Manchester United fans were disappointed with Paul Pogba’s performance in France’s 0-0 draw with Belarus on Tuesday night.
The 23-year-old was a decisive influence in France’s 3-1 win over Italy last Thursday, producing two assists, but was unable to force the issue against a sturdy Belarus side as the visitors – who looked blunt-edged all evening – scuppered a catalogue of chances to take the lead.
Man United fans were notably critical of Pogba’s inability to break down the underdog side.
sad from France. Pogba has looked quite good. opened up a lot of chances for France. no one can finish though
— Jon B (@DrunkVoltron) September 6, 2016
France not getting the best out of Pogba
— Ashley Jonsson (@NaughtyMonster1) September 6, 2016
I've got France on, never seen someone shoot as much from distance and be so unsuccessful as Pogba. Maybe 1/20 might go in but 💩💩
— Ryan Wilkinson (@ry_wilkinson) September 6, 2016
— Robin Bairner (@RBairner) September 6, 2016
Once again, Pogba was the main cog in France’s midfield, engineering the ball with precision and purpose all evening. However, with Didier Deschamps’ side displaying minimal potency in front of goal, the Frenchman often found himself struggling for options, unable to pierce Belarus’ back-line as Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann failed to create space in behind.
In front of goal, Pogba lacked his usual precision, sending several shots wide of the mark as France frantically pushed for the opener.
That said, the 23-year-old did manage to create several opportunities, even with France’s attacking inertia reaching an all time high. In this sense, criticism of Pogba could be equally applied to Deschamps’ system as a whole, namely its failure to create speed and urgency when France were on the front foot.