France national team manager Didier Deschamps has insisted that Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is a much more experienced player than before.
Pogba has come in for a lot of criticism domestically in France and abroad for his performances, but also his manner in the media and in general life.
Deschamps told reporters that Pogba has now grown to ignore the criticism that he gets and that’s why he became a leader in the dressing room of France’s World Cup-winning squad in the summer.
The Man United midfielder has struggled to find consistency in his displays at the club since re-joining from Juventus for a then-world record fee of £89 million. Some moments have been fantastic, and others less good.
Deschamps was asked about how France managed to see a consistency excellent Paul Pogba in Russia in the summer.
“The rest of the world, and certainly in France, has an image of Pogba that doesn’t really reflect who he is,” Deschamps said.
“There’s this idea that he’s a bit individualistic – that’s not the case.
“I’ve spoken to him about his relationship with the media and I think he’s been unfairly criticised in the past. That’s why there has been this aggressive vibe and he’s had this strained relationship.
“But criticism is part of the job and I think you learn to take that on board as you get more experienced. That’s what’s happened with him and I think he’s gained some respect.
“He joined us ready to become a world champion and he took the whole squad with him.”
Pogba has had a number of good performances in the last few weeks, but United fans are right to demand consistency. For such an able player, consistency is key, and has not been on show.
He’s hit four goals and made a number of assists already this season, but has also made a couple of errors. For everything good with Pogba, there’s a negative, too.