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Paul Pogba produces powerful display against Stoke City

by Leo Nieboer


Paul Pogba was an effervescent force during Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Stoke City in the Premier League.

The Frenchman, given the license to roam with Ander Herrera anchoring the midfield, acted as a constant source of power and enterprise going forward.

A glance at Pogba’s stats provide a good impression of how heavily involved the 23-year-old was: 91% pass accuracy, 6 shots, 4 chances created, 3 aerial duels won, 2 take-ons.

The vacuum of vulture-like noise emanating from social media will tell you differently, but Pogba – aside from his shooting – was an assured, dynamic force against Mark Hughes’ side. His awareness in possession, passing, decision making and overall physicality was superb; the Frenchman ought to have capped off his display by taking the two clear chances that came his way.

Unfortunately, every positive aspect of Pogba’s game is largely ignored by mainstream media outlets and keyboard warriors, and the reason why is clear: namely because, as the world’s most expensive player, his expected level of performance is absurdly high. High in a way that surpasses any form of realism. No matter what Pogba does, someone will always pop up with the line: “yes, that wasn’t bad, but at £89m he should be doing more.”

The Frenchman will know that, despite the wall of derision greeting him, he is moving in the right direction under Jose Mourinho.

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