Paul Pogba has been slammed for his 28-step penalty run-up by former-Liverpool player Stan Collymore.
While many have seen the funny side of Pogba’s run-up, including the French midfielder himself, Collymore believes it’s a stunt purely designed to increase the player’s status rather than have any competitive advantage.
Pogba has been doing the run-up since he was a youth player at Manchester United and as the club’s current penalty taker, has put it on display on a number of occasions this season.
The most recent time was in Man United’s 2-1 win against Everton on Sunday at Old Trafford. He missed the penalty but tapped home the rebound. Collymore thinks Pogba is doing it for cynical reasons, to try and make a trademark move as Cristiano Ronaldo has done.
“Paul Pogba’s penalty run up is dreadful,” Collymore angrily explained in his column for the Daily Mirror.
“It makes no sense and is just showboating.
“One hundred years of football history have shown you either run up very quick and have momentum behind your kick or there is the John Aldridge/Robie fowler approach of slightly stuttering, wait for the keeper to dive and put it the other way.
“Pogba looks like he is trying to copy Cristiano Ronaldo’s free-kick build-up and make it a moment that has fans saying ‘I know what is coming next’.
“He is actually making scoring a penalty harder with his style.
“Everything that you shouldn’t do in going to address a penalty, he is doing just because he wants to trademark this move in my opinion.”
Quite why it matters how to go to take a penalty kick isn’t explained by Pogba. Many people have missed after doing unorthodox run-ups, but the same can be said for the ‘proper’ way of taking a penalty.
It’s not as if running straight towards the ball and hitting it instantly makes it a guaranteed success. Pogba has scored a couple of penalties this season and tapped home the rebound against Everton.
If he scores them, no one should care.