Michael Owen slams Paul Pogba for undisciplined performance against Stoke City

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United and Liverpool striker Michael Owen has criticised Paul Pogba for his undisciplined performance during the 1-1 draw with Stoke City on Sunday.

The Frenchman was at the heart of Man United’s attacking movements against Mark Hughes’ side, spurning several opportunities in front of goal.

Speaking in the wake of United’s first draw under Jose Mourinho, Owen was critical of Pogba’s performance.

“When you look at goal kicks he [Pogba] actually stays in the central midfield position but as soon as the ball comes into play, he just starts drifting into these areas [up front],” he said.

“It makes me wonder, is it what he’s doing or is it what he’s being told to do?

“He’s a central midfield player. United haven’t been punished for those individual situations – but they will. Better teams will come here and when Manchester City came here, that was the best example.”

Somebody needs to remind Owen of the fact that the leading characteristic of Pogba’s current role is – you guessed it! – roaming forward and launching attacks. With this in mind, the Frenchman, despite the vulture-like derision that came his way, produced a strong performance against Stoke – a notion reflected in his stats: 91% pass accuracy, 6 shots, 4 chances created, 3 aerial duels won, 2 take-ons.

If his late header had been a mere three inches lower, pundits – Owen included – would be singing his name from the rooftops. As it was, he struck the bar and United failed to beat a side rooted to the foot of the table, evincing the inevitable cry of denigration from all corners of the football world.

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