Former Reds coach Renee Meulensteen has been left unimpressed with Paul Pogba, during his time at Manchester United.
After signing for the Old Trafford outfit in a club-record deal, Manchester United fans all over the globe were filled with excitement. Paul Pogba was returning home after spending a few years in Italy with Juventus.
Initial performances lived up to the hype, though over the large majority of his time back in Manchester, Pogba has largely underwhelmed. He’s remained inconsistent at best, from delivering a masterclass one week to seriously struggling the next.
The talent is so obviously there, but the performances haven’t followed. Whether that’s down to a change in manager, system, or whether his heart just isn’t in it remains to be seen. The fact that Pogba constantly flirts with Real Madrid also doesn’t help…
This weekend against Arsenal, Pogba was quite comfortably the worst player on the pitch. Not only did he gift Arsenal all three points with a silly tackle in his own penalty area, but the Frenchman struggled to pick out the simple passes and lost his one-on-one battle in the middle of the park. It’s fair to say, the fans were left unimpressed.
Despite Meulensteen labelling Pogba world-class, he admitted that Pogba simply doesn’t work hard enough at United – and that’s his main problem.
Check out what Meulensteen had to say here:
“You can have all the talent in the world but it’s about hard work, and it’s hard work that brings that quality to the surface.
“For me, he hasn’t worked hard enough. I can see it all the time, it’s too slow, it’s laboured and there is no urgency about it and other teams can capitalise on it.
“He is a very talented player. Everyone keeps talking about him – ‘he’s world class, he’s world class’.
“I would never use world class so easily because I know players past and present and they deserve the accolade of being world class. In my opinion, Paul doesn’t deserve that in any shape or form because I don’t think he’s lived up to expectations.
“I don’t think we expect too much of him because of the player he has been and the trophies he has won.
“We need to expect even more from him, but that only comes from working hard. That then rubs off on other players. Not working hard does as well because they start to question those performances.”
I’d love to sit here and defend Pogba, but I simply cannot do that anymore. He’s had a few seasons to prove his doubters wrong and justify his hefty price-tag. He simply hasn’t been able to do that.
At this point, it feels like moving him on from the Theatre of Dreams is the only way we’re going to solve that issue. His name alone forces Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to hand him regular minutes, and although he has been made to sit out a few games recently, Pogba will always find a way back into the team purely because of who he is.
Right now, Donny van de Beek should be starting games alongside Bruno Fernandes over Pogba. Hopefully, tomorrow night we’ll see that combination in action. Sticking with Pogba may well cost Solskjaer his job, particularly if he keeps churning out these poor performances.
Meulensteen is bang on the money in regards to Pogba here and I’m definitely siding with one of the best coaches United have ever had, rather than sticking with their most expensive signing ever.