Robert Pires explains how he feels about Paul Pogba at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires has given his thoughts on Paul Pogba’s situation at Manchester United, noting that acclimatising to the Premier League will take time for the 24-year-old.

The Frenchman, ever since arriving at Old Trafford over the summer for a world record £89m fee, has been subject to widespread criticism from all corners of the football world, with many pointing towards his failure to justify his lofty price tag.

Many former Man United players such as Wes Brown, Nemanja Vidic and Owen Hargreaves, alongside Jose Mourinho, have leaped to Pogba’s defence in response.

And Pires, when asked about his fellow countryman, was quick to echo similar sentiments.

“He had a lot of pressure because some people were talking about his price tag, but you must not forget that Paul Pogba is a young player and in France, we say he needs time to adapt,” he said. 

“I think that is very important as the Premier League is very hard, difficult and tough, it is not only for the game, it is every morning in the training sessions.

“I know Paul, I am very confident for him, but I think Man Utd is a good choice for him and if you work with Jose Mourinho you can learn a lot.

“The first season is very difficult, it is like a transition for him as he used to play for Juventus in Italy and so everything is different. You cannot compare France, Italy, Spain, Germany, UK, they are not the same.

“And that is why the time adaption is very important for Paul Pogba and the other players.”

It is indeed no coincidence that those chastising Pogba consist primarily of people that, firstly, have only watched the Frenchman on, say, three of four occasions over the season and people who haven’t kicked a ball for a good five years.

And it is, in turn, no surprise that those supporting Pogba are those who went through the same process of acclimatising to life at Old Trafford. They know better than most that arriving in England as a big name can present plenty of teething issues over the first few months.

But does the man himself actually care? The footballing world – and I’m part of this too – has dedicated a heavy chunk of time pontificating over how the Frenchman works and how he responds to the wall of noise enveloping him. But it seems quite clear that Pogba is enjoying life at Old Trafford and life under Mourinho – and that, above anything, is something no exterior media source could influence.

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