Paul Pogba demonstrated his importance to the dressing room with some rousing words of encouragement in the tunnel ahead of Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town on Boxing Day.
The Frenchman was reportedly branded as a ‘virus’ to the dressing room by former manager Jose Mourinho, who dropped him for his final three Premier League games as Man United manager.
His resurgence since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over has been remarkable: two games, two goals, two assists.
And as this piece of footage shows, Pogba has rediscovered his voice off the pitch as well, demanding of his teammates to begin the game by pressing hard and starting the game strong – which, under Mourinho, would presumably result in a two month period playing with the reserves.
“When we go we go, pressing first ones! Now we’re at home. We go strong we start strong!”
The more freedom Paul Pogba has to express himself – both on and off the pitch – the better. Captain without the armband. 🇾🇪🔥 [MU] pic.twitter.com/atDPtVXhvu
— The Peoples Person (@PeoplesPerson_) December 28, 2018
Many genuinely believed that Pogba was the central toxic force in the dressing room, whilst somehow totally ignoring the curmudgeon sitting in the manager’s seat, whose main contributions this season were to belittle his players, harp on about past achievements, and play in a way which reduced Pogba – a World Cup winner – to dwelling on the ball in his own half.
All Solskjaer has done, really, is let Pogba and his teammates breathe. The Frenchman is an inherently expressive individual. Why, then, would you do anything other than let the man express himself, both on and off the pitch?
It has certainly worked like magic so far.