Former Chelsea and Real Madrid midfielder Claude Makalele believes Paul Pogba’s lack of form at Manchester United is because of Jose Mourinho’s tactical strategy.
Pogba excelled at the World Cup with France, improving with each game and scoring in the final against Croatia.
But the Frenchaman has failed to regularly produce at Old Trafford this season and received widespread criticism for how be performed in defeats to Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur.
Speaking earlier this week, Makelele noted that it was no coincidence Pogba was performing for France and not at Man United.
“When I look at the Paul Pogba who plays for France and the one I see wearing a United short, it is clear the system is different,” he said.
“With France, the system is about position, counter-attack, fast players. But United have more possession and they are trying to get Pogba to create more and give more assists and score goals as well. It’s too much for him.
“You have to ask him if he is happy to stay but with Mourinho you need to learn more about the way you need to be.
“Pogba is a great player but he cannot play alone. He needs team-mates around him to make success.”
Forget the systemic reasons behind Pogba’s lack of success at United. He has played well and played poorly at times in a series of formations, from the three at the back against Arsenal at the Emirates to the rigid 4-3-3 used to thwart Ajax in Stockholm.
What really matters, more than anything, is the speed at which United play. When there is tempo to Mourinho’s side, Pogba shines. When things feel bogged down, Pogba naturally fades too. It really is that simple.
Mourinho’s position the club would be far more secure if he could, on a weekly basis, cultivate a swift playing style in his team.