Paul Pogba has responded to his critics by saying he shouldn’t be judged on his fee or goals at Manchester United and insists he feels great about his first season back in Manchester.
Pogba, who turned 24 in March, re-joined Man United for a world record transfer fee in the summer and has gone on to score ten goals in all competitions so far at the club. It could have been so many more but for him hitting the woodwork seven times this season.
Despite some influential performances and becoming the centre-piece of this new look United side under Jose Mourinho, Pogba has come into some harsh criticism but he is looking past it in order to concentrate on his own game.
“I feel great, to be honest,” Pogba said ahead of the Anderlecht game.
“We won two trophies but, obviously, I always want to do better. I am doing good, the team is doing good and we are looking to win the Europa League and fight for the top four. I can forget about the transfer fee, it’s in the past, I think about the pitch and doing good for the team – that’s it.
“I think people are looking at me and judging me for not scoring goals, but that’s football. They want me to score goals because of the mountain of the transfer. My job is to be a midfielder, to make assists.
“The transfer is something else, the pitch is something else. I’m doing a job. When I pass to people and they don’t score, it can happen. People want me to score because of the transfer fee, but I don’t think about that. If I can make the team win, I will do it. If I was scoring the goals that had hit the crossbar, I don’t think people would be saying this.”
I do fully agree with Pogba on this in a way but can understand certain frustrations around him. Judging Pogba purely on his price tag and goal return is what people who don’t watch United every week do, it’s the easiest way to judge his success for them, but United fans who watch Pogba every week know that doesn’t paint the whole picture.
Had United’s finishing been better this season he’d have double or more the assists he currently has. He’s so influential in midfield and while there have been certain games where he could have improved his performance, to say he’s been a flop would be so wide of the mark.
However, Pogba certainly has grounds to improve next year and he will know that himself. He’ll want to improve and Pogba will be his own harshest critic in that regard. I’ve got no doubt we will see an even better Pogba next year and one thing is for sure – he’ll have the continued full support of United fans, regardless of what criticism is launched at him in the press.