Former Millwall midfielder Eamon Dunphy has claimed that Manchester United are a better team without Paul Pogba.
The Frenchman came under fire from pundits – most notably Paul Scholes – for an ineffective display in midfield during Man United’s 0-0 draw with Southampton.
And he responded 48 hours later with a scintillating performance going forward against Everton, spearheading a 2-0 win in which he picked up both assists and dominated the home side all evening.
But Dunphy, speaking on some platform he has been inexplicably given, believes that Man United would be a better outfit without him.
“There’s an awful lot of hype merchants in the media and in the game saying that Pogba is an outstanding, but I agree with everything that Scholes has said,” he said.
“Paul Scholes is well qualified as a commentator, he was a great player. He calls things as he sees it and we should be grateful for that.
“This ‘magician’ called Pogba, well he never turns up. A price tag of £90m, well that’s ridiculous. Pogba is not good enough. No matter what system Paul Pogba plays in, he is not a top player. United would be better off without him.”
Sometimes the best way to respond to a quote is with another quote. And while John Terry is without doubt a reprehensible character, his response to the same kind of calumny as seen above from Dunphy – who, funnily enough, played for United at youth level only to be offloaded to York City – back in 2015 is worth drawing upon.
“I’ve come under criticism, individually, from certain players and individuals, players I’ve looked up to and played alongside,” he said.
“I’ve taken that on the chin: Rio, Carra, Neville, the very best I’ve come up against in the game. I take that on the chin. When others speak, maybe I don’t take it on the chin.
“When players have not had a career, played at a really bad level in their career … Robbie Savage being one. He’s dug me out a couple of times. You take it as a footballer, as an individual. I’ll take it from the Rios, Carraghers and Neville. All day long. From others? Nah.”
Forget that Pogba hasn’t lost a league game in which he’s started since October 2016, while United have lost five without him since then.
Forget that United score more goals and win more games on average with Pogba in the team.
And forget that United’s best performances over the last 18 months have always featured the Frenchman at the epicentre.
I say forget because, well, Dunphy clearly doesn’t care about any of this. His point is not grounded in facts by any stretch. Like many pundits who you have to google, this type of quote comes from a place of deep resentment – a knowledge that players like Pogba have reached a level of brilliance and fame that they were never, ever able to come close to.
This is nothing more than a cry for help, a kind of howl at what he could never become. Pogba, meanwhile, has absolutely no idea who Eamon bloody Dunphy is, and you probably didn’t either until reading this.