Time To Appreciate Star Man Paul Pogba At Manchester United!

In Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s twelve games in charge at Manchester United, Paul Pogba has found the net nine times and created a whopping six assists.

The French World Cup winners sensational performances have helped propel Man United back into the Premier League’s top four and he starred in The Red Devils’ FA Cup win last night over Chelsea. The midfielder expertly set-up Ander Herrera for the Spaniard’s goal before heading in his team’s second on the stroke of half-time.

Solskjaer’s arrival at Old Trafford has revitalised the whole football club and the Norwegian caretaker boss has managed to get the team playing with confidence. Ole allows his side to play with an attack-minded philosophy and gives his players the chance to express themselves.

Pogba has taken his new bosses philosophy to heart, he’s now playing with a smile on his face and with a real swagger. The £89m is finally living up to his reputation and becoming a game changer for United.

Yet some still seem too eager to point the finger at him if anything goes wrong.

Man United have only suffered one loss since Solskjaer’s arrival and that came at the hands of Ligue 1 cracks PSG in last week’s Champions League tie.

The Red Devils interim manager stated that the game was a bit of a reality check for his team (Source – BBC Sport):

“Today was a kind of a reality check on the level of the top teams,”

“That is the level we want to get to. Top four is one thing. United should be at the top. They are a top team. [Our players] know we need to step up our level. We are disappointed.”

During that loss to PSG, Pogba received two yellow cards and will now miss the return leg. Not ideal given his heroics in recent months.

The funny thing is that some United supporters used that sending off as an excuse to have a go at the midfielder again:

Rival supporters would also have a pop at him:

Then you get the so called pundits at it too. Talksport host and former Ipswich Town forward Alan Brazil stated this in his Sunday Post column:

Now Paul Pogba may have cost his team a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

I’ve said it before – the guy is more trouble than he’s worth.

And I think the smartest thing United could do is cut their losses and send him packing.

That has to be one of the worst takes I’ve seen in a long time.

Firstly can we analyse Pogba’s second yellow card.

It wasn’t a bad tackle nor was it particular malicious, in my opinion.

Paul likes to step over the ball, guarding it with his body and dragging it back. A move French footballing legend Zinedine Zidane would often perfect. Pogba got his timing horribly wrong, PSG full-back Dani Alves sneaked in first and the Man United midfielder caught him.

Did it merit a second yellow? Yes it did, he was late and wasn’t in control of the situation. Was it a terrible challenge? No. I do think Pogba has to take more care doing that particular move in tight spots.

Should that one clumsy moment define his United career or his sensational performance as of late? No that’s ridiculous Mr Brazil.

Pundits will say that the maverick middle-man didn’t try hard enough under former boss Jose Mourinho and his attitude under Jose was the catalyst to what happened under Jose’s reign and his eventual dismissal.

The stats don’t back that up, Pogba was always high up when it came to goals and assists under Mourinho. Plus the Portuguese gaffer has to accept the fact that he could be the issue. As well as Pogba, the ‘Special One‘ has also fallen out with Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard in the past. It’s probably time for some people to understand that Jose isn’t the same top class man-manager he was in the early 2000s.

Also let’s not ignore what French national team boss Didier Deschamps has said about the midfield maestro just to suit your own narrative. Didier has gone on record in The Guardian to say that Pogba is an inspirational leader on the pitch:

“He has taken many things upon himself. He has been a leader,”

“Each time he had to talk and express himself it was always very positive. It’s the words he uses and the atmosphere and feeling that comes across. He is not the only one but he is one of the leaders who took it upon himself because the group needed it. On the pitch he did what needed to be done as well.”

So not such a disruptive influence then? 

His United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also seemed pretty happy with him after last night’s big win (Source – The Mirror):

“We know he’s one of the best attacking midfielders in the world, he’s got the vision, the player view,” 

“The cross for Ander’s goal was fantastic, then again he plays it out to Marcus (Rashford) and way he gets into the box.”

I’d also like to point out that the Frenchman has turned up in big games too. He played a pivotal role as Man United went on to win the Europa League in 2017, scored in last summer’s World Cup final, got a brace last season as United beat rivals Manchester City and has now shone in recent wins over Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea!

Manchester United as a whole struggled against PSG. That one step-back is a blip on the road. They’ve been terrific since Ole’s arrival and a big part of that is down to Paul Pogba.

It’s time more of us started to recognise and appreciate the French star’s wonderful ability and enjoy his skill-set!

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