Paul Pogba has admitted that it is difficult for France’s World Cup-winning squad to maintain concentration on club football in the aftermath of their glorious victory in Russia in the summer.
The French midfielder has been clouded under controversy this season at Manchester United after an impressive World Cup campaign in which he scored in the final against Croatia.
Pogba and Man United manager Jose Mourinho’s relationship has seemingly gone from bad to worse as the season has progressed. The 25-year-old’s performances have been inconsistent and so while some performances have been excellent, others have been poor.
Combine that with thinly-veiled comments from Pogba about United’s style of play which were seen as a subtle attack on manager Mourinho, the fact he intermittently flirted with La Liga club Barcelona in the side and the pressure has been on Pogba.
Now, he’s admitted it’s been hard to concentrate.
“It’s hard to concentrate, to start again, to hit hard, because we touched the stars,” Pogba explained to AFP.
“For us, it was the best trophy you can win as a footballer.
“But we like challenges too. We have goals. For example, I’ve never won the Premier League, that’s an objective. I’d like to do that.”
Pogba is generally very open with the media and this is another example of where that is not necessarily the best thing to do. Next time United or Pogba are underperforming, these comments could be construed as meaning Pogba isn’t passionate about United and isn’t trying on a certain game or target.
Honesty is great with footballers but it can go too far, not through the fault of themselves, but more so because of the subsequent reaction of the media to the honest words of certain figures.