Time To Stop Bashing Manchester United’s Paul Pogba

I’ve got to question people that still constantly criticise Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.

The player has been in sensational form since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived as United’s interim manager and he also won that small prize, the World Cup, with France during the summer.

Yet some people just seem to be in a rush to highlight the negatives and can’t admit that he’s a talented and effective player.

Graeme Souness loves to have a pop on Sky Sports and last night we had this from Trevor Francis:

In the clip above the former England international states:

“Pogba will never give you the opportunity of winning trophies or championships.”

‘Because he’s a luxury player and not a Jose Mourinho player”

Now that statement isn’t just wrong, it’s ridiculously wrong!

As I’ve already mentioned Paul won the World Cup with France during the summer. He was a key player in that triumph. He was disciplined when needed, was still creative and importantly he was a leader that led by example in Russia.

Whilst plying his trade in Serie A with Italian giants Juventus; the Frenchman won four Scudetto titles, two Coppa Italia’s and two Supercoppa Italiana trophies. He also helped La Vecchia Signora reach the Champions League final in 2015.

Not a Jose Mourinho player? 

Well it was Jose that sanctioned the £89.3m record move to bring the French internationalist back to Old Trafford. Going by that, Mourinho must have judged that the dynamic midfielder was his kind of player in 2016.

In their maiden season together, the pair would help Man United to win the League Cup and the Europa League. Once again proving Pogba can win trophies and do so with Jose Mourinho as his gaffer. In that season Paul would make 51 appearances, scoring nine goals and creating five assists.

Last year he helped United finished second in the English top flight, their best finish since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013. He’d score six league strikes and create two assists. Pogba was also the man that scored a brace to stop rivals Manchester City from claiming the league title in a game against United.

This term, the twenty-five year old has played in twenty Premier League games and has scored eight times and set-up seven assists for teammates. He’s also scored twice in the Champions League and created an assist.

Now he’s been fantastic since Solskjaer has taken up the managerial reigns. In his last six league outings (all games that United have won), Paul has helped by assisting four times and scoring five goals too.

The main reason for this is because the midfield maestro is playing with a swagger and a smile on his face. Ole should take a lot of credit for this, as the Norwegian has placed Pogba further forward and he’s allowed the talent to become more free and creative.

Mourinho wanted to keep the flair player on a leash and that hampered the player’s style and it clearly strained their relationship. But let’s not forget that the Portuguese boss had similar issues with Eden Hazard and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Paul Pogba is influencing games and dictating things in the opposition’s half. That’s where he’s at his best and Ole (as well as the majority of Red Devil supporters) spotted this immediately. Solskjaer has Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera playing behind Pogba and that allows him to concentrate most of his efforts in attack.

Man United love to be an attacking force and counter attack when away from home. They like quick transitions and cutting cross field passes. Pogba can be a superstar in this style and is proving it this season.

Is he a luxury player? 

Well I suppose it’s a luxury to have a player consistently pulling the strings in the final third. It’s a luxury to have a midfielder that grabs vital goals and can set up his teammates with fantastic through balls. Every winning team needs that type of luxury player.

Paul Pogba has been consistently brilliant in the last seven games. His season stats have also been impressive with Whoscored stating that he’s got a passing success average of 83.8% and making around 62.7 passes per game. The talented star is also averaging 3.5 shots per game, winning 1.2 tackles per league outing and 2 successful dribbles per game too.

It really is time to stand up and praise the player. Yes he still makes the odd ridiculous pass that goes straight to the opposition and he sometimes get caught while on the ball. But the positives completely outweigh the negatives.

Paul Pogba thrives when he’s given the freedom to express himself and he has shown that under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

To criticise him at the moment is just folly, lazy and makes you look outdated. Trevor Francis and Graeme Souness should take note!

One Response to “Time To Stop Bashing Manchester United’s Paul Pogba”

  1. I could not agree more. Something sinister about pundits who continue to bash Pogba and exonerate Mourinho in the face of all the facts!

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