Friday 16 September 2016

Criticism is harsh and time will prove his worth for Paul Pogba

When he re-signed for the club in the summer, Paul Pogba was touted and talked up as the world class figurehead to resolve United's midfield shortcomings. 

The press couldn't do enough to say just what a brilliant signing the young Frenchman would be and how he would prove the long-term answer to United's engine room issues.

So to write him off as a waste of money after one indifferent showing against Feyenoord is laughable but that's what happens when a player comes with an £89 million price tag.

The fact he cost such a huge amount was always going to add to the pressure of signing for the biggest club in the world (he never played in a league game in his first spell at Old Trafford) but he's being unfairly targeted through no fault of his own. 

Time will prove his worth for the 23 year old.

But such is the ruthless and cut-throat nature of modern football that when you happen to be the world's most expensive player, time is not a luxury you can be given with instant results demanded. 

Pogba was singled out for criticism in a poor collective showing in Rotterdam and also received flak for his part in the derby defeat but I thought he was one of our better players on Saturday.

He made himself imposing in the midfield, was difficult to tackle and made some excellent bursts forward to pin City back but- probably because he didn't score a hat-trick with a 30 yarder or a rabona- this was not enough to spare him from the wrath.

Pogba was not signed to score a bucketload of goals or dazzle with his skill but I get the impression he is trying too hard to be something he is not by always attempting the spectacular. 

He'd be better off getting his head down and keeping things simple by sticking to the game he has honed for years.

The rest will come naturally. 

That's a formula that can be applied to Gareth Bale at Real Madrid- at the time of his move from Spurs he was the world's most costly player- and it has paid off with his rise to the upper echelons of the game alongside Neymar, Messi and Cristiano.

Pogba played out of position as a number 10 on Thursday but is better from deep with play ahead of him so he can dictate the match with his vision, range of passing and strong tackling presence.

Pogba is undoubtedly a very talented player but is not world class just yet- very few players are at his age (Cristiano didn't peak until his mid 20s) and the benefits of his move will come to fruition in the future.

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