Roy Keane has come out in defence of Paul Pogba following Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with Sevilla, calling on other important players like Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to step up to the plate.
Jose Mourinho caused an uproar by leaving the Frenchman, who he declared was not 100 per cent fit, on the bench in Seville, with Scott McTominay taking his place in the starting XI.
But he was introduced after just 17 minutes following Ander Herrera‘s injury and produced an enterprising midfield display, only to fall short in the final third as Man United drew a blank going forward.
Speaking on ITV soon after the game, Keane was quick to note that Pogba doesn’t deserve the bear the entire brunt of criticism, pointing out that Alexis and Lukaku need to do more.
“[Paul] Pogba is a really good player,” he said.
“He is under a lot of pressure at the moment, there is a lot of speculation about him, he was left out tonight, but you’d still have him in your starting XI.
“Off the field, he has a big personality with the social media, his haircuts, the cars he drives, he needs to bring that on the pitch.
“But United’s problems aren’t just with Pogba. Lukaku needs to do more, Sanchez has got to do better, they need to reinvest in some defenders.
“You can’t keep pointing the finger at Pogba, but the lad has got to do better.”
The last few weeks have given the impression that United’s success is entirely contingent on Pogba, and that his recent lapse in form is tantamount with near capitulation for Mourinho’s men.
And there are no doubts that United are at their best when Pogba is too, yet to claim that one man, one set of legs, completely dictates how the other ten play is simply nonsensical.
While we all spew over Pogba, the sight of Alexis failing to make attacking inroads, or Juan Mata turning into a ghost, or Lukaku suddenly turning blunt in front of goal simply doesn’t seem to receive the same attention, despite it happening just as often as any underwhelming performance from the 24-year-old.
Since the arrival of Alexis there has been a sense of imbalance – and perhaps even a measure of confusion – going forward, and Mourinho needs to figure out a way to make this highly promising attacking arsenal click sooner rather than later.