One of the biggest talking points surrounding Manchester United this weekend has been the performance of Paul Pogba. The Frenchman executed arguably his finest showing of the season in United’s 4-1 thrashing of Leicester City.
The Foxes were on the receiving end of Pogba’s first Red Devils goal and an all-round impressive outing from the world-record signing. It’s served to quash criticism of the player, at least until United’s next game that is.
Moreover, Jose Mourinho has ensured he hasn’t got too carried away over one good match. In fact, the Special One has demanded more from the midfielder albeit what appears a watershed moment.
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Since returning to Old Trafford for £89 million no less, Pogba has received mix reviews with his performances. While the 23-year-old has been far from poor, his form hasn’t justified such a hearty fee.
However, the 4-1 victory over Leicester City began to showcase exactly what the ex-Juventus man can offer. It proved a reminder to the critics that he can live up to expectations in the Premier League.
Pogba headed home a superb goal and proved the rock in United’s midfield. During the first half, the Frenchman was at his best.
Similarly to the team as a whole though, the second half saw a decline in intensity and a slight wane. Nevertheless, the Red Devils’ gaping lead can be attributed to this stagnation.
The impressive performance has also seen supporters question why Pogba hadn’t played so well in previous fixtures though. Their manager seems to share this outlook also.
While the Special One was undoubtedly satisfied with Pogba’s showing against the champions, he has been frustrated by the absence of consistency. After all, this weekend was the sixth game of his return.
The Portuguese manager justifiably reiterated that the 23-year-old must perform in such a manner more regularly than every sixth game.
After the win, Mourinho stated: "I don't know [if it was his best game since returning from Juventus] I think he played okay against Southampton, he played okay against Hull City.
"When the team didn't play well he plays not so well, when the team plays better he plays better.
"We all want more from him and from the team. The last thing that the team achieves is consistency because the process starts with playing well in spaces and the last thing you achieve is to play well consistently.
"So he has to be more consistent like the team, but I think him and Ander in midfield, they were good.
"They were a good complement and again Ander is a kid that brings intensity and I thought also on the defensive point of view it was important to have fast players on the pitch to recover a team that is very direct in the counter-attack with lots of long balls and people arriving from behind. So we changed the team to play against Leicester, the specific qualities they have."
Therefore, it’s clear to see that while Mourinho is happy, he’s not getting ahead of himself. United fans shouldn’t either; after all, this weekend’s showing has proven far too anomalous for such a highly rated player.
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