French magazine France Football wrote an extended piece on Paul Pogba after his performance against Bulgaria on Friday.
The 23-year-old played 90 minutes alongside Blaise Matuidi in a two man midfield as France strolled to a comfortable 4-1 win but it was a far from wholly convincing performance from Pogba. Yet, the mere fact an article of such length was written after a game in which Pogba was nowhere near the centre stage is indicative of the scrutiny he is under.
To be fair to the journalist, Cédric Chapuis, he does point out the positives of his game; Pogba delivered the most passes into the box (67), made the most tackles (5) and won 76.9% of his duels for possession but it was the lack of goals or assists which once again put the spotlight on Pogba.
Because of that, Chapuis questions whether Pogba has fitness problems because he can’t otherwise understand what’s going wrong with him. What else could possibly be going wrong for Paul? What the article fails to really understand is that this is a whole new situation for Pogba and he’s, quite frankly, struggling. It’s as simple as that, a 23-year-old lad who has returned to his first major club after becoming the world’s most expensive footballer is struggling.
Nobody truly expected Pogba to struggle because his confident, almost brash attitude means he puts extra pressure on himself which he duly delivers on but that just hasn’t happened so far at United and nor with France if we’re being frank as he wasn’t wholly convincing at Euro 2016 either – but United fans don’t care and will simply remain patient with him until he turns the screw.
The only reason there is so much spotlight on Pogba is the price which United signed him for. Modern football’s gone mad and price tags have gone with it, unfortunately for Paul he’s now expected to score or assist a goal in every game because he’s the world’s most expensive footballer. I’ve got every confidence that will come in time but as much as Cédric Chapuis believes fitness issues are behind his woes, it’s just a case of Pogba struggling to find his feet.