Manchester United’s Paul Pogba has come under scrutiny after a tough start to the season.
Truth be told, there aren’t many players who can hold their head high at Old Trafford right now, but supporters have been particularly impatient with the up and down form of Pogba in their midfield.
There was chatter that Pogba’s quiet start to the campaign might have been down to a lack of match fitness that may or may not have been negatively affected by his confirmed case of COVID-19.
Pogba criticised in 2020/21
However, reasons for Pogba’s undulating performances are proving harder and harder to come by as he continues to fall short of the world-class quality we all know he possesses.
But now it seems as though Pogba’s wobbly start to the 2020/21 campaign has bled into an area that is so often exempt from his struggles: international duties.
Pogba’s struggles vs Sweden
That’s right, Pogba came under fire for his unflattering role in Sweden’s opening goal against France in the UEFA Nations League, looking visibly frustrated after Viktor Claesson found the net.
As the ball was fired into Les Bleus’ penalty area, the United man made a mess of trying to clear the ball and seemed to struggle in his attempts to regain his footing as the net was eventually rippled.
And then, whether at himself or his teammates, Pogba proceeded to let his frustrations run wild with an animated reaction to the strike. You can check out the full clip down below:
Oof, yeh, that’s not exactly a good look for you, Paul.
We wouldn’t be surprised if Pogba, who is valued at £75 million, was angry with himself because we’re talking about a talent who is arguably in the sport’s top 20 players when he’s delivering his best football.
The midfielder more than deserves his status as a star at Old Trafford, having returned to the club for a record fee, but has never consistently delivered the performance level expected of him.
France fire back
And while criticism of Pogba can sometimes border on pernickety – we’re looking at you, Graeme Souness – there can be no denying that he didn’t cover himself in glory against Sweden.
Sure, even the best players in the world produce errors from time to time, but it’s doubtful that Pogba would have flailed his arms around so dramatically if this clanger had been anomalous.
Nevertheless, the United man can breathe a sigh of relief because at the time of writing, Olivier Giroud has drawn the world champions level and Benjamin Pavard made it 2-1 shortly afterwards.
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