Former Chelsea and France midfielder Christophe Duggary has labelled Paul Pogba as an ‘alien genius’ but one who annoys him.
The Frenchman has endured a difficult few months under Jose Mourinho amid a series of injury and form issues.
But he sent out a massive message to his critics with an awe-inspiring midfield display that galvanised Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Manchester City last weekend.
Speaking on the subject of Pogba, Duggary explained how the 25-year-old, whilst undoubtedly a genius, annoyed him with his ‘marketing’ side.
“He’s an alien, a player out of the ordinary, but he annoys me, because I know he’s capable of doing a hundred times more,” he said.
“He’s a genius, but when is he going to realise it? When he started becoming a marketing player, he lost that rage he had at Juventus.”
The use of the word ‘alien’ here is poignant because that, after all, is exactly what Pogba is to the older generation. He is, in many ways, the archetypal millennial footballer: active on social media, firmly on brand, always dancing and getting fresh haircuts, joking around and just generally not looking at the world with the same relentless cynicism as Generation X.
And when Pogba performs poorly, that generation – and indeed the commentariat at large – tends to point toward this ‘alien’ aspect of the Frenchman, this thing they just don’t understand, and see it as the root of his troubles.
If his performance against City told us anything, it is that this particular viewpoint is just wrong, and actually a bit discriminatory when you think about it.