
|FA condemns assault of match official|
|Bologna confirm Donadoni departure|
|Yates lead halved in Giro d´Italia|
|Connacht turn to Friend|
|Scotland lose injured Dunbar for June tour|
|Spalletti in ´no rush´ to sign new Inter deal|
|Ricciardo and Red Bull dominate Monaco practice|
|Mauricio Pochettino signs new deal with Tottenham|
|Pochettino signs new deal with Tottenham|
|Istanbul to host 2020 Champions League final|
|Williams sisters given French Open wildcard|
|President Donald Trump praises NFL´s anthem stance|
|Buffon in consideration for Italy call, says Mancini|
|Roberts injured in Broncos win against Eels|
|Atletico complete move for Villarreal star Rodri|
|Ozil, Gundogan not playing politics, says Low|
|Valencia complete permanent Kondogbia signing|
|Fairytale ending could be in the script, says World Cup-bound Vardy|
|Milwaukee police apologise to Bucks´ Brown over tasering|
|Television, crosswords and Nintendo - Koscielny´s remedy to World Cup heartache|
|World Cup not an audition for Barca or Madrid, says Germany star Werner|
|Neck injury rules Kohli out of Surrey stint|
|Nine LaLiga titles and 674 club games under nine managers - Iniesta in Opta numbers|
|49ers Enterprises takes stake in Leeds United|
|Manchester United should sell Pogba if he´s unhappy - Scholes|
|Andres Iniesta´s nine LaLiga triumphs with Barcelona|