Selfish Pogba needs to keep his mouth shut

Richard Hazeldine Richard Hazeldine

There’s no doubt about it. Paul Pogba is one the greatest football players on the planet.

One of the driving forces behind France’s World Cup win in the summer, on his day Pogba is unstoppable. A tall, athletic, bundle of energy, he consistently pushes his team forward with penetrating runs, delivering killer passes or deadly accurate finishes with seemingly minimal effort.

It’s just a shame that his off-field conduct doesn’t live up to the same high standards.

Long criticised for his addiction to social media, haircuts and dancing (We can forgive him these vices given he is still a young man of just 25 years), Pogba now finds himself in danger of becoming more famous for his verbal volleys rather than his half-volleys.

His recent war of words with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is by now common knowledge to anyone with an interest in the beautiful game.

Pogba and his club boss traded several poorly disguised barbs at each other in the press in recent weeks. Mourinho criticising the player, while Pogba taking digs at United’s playing style under the Portuguese in return.

It all came to a head a couple of weeks ago when the France international was ignominiously stripped of the United vice-captaincy and told by Mourinho he would never skipper the team again.

That was the end of it! Or so we thought.

With the dust only just settled, Pogba has gone and put the cat amongst the pigeons once again this week during an interview with French media at the national team’s training ground.

Asked about comments that he was the French team’s “real leader” at the World Cup, Pogba contrived to answer the question this way: “You don’t have to be the captain in order to speak.”

It should be quite obvious to anyone, that while the journalist was talking about the France national team, he would be hoping that Pogba would comment on his recent captaincy problems at club level, and the player fell for it hook, line and sinker.

While Pogba has criticised journalists in recent weeks, accusing them of making “polemic from ‘good morning’”, there comes a point where the player must realise what is going to happen.

To not understand that these latest comments will not be interpreted as yet another attack on Mourinho beggars belief.

So much so, that you would have to question Pogba’s intelligence.

Of course, Pogba could be stoking the fire on purpose if rumours of him trying to angle a move away from Old Trafford are true.

If that is the case then he is going about it in entirely the wrong way.

A true professional would keep his head down, perform on the pitch and try to sort out a move to another club behind the scenes, as former France international Robert Pires put it: “say nothing, play football and walk out”, not by continually airing his dirty laundry in public.

In doing it his way Pogba is only hurting the club, the fans and his own reputation. He really should learn to keep his mouth shut.